Friends, I met Jesus about two years ago.
I had so many chains that were holding me back to my past before I met Jesus, and for some reason, I felt as if Jesus had broken every single chain except for one.
I knew He broke my chain of disbelief. I knew He broke my chain of fear. I knew He broke my chain of a distorted body image. I knew He broke my chain of being a “good person.” I knew He broke my chain of shame. I knew He broke my chain of guilt.
But for some reason, I thought this one chain would and could never be broken. It was my anxiety.
For about a year, I loved Jesus, and just still felt enslaved to this anxiety. I thought it was just something I would have to live with forever, even once I started loving my Savior.
But about a year ago, I had this big epiphany.
I realized that this chain that I felt still holding my wrists, still pulling me back and weighing me down, was actually broken the very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my sweet Savior.
I just had to have the courage to believe that.
That night, I still remember it SO clearly.
I finally believed that chain was BROKEN. And I felt freedom.
I felt like I could climb a mountain. Run a marathon. Dance. Sing.
I felt free.
Can you relate? Have you felt the overwhelming, the exhilarating, the precious feeling of freedom?
I thought that it would never come back. I would never experience that crippling anxiety again.
Now, it’s about a year from that night. And friends, my anxiety came back last week.
Just like it did in the old times. It was heavy. It was powerful. It was exhausting, and depleting.
And I got really, really frustrated.
I kept asking my sweet Lord why my anxiety was back, because I know that He broke that chain.
I know that it has NO power over me. I know that it’s finished.
But, my anxiety stayed throughout the week. I kept looking and pleading for my sweet Jesus to rush in and take it all away.
Friends, this is what He taught my frail and confused heart this week:
Jesus has won the victory.
He has said, “It is finished.”
He has crowned us as more than conquerors.
Jesus has won the victory over sin. Over shame. Over guilt. Over unbelief. Over anger. Over lust. Over anxiety.
He said that the power of those things is finished. He said that your salvation from those things is finished.
He has given us a crown and called us a conqueror over those things.
But friends, this is the big thing: there is still going to be brokenness. There is still going to be pain. There is still going to be sickness, and tears, and even death.
It’s because of this world that we are still in.
The pain isn’t for forever. But it’s not in the past yet, either. It’s now.
We have pain, hurting, brokenness, crying, and death now. That’s why in Revelation 21, we are assured that one day, those things will no longer exist.
It doesn’t mean that we are chained down by those things.
It still doesn’t mean that they have power over us.
But yes, at some moments, anxiety may creep up, still.
Yes, at some times, lust may still try to creep into your heart.
Yes, at certain seasons, there will be pain and mourning and brokenness.
But my dear sisters, take heart: we have full victory.. already, but not yet.
Already, but not yet.
It’s like my go-to ice cream story: We can go to my favorite ice cream shop, and we can taste a sample of the salted caramel ice cream on a little spoon. We can taste the salted caramel ice cream, but we haven’t yet gotten the full scoop.
We can taste the victory. We have a glimpse of the victory.
But we don’t yet have full victory.
On that night, when I experienced that sweet, sweet feeling of freedom, I expected to never have to face anxiety again.
But friends, I think it’s a daily victory rather than a one-time victory.
I think that every day, we may face anxiety. And anger. And lust. And doubt. And fear. And shame.
I think that because we live in this world, that those things will sometimes come and still tug on our heart.
But, every day, we can taste the victory of Jesus Christ.
Every day, when those things come creeping up in our heart, we can run to Jesus and He will reassure our hearts that He is victorious. That our hearts belong to Him. That He gives us His crown and calls us conquerors.
And He will incline our hearts to Heaven. To the day when our full, sweet scoop of victory is here.
It’s like when the Israelites where wandering through the desert. God didn’t provide them manna (bread) for their entire journey. He didn’t even give them manna for a month, or for a week.
He gave them manna each day. He provided for them each day.
Just as He provides for us each and every day.
We see our need. We look to Him. And He pours out blessings.
Whether those blessings are of bread or the sweet taste of victory, He provides.
So, friends, don’t worry. Don’t worry when the chains that you thought were broken start creeping up in your heart again.
My dear sisters, Jesus will provide you with the sweet smell of victory every single day.
Yes, those pangs of brokenness, fear, anger, lust, shame and so on will creep up, because we live in a hurting world.
But Jesus will place His beautiful victor’s crown on your head as he looks you in the eye and says, “You are more than conqueror with me.”
So experience that freedom every single day. It may come as a “climb a mountain- run a marathon – dance and sing” type of freeing feeling. Or, it may be just a deep breath and a deep feeling of peace.
Our sweet, sweet Jesus will give us little spoonfuls of His victory, of His freedom, every single day… until we reach our home.
With much, much love. And a lot of victory. –Melissa
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