I was only about six or seven, so I didn’t completely understand what I was witnessing. I stood in the doorway of my parents’ bedroom. I saw my mom, kneeling by the bed with her head pressed into her folded hands. She was praying, but this wasn’t a ‘normal’ prayer. She was audibly crying out to God, begging for His salvation. She rocked back and forth, and cried, and repeated herself over and over again.
It wad strange because I knew my mom was already a Christian. She had trusted Jesus as her Savior in her early teens, after listening to a Billy Graham broadcast. She grew up in a Christian family and her dad had helped start a Christian school and also did his fair share of preaching.
Why was she begging for something God had already given her?
I learned many years later that those were some of the darkest moments in my mom’s life. She had suffered many deep wounds – spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. These wounds led her to anxiety about her standing before God. She doubted her salvation. She feared she had committed the ‘unpardonable sin.’
At one point she sought counsel from a well-known Christian leader. But this leader’s heretical teaching led my mom down an even darker path; she was led to believe that because of her struggles she just may not be one of God’s ‘elect.’ This left her with almost no hope. Hell seemed like her only option.
As I grew older, I began to understand, to a lesser degree, some of those same feelings. Feelings of unworthiness, spiritual uncertainty, doom, and worthlessness. And I can’t imagine someone telling me, in the midst of such darkness, that because I struggled I just must not be chosen by God to be a Christian. How devastating!
Our Adversary thrills at the chance to plant seeds of doubt in their relationship with the Lord. That doubt can cause crippling worry and anxiety.
Worry about our relationship to God can darken every square centimeter of our being so that even experiencing the best circumstances in life is still miserable. Because why does life even matter if we can’t be sure of God’s salvation and love? What else is there?
If we cannot find rest and peace in Christ, there is no rest or peace to be found anywhere else.
Have you ever felt like God is just waiting for you to mess up? Or that He will be angry with you if you make the wrong choice? Does it sometimes seem like God is constantly putting you to the test to see if you will measure up? Do you fear His punishment? Do you dread His disappointment? Do you feel like you have to be the perfect Christian in order to receive God’s love and approval?
You are not alone.
But when we dwell in these feelings we dwell in lies.
We must continually fill our minds with God’s truth so that we don’t drown in the false feelings Satan delights in feeding to us.
I have learned to be confident in my salvation, but I still often struggle with the ‘now what’ aspect of my walk with the Lord. There are still trials, temptations, difficulties, doubts. I know I am saved but sometimes I don’t always feel loved or cradled in His caring arms. But those feelings are a lie.
The only cure for a lie is the truth.
So, prepare yourself to be invaded with some serious Truth!
When you feel guilty or ashamed:
“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
When circumstances lead you to despair:
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
When accusations come:
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
When you doubt God’s love for you:
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
When life seems pointless, hopeless, purposeless:
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
When you feel like you don’t belong:
“For our citizenship is in heaven”
When you feel overtaken by fear:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
When you feel unworthy:
“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
When you feel trapped in sin and darkness:
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
You know what my favorite part is about all these beautiful truths?
They are unconditional.
Not a single one of these verses says that we have to do anything to be accepted, loved, secure, forgiven, rescued, or receive grace.
We do nothing. He does everything. That is a PEACEFUL place to dwell.
No fear, no worry, no care, no trial, no sin, can disrupt our identity in Christ.
My mom’s story does not end in a place of despair. By the grace of God and her determination to travel through the valley of the shadow of death, in order to break free from Satan’s foothold in her life, her story is one of victory. She sought out and found God’s assurance.
Now, she is the most godly woman I know! She knows God’s Word better than I do and probably better than a lot of pastors out there! She is grounded in His truth and seeks to live it out day by day.
I praise God for the work He has done in my mom’s life and in my life too – helping us both to renew our minds with His Word.
I know He can do the same for everyone.
Remember, if you have trusted Jesus as your Savior, you already have all the assurance, love and acceptance you could possibly imagine.
There is absolutely no need to worry about how God views us. He loves us as much now as He did before the foundations of the earth and that same love will continue on through eternity!
“And I’ll stop this pretending that I can somehow deserve what I already have.”
Barlow Girl – I Need You to Love Me