May 26, 2011

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly . . . God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
-Romans 5:6,8

Sometimes our struggles or anxieties will not just go away . . . frustration can't be cured by blaring Linkin Park or a really good workout session (although sometimes it really helps). Sometimes depression and anxiety seep into your bones and start to eat away like acid at your spirit, if you let it get that far. It's not going to heal by slapping a band-aid over it, it's not going to dissolve in your sleep. Giving me a pat answer ("it's going to be OK") or a verse out of context will probably make it worse.

That's when I truly need the Gospel (OK, I need it all the time, but especially right now). I need the truth of God's word to saturate my being and remind me of who He is.

Do I believe that He is who He says He is? Do I believe that He will provide for me, because He's the God of my salvation? Do I believe that He loves me enough to not only rescue me from death, but that He'll rescue me from myself right now? Do I believe that He's bigger than my worst fears, my own emotion and the sin that I struggle with? Do I choose to depend on Him daily?

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
-Ephesians 3:17-19

Do I believe the Jesus of the Bible? That His days were spent healing the lame, the sick, the blind and spending time with prostitutes, tax collectors and outcasts? If so, then do I identify with these people? Surely He is compassionate over me in the same way because I am the crippled, the poor, the needy. I am the rebellious sinner. I was dead in my sin, without God and without hope - and He did everything necessary to save me. I am broken by my own sinfulness, crippled by these anxieties that I have allowed to take over and define me.

Will I look to Him to heal these areas of my life and soothe this pain? Will I trust Him with my life and look to Him for everything? Do I trust that He is enough, even in the wilderness and if things don't work out the way I want them to, that it will still be alright because He is with me?

Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him
-Psalm 103:1-13

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
-Matthew 11:28-30

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