More on anxiety… How being loved changes everything…

Our Father always knows what’s best. Sometimes that’s easy to see. Often, it’s very hard. But it’s true, just the same. If we are following Jesus, we are so, so secure in God’s love (and if you’re not a Christian yet, you can find that security by becoming one!).

God has been encouraging me in a lot of thing lately- and I’m struggling to grasp them, and live them. But they’re still worth sharing, because they’re true… and I think they could be life-changing!

As Christians, we are surrounded by more love than we could ever dream of. As God’s children, we are secure in His love.

Because He loves us, we can have peace that His plan is best.

Because He loves us, we can trust in the dark, when we don’t understand.

Because He loves us, the sting of fear of the future can be gone.

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“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

In Him, we can find peace, because He loves us. We can rest in the Lord- trusting, and therefore at peace. No hurry, because God’s timing is perfect. No care, because God is our heavenly Father. No worry, because God cares for us.

Do you,like me, live in constant low-level anxiety, afraid that everything will fall apart, afraid that you won’t be able to cope; afraid that you won’t have what you need? Being in control will never resolve that, because little human beings are never ‘in control’ enough to silence our fears. Knowing what will happen will never resolve that, because there are always new things we could worry about in this world (and God knows we can’t handle knowing too much).  There is really only one resolution, and that is grasping more of the Father’s love. The more we meditate on His love as Father, the more we can be at peace, because we know that He cares so much.

“As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14

When we begin to understand that our Heavenly Father cares for us so tenderly, and that He reigns sovereign over circumstance in our lives, our fear begins to lose its grip. If He shows tender compassion to His children like a father for his child, then we can be assured that He is watching over us so very, very tenderly; so very, very lovingly… and we can trust that He always has our best interests at heart, and will never make a mistake.

The more we trust in His love, the more we will find peace. This is the life He wants for us: the life of simple peace and quiet trust, abiding in our Father’s love.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding“. Proverbs 3:5

As we meditate on what He is like, we realise that He is tender, compassionate and kind. He will not let your needs slip through His fingers. He never forgets how frail you are, or how much you need His care. If you belong to Jesus, Jesus is always interceding for you, and He will never forget your need. You are dearly, dearly loved and cared for, and in that you can find abundant hope, rest and peace. Where is the place for fear in the light of such loving care as this?

He often asks me a question: “Do you trust Me?”

It’s so simple. Will I actively decide to believe: to rest in His goodness: to trust that He is in control: to trust that He will be good to me?

If I trust Him, the fear, anxiety and striving will go away. The weight comes from thought patterns I practice so that I will be control. But He asks me to lay down my understanding and simply to trust. In that, I will find peace, joy and strength to face whatever He sends.

“Who among you fears the Lord?
Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness
And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the Lord
And rely upon his God.” Isaiah 50:10

Trust. It feels such a good, wholesome, comforting thing to do that I somehow think it’s a luxury that is just too good… But it’s not just a luxury. It’s a command. And it’s help and healing and peace: actively resting in the peaceful assurance that He is Who He is, and that He will do me good. And He wants to give the sweetest, most incredible peace that He wants to give as we trust in His goodness, wisdom and love.

“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b

Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.”

Ps 131.

 

“Underneath us, O how easy!

We have not to mount on high,

But to sink into His fullness

And in trustful weakness lie;

And we find our humbling failures

Save us from the strength that harms;

We may fail, but underneath us

Are the everlasting arms.”

(‘Art thou sunk in depths of sorrow’, Albert B. Simpson: 1843-1919 (Public Domain))

This is the place of freedom: the place of being little: a little child with a big Dad. When you are little, you don’t have to know the answers. You don’t need to be in control. You don’t need to understand anything at all! You can just be still and let Him be God. And we see in Psalm 131 that this place of humility, of not lifting up our hearts or eyes too high, is not a difficult place to be but rather a place of peace and rest: a place where we can just rest in our Father’s embrace… and just be loved. It reminds me of Zephaniah 3:17:

‘In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.’ Zephaniah 3:16-17

What an encouragement! It’s a picture of our Heavenly Father singing over us, rejoicing over us with delight as He holds us close to His heart. What a reason to hope! As human beings on this little planet, we see very little. We have no idea of the heavenly realities going on around us, do we? And, yes, there is the reality of spiritual battle… of the demonic… of the angelic… of lots of things we have no idea about. But there is this, too: there is the Father’s song of loving delight over His children in Christ! And we can be little, and rest in that!

Oh, how your Heavenly Father loves you! If only you could get a grasp of His wide, vast, unending love, what a difference it would make to everything! He is there, waiting for you to realise how much He loves you… waiting for you to realise that He is waiting for you, waiting for you to realise that you can come… just as you are… that all of your trying is only keeping you away… that all He wants is you: humble, surrendered, just as you are… and He will meet you there. And oh, oh, His love! His wide, wonderful, astounding love… His love that satisfies… His love that we can never understand because it is so, so big! Let go of your trying. Just look up. Look at Him. Receive. Let Him meet you just where, just as you are. His love will meet your every need… will set you free, if you will only come to Him.

 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

No, I haven’t ‘got’ these things yet. But I think they could be life-changing… don’t you?

 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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