I long to be more firmly rooted in the Love of Christ in a way that changes me. In my first moments every day, before I really know I’m awake, I long to be soaked in Love. I long for my first thoughts to be that I dwell in unspeakable Love. I pray that Psalm 90:14 becomes a banner over my life in a most real way, that I would wake up each morning satisfied in love and rejoicing. In one of my recent early mornings with Jesus, He gave me a parallel prayer of Romans 8:31-39 to preach to myself when the fears and self-criticism roll in. Anxiety is real, every day, and I need tools of Love in my arsenal to draw at the ready and remind my fears of Jesus.
First, Romans 8:31-39 in the English Standard Version:
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Now, my paraphrase:
“What else will we say to reject the reality that we are fully, completely loved? God has decided He is for us and nothing can change that. He sacrificed His only Son to show it. Do not underestimate that this gift was the confirmation, seal, and gateway to so much more goodness and blessing. It was only the beginning. God is on the edge of His seat excited and delighted to give you good things. Why do you live as though you are separate from Love? Why do you condemn yourself when in reality, Jesus is at this moment asking God to bless you and show Himself to you? That is the most real thing about you. What can break this reality of life? Can unexpected trama, or anxiety, or broken relationships, or health concerns, or loss of income, or even your own rejection of His love?
The world tells us, “You have to work hard for your worthiness; trusting in Christ is foolish and won’t give you real answers.”
The truth is Jesus has named us Victorious because He has made us His own. He has conquered Death itself, the most sobering of human anxieties, so I will live as though I too can conquer death. I am sure that nothing, not the end of life or the life of the mind, not spiritual forces or corrupt politicians, not current circumstances that feel overwhelming or difficulties of the past that have previously defined me, not the powers of mental illness or emotional trauma, not anything in the whole universe, even what modern science has yet to discover, can withstand the power of Love that now defines me, carries me, and holds me secure each day, forever.”