As 2018 begins, I have spent a lot of time thinking about this previous year. The things I accomplished, the things I failed to accomplish, and the things I want to change in this new year.
Since we’re being honest and transparent here, I will tell you that in 2017 I really struggled with anxiety.
I was constantly over-thinking everything.
My mind held me captive, I struggled to feel any sort of freedom from failures, the past, and worry.
It seemed impossible for me to let things go, remembering that I am forgiven, loved, redeemed and set free.
Over the past couple of months leading up to the start of this new year Galatians 5:1 was constantly been on my mind.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by the yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
So this year, 2018, my word is freedom.
I want to learn to live more freely, in the freedom that Jesus died for. I want to stop carrying past failures around on my shoulders and leave them at the cross, confident that I am forgiven, that I am covered by the blood of Jesus.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” Ephesians 1:7
In this radical freedom, I am free to give up society’s ideas of what I should look like, act like or be like, and freely be who God created me to be, regardless of what the world thinks. I can throw away the pressure to earn the approval of others and stop spending time worrying about what society thinks of me. We are called to be different, to confidently stand in the truth of God’s Word whether or not we are standing alone.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
“Am I saying this now to win the approval of people or God? Am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10
In this crazy-love freedom, I have an unending peace that I don’t have to (and can’t) earn God’s love. Nothing I could do could ever earn God’s approval, but by grace through faith in Jesus, I am saved. Even through all the things I have failed to accomplish, in all the mistakes I have made, and the sin, I am so completely loved (and so are you). At my absolute worst moments, I am so loved. And not just loved, but sought after, pursued, radically loved by the Creator of the Universe who’s love is so strong that He sent his only son to save us. His love is so perfect that instead of making us earn his love and forgiveness, He gave it as a gift, something to be accepted, not earned. And we are free to live in that unwavering, deep gift of salvation and love.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
This year I will learn to live more freely in the freedom we have been given through Christ. I will learn to leave behind all the things that bind me to the world and hold more tightly to Jesus and all of his steadfast promises.