Do you think you let God down so He cannot possibly love you anymore? Be encouraged with today’s lesson on “The Forgiveness God Offers”
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Hebrews 13:5, AMP)
I remember a time when I was so paralyzed by fear I’d lay awake at night with thoughts of anxiety and loneliness. I had lost the ability to look at anything through a positive lens. I longed to be near the Lord, but I did not know how to reach Him.
How could I possibly be contented with my present circumstances? How could God tell me He would never let me down? How could He say that He will not in any degree leave me helpless or without support? My husband had left me, and so had all my friends. I was no longer able to work due to anxiety and depression and had extreme social phobia.
However, God does not lie. His words in Matthew11:28 were about to be demonstrated to me in a powerful way: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
As I cried out to the Lord, asking Jesus for relief from my pain, He gave me an invitation to enter His rest by giving Him my anguish in exchange for a personal relationship with Him. He showed me that I could not come to Him with my hands filled with my own burdens and cares and attempt to receive from Him His goodness and rest. I had to empty my hands of all the worry first.
I realized that I did not need to worry and fear. Jesus cares about me and I have nothing to fear with His tender and all sufficient care of me. As it says is John 10, He is my Shepherd. “I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me– Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father–and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep.” (John 10:14-15, AMP)
I began to consciously give Jesus my worries each time I found myself anxiously fretting over something. Each time I found myself worried and frightened, I refocused my mind on a favorite verse. I meditated on the verse or spoke it aloud, or both. After several weeks I began to feel significant relief from my anxiety. Within months the Lord had surpassed all expectations that I had had of Him! I discovered anticipation for the mornings and my time with the Lord.
Truly, my Shepherd has shown me that He has given His life for me, and His blood has paid the penalty for my wrongs past, present, and future.
I can come before Him in boldness, knowing that I need not fear punishment. I can joyfully celebrate that I am forgiven and victorious – righteous because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross for me. I do not have to live in fear, trying to measure up to an impossible standard of perfection. I can dwell in the safety of God’s loving arms, letting His righteousness and perfect love soak into me. I know that He is at work to transform me into His image and likeness as I glory in the truth that I am unconditionally loved and accepted! Amen!
Father, Quiet my heart before You that I might hear You when you speak. Amen
Question: Do you have difficulty coming before Your Heavenly Father? How can the words of Scripture help to ease your fears? Which verses bring you peace and teach you that Jesus loves you and accepts you unconditionally?