In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10 NRSV)

Faith is our response to God's love. Faith is not a response to the fear of God. Faith is not a response to an intellectual acknowledgment of God. Faith is a response to God's love. That is why the cross is such an important part of our Christian faith. It is on the cross of Calvary that we see the love of God most clearly.

Several years ago in PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, it pointed out that today's average 30 year old American is 10 times more likely to be depressed than his father was and 20 times more likely to be depressed than his grandfather was at the same stage of life. Could it be that in this secular society we really do not feel loved? Could it be that we feel that our lives lack significance? Could it be we feel isolated and alone?

A book a few years ago dubbed this the AGE OF ANXIETY. When we feel unloved, our lives are filled with anxiety. In the words of the psychologist Erickson, it is because we have failed at the most elementary stage of our development--the ability to trust. How can you trust unless you know yourself to be loved? Thus we are an anxious people whose anxieties keep us from being all God means for us to be.

May our faith in God help us to release our anxieties.

Dear Jesus, please take away my anxieties as I grow in my commitment to you. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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