Recently I read said something which really challenged me, the writer said that although as Christians we know God is for us and He is on our side, when trouble, worry or stress strikes within our lives we don’t live like we know God is for us. This comment made me think and I realised that sadly there are times in my life when I don’t always live each day like I know God is for me.
To be honest the past month hasn’t been the best, my pain has been bad, I’ve had a chest infection which isn’t good because my current condition prevents me from talking a deep breath or coughing, never mind when I have a chest infection, my health meant I had to take a break from my daily physio and my Nanny who has dementia is in hospital with a broken hip. So I must admit, there have been times this month when I’ve been stressed, when I’ve worried, when I’ve cried, been frustrated and anxious; and that is probably fairly normal since we are humans. However during some of those difficult times I have had days where I haven’t lived according to the truth that God is for me and living like I don’t know He is on my side.
Instead of dealing with Ehlers Danlos and the messes of life on my own I should be CONFIDENT that God is on my side and He longs for me; all I need do to is open my Bible and I will find countless promises from God that He is with me and will never leave me.
“This I know, that God is for me.” Psalm 56:9
It is so easy to get caught up in our own stress and whatever other circumstances in our life and forget God is for us even for just a slight moment. It is so easy to let our fears and worries paralyse us from fully realising God’s love and goodness to us, easy to let our anxiety and tears stop us from realising that God is for us and with us. I’ve realised that at times I allow worry to eat away at me, worry doesn’t help, it just makes me miserable and gets me nowhere. Francis Chan describes worry wonderfully;
“Worry implies that we don’t quite trust God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives. Stress says the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two behaviours communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we’ve been forgiven, that our lives are brief … and that in the context of God’s strength, our problems are small, indeed.”
When I read Chan’s quote I realise just how awful worry is, I begin to think of how my worrying makes God feel, it isn’t right. When I’m worrying I’m clearly not thinking about God and His promise that He is for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be worrying in the first place. All of this brings me straight back to the centre of what I’ve learnt, I need to live my life like I know that God is for me.
When I am full of worry and fear I am forgetting and doubting God’s love, His immeasurable love, the love He has for us that was big enough to go to the cross for us. I think that sometimes it is easy to forget about the true suffering Jesus went through on the cross, since children we hear about Jesus dying for our sins and we continue to remember this right up through adulthood. However I think I’m guilty of sometimes forgetting just how much Jesus had to suffer for my sins; but it is when I start to really think and imagine what happened to Jesus, it is when I begin to even just scrape the surface of God’s insurmountable love.
Matthew 27 tells us that Jesus was flogged before he was put on the cross. Roman flogging was a horrifically cruel punishment, those condemned to it, as Jesus was, were tied to a post and beaten with a leather whip that was interwoven with pieces of bone and metal. Being flogged with something like this would have cut through skin, tissue and often exposed bone and intestines. I can’t even imagine the pain of this, when I realise how cruelly Jesus was tortured it shocks me into the reality of what Jesus did for me, a sinner and shows me that I am loved so much that Jesus went through this for my sin, taking my punishment. God is for me and loves me more than I could ever possibly imagine.
“But God shows his love for us in that whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
What more could I need? The cross proves how much we are all loved by God, such great love that He wants to be there for us, He desires to be near us and on our side. The cross shows us blatantly how much God is for us, so much so, that He sent His son to die for us. Although we know this truth it is now time to live like that, time for me to worry less as I remember the cross and realise God is for me more than I could possibly ever imagine.
Gods love cancels out all worry and fear.
So now as I was challenged I pray that anyone reading this will also be challenged in the same way and remember the God who loves us enough to go to the cross, who desires to be near us and on our side.