You Can’t Lose with God
By Linda Cross
“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.”—John 15:7
God answers prayer and His Word works. I live to tell the tale!
Growing up as a Christian, I’ve always relied on God to help me, and have had a strong confidence that with Him backing me up, I could put my heart and soul into anything and achieve it. As time went on, my self-confidence and achievement level was high, and sadly I relied on God less and less.
Life is busy for most of us, and mine got busier and busier. To keep up, I started crowding out the very thing that kept me going—that is, the Word of God.
Stress became my everyday kick and took control. I ignored all the warning signs and ended up often skipping my meals to get more done. I figured I’d be fine, after all. I had managed so far.
Jesus tells us to “abide in Me and I in you,” but I didn’t have time to amply abide in Him and reflect on His Word. I did manage a little quick devotional reading on most days, but hardly enough to properly nourish my spirit. Then I’d be off, chasing my to-dos. I believed my faith was unshakable, so I succumbed to a slow decline of my time spent with Jesus. A compromise that became a habit. I was just too busy for God.
I hit a brick wall, and all my strength disappeared. I experienced a breakdown on all levels. I couldn’t get out of bed for weeks and couldn’t think a coherent thought. The inner turmoil tore at my faith, and I tottered down the pit of depression. I had never known weakness like this before, and it left me questioning everything I had ever known. It scared the daylights out of me. Crippled by extreme anxiety and dread, I shut down.
There was a low point when I was at my worst. I felt so alone and like all hope was lost. One night I cried out in agony with all that was in me, “My God, why have You forsaken me?” No sooner had I spoken those words into the darkness than I felt Jesus’ powerful and unmistakable presence right by my bedside. His arms enveloped me from beneath, as if to carry me. All anguish and fear melted away at that moment as I lay there, cradled in His loving embrace. I wasn’t alone. I never had been!
When I felt I had lost all strength, all willpower, and all faith, Jesus loved, willed, and kissed me back to life! His strength was made perfect in my weakness.1
In sheer desperation I clung to God’s Word and prayed my heart out, asking others for prayer as well. At first, there was no sign of change, but I persisted and held on to my only hope. Week after week and month after month, still no sign. But little by little, joy returned, love returned, and so did my faith. My feet were again planted solidly on Jesus, my rock and my salvation.
I met up with a relative recently. We only see each other once or twice a year, as she lives in Gothenburg and I live in Stockholm. She couldn’t get over how well I was doing and expressed her shocked surprise at how happy and healthy I looked. “I can’t understand how you’re doing so well!” she kept repeating. She had seen me after my breakdown and told me she had thought I was a lost cause. “How is it even possible?” she asked. “You’ve been in the same situation raising your children and you never got a real break.” True, my husband and I are the proud parents of seven incredible kids and, although he was a big help and support to me during that time, I couldn’t take sick leave from parenting.
She went on to add, “And you haven’t taken any medication!” She’s been through something similar, as she underwent a deep depression as well. She was on sick leave when we met, taking medication and undergoing therapy. All I could do was give my God the rightful praise and say, “Meds didn’t help me. Jesus did!” I went on to explain how God’s Word has been my medicine, like an insulin shot to a diabetic, and I’m living proof of its power!
I still get hit with pangs of exhaustion and anxiety regularly, and there are times when I feel I can’t take another step, but a deep trust has grown inside me. As a result, I’ve fallen deeper in love with Jesus than I ever dreamed possible. What we have now is an intimate, crazy love, and I know I can trust Him and turn to Him for everything. I am safe in the arms of my loving Savior! I may be weak, I may fall, but that’s okay. I know He loves me, and will pick me up and keep me going. Our relationship reminds me of that beautiful song by John Legend: “All of me loves all of you. You’re my end and my beginning. Even when I lose, I’m winning.” And that’s just it, you can’t lose with God!
He’s not just any lover. He’s the real deal, the Son of God. God is so far beyond our limited human capacity to understand that He sent Jesus to earth as a reflection of Himself, to show us what He is like and to bring us to Him. Jesus, our God of love, is the only one who loved us enough to die for our sins and rise again, the only one that can possibly save us from ourselves. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”2
How can you know that Jesus Christ really is the Son of God, the Redeemer that came to love and save you? It’s quite simple—you try Him! He loves you unconditionally, but He won’t force His way into your life. You have to choose Him and ask Him in.
If you want the lover of all lovers, a companion and friend that will be with you always, you can personally receive Him by praying a simple prayer like this one:
Dear Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I believe You died for me. I believe You’re the Son of God, and I now ask You to come into my life. I open the door and invite You into my heart. Amen.