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.”