Updated: Nov 17, 2021
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
As a young girl, I struggled to fall asleep at night. My thoughts would race as I laid my head down and I felt like I couldn’t rest. I didn’t know it then, but now I know it was anxiety. I have struggled all my life with fear crouching at my door and anxiety feeling closer than comfort. When it feels like there's no escape, it’s easy to give up hope.
Will I ever feel lasting peace and joy? Is it even possible?
It seems it’s possible for other people, but not for me. But yet, I would read God's Word over and over, and it says "His promises are “yes and amen.” (2 Corinthians 1:20) I would read about how we are to be anxious for nothing and how His peace will guard our hearts and minds. I would read these promises and think to myself, “It must be possible for anxiety to not rule my life. To be free of it and its companions of hopelessness and, often, depression.”
David says in Psalms 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” It’s not about if it will happen, it’s about when. This side of Heaven it’s not possible to never have fear, anxiety, hopelessness, or depression crouch at our door. We even give in to the temptation from time to time, and sometimes struggle because of things beyond our control.
Yet, how we respond will be our life story.
Romans 8 gives us some of the sweetest promises to hold onto in the whole Bible. It encourages us in the truth of the riches we have in Christ. And because we are in Christ, it says that NOTHING will separate us from Him. In the times where I have been in what feels like the trenches of anxiety, my emotions tell me that I am far from God; that I am separated from Him. I know that is a lie. God’s love is something I will NEVER be separated from. Even in what feels like the darkest emotional state I could be in, I am never separated.
The true hope of following Jesus is not that we will be without struggle. This does not exclude our struggles with mental health. It is indeed possible to be free from the bondage of our mental health.
The true hope of following Jesus is that we are never ever separated from Him. THAT is our hope. THAT is our confidence.
How we will respond to it will be our life story. Will we have the tenacity and courage to believe that His promises really are “yes and amen?” Will we put our trust in Him when we are afraid? And will we cling to the hope that nothing will ever separate us from the love of God?
“Father, I ask that you would give me greater faith to believe your promises are true. Help me to trust that it is the truth that I will never be separated from you, and help me to live differently because of it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”