Fear grips tightly. I‘ve known the daily struggle to throw off the chains of fear. I’ve learned to pray through these times. I focus my mind on that which is true and of good report. I meditate on scriptures, which remind me to trust in the Lord with all my heart- and my faith is made stronger. Fear is replaced with peace.
I won’t pretend that my life is always carefree. Those false sources of security, finances, community, and home can feel dangerously shaky at times. Those are good things to have but they were never intended to be the place where I place my trust.
I don’t always do the right thing when I’m worried. I mindlessly scroll through articles on my phone for too long. I lose myself in trashy reality shows. I pour myself an extra glass of wine to take off the edge. I ask my spouse for reassurances that’s aren’t in his power to give. I desperately try to control everything around me. And then I feel like a failure. Because I know this is wrong. The fears grow bigger- and sometimes shame finds a way in, too.
I have a fickle heart. I know this. God knows this, too. He loves me anyway.
He knows your heart, too. And he loves you. No conditions.
I place my trust in God- and then I take it back, over and over, again. Why do I do this? I forget so quickly. I’ll start to think, I’m doing a pretty good job of leaving my worries in God’s hands, yay me. And just like that…a new worry presents itself. Even though God has proven himself faithful, fear can creep back in.
I used to think that my big challenge was placing my trust in God, whole-heartedly. In part, that’s true, but my challenge is more specific. I fully accept that God is sovereign and wise. My biggest challenge is fully understanding that, even when I fail to live in light of this truth, when I withdraw my trust, pulling it back into my own hands, that God STILL loves me. His perfect love is so hard for me to comprehend. He’s not disappointed in me. He’s not condemning me. He simply wants me to turn around and come back to Him.
God wants the same for you. God’s love is unconditional.
“If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness.” –Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz
I think of the story, told in the Bible, of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey, a week before his death. The crowd was cheering, waving palm fronds, shouting, “Hosanna” (which means, “save, we pray thee”). Yet Jesus knew, these same crowds would soon be saying, “crucify him”. He knew this crowd was fickle, and he loved them anyway. He loved them so much that He willingly died for them. The Bible is full of stories that demonstrate this incredible love that God shows towards undeserving people. Life is full of these stories. My life is. And all I can do is bow my head, in grateful, humbled, awe and give him what I have: my heart.
Shame pushes away. Love draws near. So I release the fear and shame, and once again, I place my trust in the One who loves me. He is patient and he knows my struggles. And yet, because of what Jesus did, God does not look at me and call me unworthy. He looks at me and calls me steadfast, holy, beloved- not because of me, but because of whom I am in Christ.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:31-39
God’s love for us is not dependent on our ability to do anything perfectly. That includes the ability to trust him. Don’t let your doubts and fears shame you. Shame is a tool of the enemy and it has no place in your life.
God loves you, dear one.
The truth of what it means to trust Jesus has been working its way into my heart by the grace of the Holy Spirit. I’m still a work in progress. Trusting in Jesus is something I want to do more of and understand more fully- so I wrote a book about it called, Look to Jesus. This book is for people like me, who want the idea of trusting God to go deeper than head knowledge, people who want to trust Jesus with all of their heart and aren’t always sure how to do that. It’s for people who know that trust is not something they can just conjure up on their own. It’s about asking the Holy Spirit to come in and change our hearts. You can download the first chapter for free, HERE.
Dawn is a freelance writer and Christian blogger who loves encouraging women to keep their focus on Jesus. She’s the author of Look to Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God. She’s a wife and mom to two teens. A Seattle girl, she loves books and coffee. You can find her at Above the Waves, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.