Will you dare to believe Him?

When I grew up I (Judi) was told that God loved me. 

But it didn’t mean much to me because I didn’t really believe it.

Too many bad things had happened to me. Too many mean people. Too many mistakes others had made. Too many mistakes I had made. Too many problems in front of me.

Even when I did believe it, it still didn’t mean much to me because I was so busy trying to fix what was wrong with me (and those around me). And believe me, there was a LOT to fix!

What I didn’t know is that the agape love of God actually heals deep wounds, replaces unkind thoughts, redeems mistakes, frees us from bitterness and offense. It was what I was really looking for, but it seemed too simple and not potent enough.

I was suffering a deep depression when I learned that my feelings followed my thoughts. I knew my thoughts were riddled with self-loathing and hopelessness (which inevitably led to depression), but I had never considered that I could change those thoughts.

For awhile I reflected on this idea, but came to the conclusion that it simply wasn’t possible for me. But I did realize that the thoughts I had did not line up with what God said about me in the Word of God. 

Thankfully, by this point, I had been exposed to the Grace and unconditional Love of God. I had experienced a paradigm shift from legalism to the finished work of Christ. I began to see the scriptures in a completely new light. For the first time, it really seemed like good news.

And then one day, I decided I had nothing to lose. When the negative thought came, I made a conscious choice to refuse it and pick another thought, one that lined up with what God said was true about me. 

It took some getting used to. I felt a bit fraudulent at first. The sarcastic side of me resisted, but eventually a real rest came over me, healing came, the depression lifted and joy surfaced, a gracious husband came into my life, rewarding work appeared, new friends connected with me. I found myself in the midst of a fulfilling, enjoyable life. 

I’m not trying to paint a “sunshine and rainbows” picture. Life can be hard, there are challenges at times, but my INNER life is growing in strength, peace, joyfulness and grace. Not in a phony kind of way, but a deeply authentic way.

Friends, I’m so thankful Jesus came and provided us a way to navigate the inevitable troubles this fallen world brings. We are equipped (with Him) to deal with them. The question is, “Will you dare to believe Him?”

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