It seems like more and more of us are wrestling with anxiety these days. Worldwide.
I’m not talking about worry. I’m talking about thoughts that are excessive, apprehensive, an eery panic that tells you something surely is about to go horribly wrong. The illustration of anxiety in my mind is that my thoughts are like a ping pong ball going back and forth, back and forth, with no “end game” in site.
Those excessive thoughts lead to heart racing, heightened senses, sleepless nights.
It’s pretty terrifying, isn’t it?
The past month has found me in the throws of anxiety, and several friends have shared their own recent battles.
This post is for you, Reader and Friend, if you sometimes feel like me. Like you can’t win in this area. A sweet time of reflection this morning with my Jesus has brought me encouragement, and I want to share it with you.
You. Are. Free.
Reflections on Romans 8:1-34:
Set your thoughts on things of this earth – things that are finite – and it’s death itself. But focus your mind on spiritual things – things that have eternal impact – it will bring you life and peace. Peace…
You are no longer a slave to your anxiety, your fears, to those thoughts that feel like a plague. You are a child of God, and you get the privilege of crying out to Him in these terrifying moments, “Papa!”
The suffering you face right now is nothing compared to the glorious future you have in Christ. Right now you wait and agonize for that future. Right now everything feels futile. But just wait. The day is coming when you will feel that you have been set free from slavery. You will know and experience the freedom that comes with being a child of God.
Right now you scream and writhe in the pain of this earthly life. But hang in there. You will know the redemption of your body, the realization of the truth that you are God’s son or daughter.
In the meantime, while you grapple with this anxiety, know that God’s Spirit is crying out for you. He’s pleading for your sake when you don’t have the strength and you no longer know how to even ask for help. If God Himself is your advocate, who can have the power to prevail over you? Father God gave up His one and only Son to purchase your life, your freedom. Can you imagine how much more He wants to give you, how much He desires that you will know and walk in His freedom?
And it’s all by His grace. Not dependent on you or your merit.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35-39, NLT