I’ve got SUCH a special treat for you today, friends! My dear, sweet friend Jordan – whom I’ve known since high school – is sharing here on the blog today! Jordan and I became close friends in college and she was my matron of honor at my wedding! I admire her for her gentle spirit, her desire to serve the Lord in all she does, and most recently, her beautiful mother heart! When she and I get together, we can spend hours laughing, sharing stories, and talking about life! Jordan and her husband welcomed their first baby girl in September. Jordan has also written about creating a baby registry, establishing routines and hope for midnight mamas. Today she’s sharing about fighting anxiety with God’s truth.
She Dwells in Security
Fighting Anxiety with Truths from the Psalms
1 Peter 3:6 has struck me lately: “And you are [Sarah’s] children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” Fearlessness. Doesn’t that sound refreshing? And scary? (Ironic that fearlessness sounds scary, isn’t it?). And yet, we ought to pursue it. As one who has surrendered her life to King Jesus as Lord and Savior, I can’t help but notice that my propensity to worry is entirely out of place. Surely, the One who has said “fear not” dozens of times has the power to actually bring fearlessness about.
Ever since I was a child, I have wrestled against worry and anxiety, and gradually, the Lord has been teaching and transforming me into something fearless. Let me tell you, He has His work cut out for Him still! And yet, He is strong enough to bring it through to completion. With that said, I’d love to share with you six (of about a million) truths from the Psalms that have helped me fight anxiety and worry.
1 – Courage from the Character of God
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding steadfast love… As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” – Psalm 103: 8, 13
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” – Psalm 56:3-4
In moments of anxiety I often ask myself, “How big is your God?” When I stop to consider His excellence, His power, and His loving-kindness, often my anxieties are put back into perspective. One of my favorite practices is to sing songs and hymns about God that really don’t mention me at all. In anxious times, I tend to get so fixated on my own trouble that I forget the majesty of the ultimate beauty that has befriended me. When I sing, I get my eyes off of myself and onto Him, and problems seem much smaller. As the old song goes,
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
2 – Peace from Providence
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.” – Psalm 139:16
“It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
Sometimes, I forget that I am not in charge of the universe. When I combine this principle with the previous one, I find a lot of encouragement. It doesn’t matter what gets thrown at me, the Lord saw it coming and He is good. He can use anything. Nothing surprises Him. Layoffs coming at work? If it happens, God will use it for good. Car breaks down? He saw it coming. I love the end of an old Elisabeth Elliot quote:
“Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.”
He controls it all, and He loves me. What hope!
3- Security in Obedience
“I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:7-8
“He [who delights in the law of the Lord] is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away” – Psalm 1:3-4
Sometimes, anxiety has a good purpose. If we are living in habitual sin, there is a natural and helpful anxiety of being found out! When we confess our sins and live in obedience to God’s Word, this anxiety can be a thing of the past.
Our obedience cannot save us. Our souls need the forgiveness of Jesus before anything else. Yet, His commands are good and right. When we obey Him and have repentant, confessing hearts, we never need to fear being “found out.”
4- Hope in Future Glory
“The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming.” – Psalm 37:12-13
This passage can have one of two effects on you. First, if you have NOT surrendered to Jesus, asked Him to forgive your sin, and let Him be king of your life, it may actually cause anxiety. After all, on our own, we rebel against Him, and this verse says that the wicked man’s (or woman’s) day is coming! Let me encourage you to turn to this loving, compassionate, just God, who made a way for you to be reconciled to Him – to dwell in eternal security with a loving Father.
Second, if you have surrendered your life to Jesus and made Him your treasure, this verse is hugely comforting! Our world can be a scary place. There are people and circumstances that could do us serious harm. However, none of it will last forever! God will win, and nothing can stop him. All the wicked people and trouble of the world is like dust on a scale compared to him.
Have you ever noticed that you can get through anything if it is only for a little while? Unpleasant procedure at the doctor? It’s okay, it will be over in a second. Filling out your taxes? It’s okay, it’ll be over in an hour or two. In the same way, anything we could possibly endure on earth will be like a breath in light of eternity. One of my favorite pastors one explained to us that his precious son is blind and has serious special needs. Then, he smiled and said, “But my son will only be blind for a little while.” I long for a heart like that! Let today’s troubles drive you to hope in the future, a hope that cannot be taken away!
5- Perspective from the Big Picture
“Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” – Psalm 115:2-3
I hate watching the news. It always leads to me dreading the world around me rather than loving lost people and doing good. It seems like the nations of the world are so powerful, and many of them are so violent!
Through all of this, I have to realize that not one of those powerful nations can go one inch farther in their power than God has doled out. They are lions on short leashes, unable to thwart God’s purposes. They may be able to harm the body, but never our eternity. I never want to “fear the kitten” when the Lion of Judah is on my side.
6- Flexibility from Unchanging Truth
“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” – Psalm 37:23-24
Sometimes my worries come from “big” things – like the powerful nations of the world I mentioned above. Embarrassingly, and I hope you can relate, my worries usually come from my little day-to-day plans being thwarted. The baby woke up early, and now I’m sure the whole day’s routine will be a mess! I ran out of milk and can’t get to the store and now dinner will be ruined! That cute top I wanted to wear has a big stain on it!
(Full disclosure: I’m more petty than I would ever want to admit.)
I have realized that when I get into these flustered, anxious states, it is because I have put my hope in temporary things that were not promised to me and can easily change rather than put my hope in eternal promises that cannot change. My day can go all kinds of bonkers, and yet it is possible for me to rest securely when I focus on what is ultimate: God and His glory. My little mess can be used to learn His way, if only I’ll let Him teach me.
What about you, dear friend? What truths from the Word has God used to comfort your anxieties? To make you something fearless?