Thursday, August 20, 2015

"If God is for us..."


The full Scripture says this:
"What, then, shall we say in response to this?
 If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) 

"Who can be against us?" "Who can be against us?" I would chant over and over again as I went out to face my fears. And my response to myself was, "NO one! No one is against me for God is with me!" Then I would go about my day a little bit more brave.

Time has changed me.
Time and hurt has changed me.
And with that, now, when I read or think about that Scripture,
"If God is for us, who can be against me?"
I cower in fear and answer, "Anyone."

Many of you have read many of the different kinds of abuses I have endured in my life-mostly at the hands of my family. My family really didn't understand, nor had they been touched with the overpowering love of Jesus. It was difficult to forgive or even understand many of the things they did, but sometimes just knowing that they didn't know Jesus made the forgiving and healing process easier.

In the last few years I have been deeply hurt again, but this time, not by my family, It was by friends- Christian friends. I stupidly thought I was safe from hurt because, 'they were not like my family.' I whole-heartily trusted. Wide-eyed and bushy tailed me, hoped, trusted, loved. I never saw the hurt coming. I never saw Christians as possible threats to my heart. I was not afraid. I was not walking around in fear, protecting my heart like I did in my younger years around my family. I was free and some days I even felt myself soaring in the freedom from fear. I was happy.

Don't get me wrong, in the twenty-eight years I have walked with Jesus I have been hurt by Christians, but I chocked it up to them not knowing me or some other lame reason and moved on. But this wound came from a few different people that I thought would never hurt me. I thought loved me. I thought had my back. I thought saw my heart. And I will say, the Lord brought me through all that, but then it happened again! A Christian that I looked up to and trusted got me right in the back.

The hurt still hurts. The wound is not healed. The fear is more real than ever before. Now I look at Christians as potential people who can do more damage to my heart than even my own Godless family. "If God is for me, who can be against me?" So, after all this hurt my heart has concluded that the answer is anyone. Anyone can hurt me. Anyone can disappoint. Anyone can surprisingly turn around and punch me in the gut. Anyone, Christian or non-Christian. The fear is real because I don't want to be hurt again, at least not like that!

Psalm 27:1-3
"The Lord is my light and my salvation
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
    to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident."
My prayer:
The truth is Lord, I fear. I fear the 'wicked advancing.' I fear an army besieging me. I am not confident. I DO believe that you will be with me-again. I DO believe you will use all things for your glory. I DO believe you will use it to strengthen me to produce hope, but Lord, I don't want to see or be pierced by that kind of pain ever again. I am weak. I don't want the punishment of being scolded or receive the 'cold shoulder.' Yes, you will bring me through- but I don't want there to be a reason to 'be brought through' again- and that is what I fear. I fear the pain of it all- I trust in you for the healing, but I fear the pain. Heal this broken heart Lord, please. I want to love again. I want to be free to trust again.

The Lord says to me:
Isaiah 41: 10-13
So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you
    will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
    will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
    you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
    will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
My response to God:
Psalm 27:4-5

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.

Jesus, do this work in me. Let me always remember that I am God's Football. Help me to know that you protect my heart. Help me to trust you. Grow my heart of love and faith for you deeper, bigger, wider until there is no more room for fear. Pour in your love for, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18) Make me perfect in your love. I know I am afraid of man. "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trust in the Lord is kept safe. " (Proverbs 29:25) You are trustworthy, Lord. You will never hurt me. In you I find safety. Forgive me for my fear- for not trusting in you. Forgive me for looking to man for safety. Fix my eyes on you, my protector, my comfort, my healer, my love. Fill my heart to love your people, all your people. I want to love freely without fear because you will protect my heart. Help me to remember that YOU are bigger than anyone and you are with me. "If God is for me, who can be against me?" NO ONE! Love your, Ellie

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