Comfort in Anxiety

There’s a verse in Psalm 94 that says in the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul (Psalm 94:19). If you are anything like the rest of us, you struggle with anxiety. The truth is most of us struggle with it more often than we like to admit. In fact as the verse says we often have a multitude of . . . anxieties.

We live in a world that creates anxiety. The pressures and stresses of life cause us to worry about our families, our jobs, our health, our future, our children, our grandchildren, and the list goes on. Is there anything that we don’t worry about? I think that the lives of many (most?) people can be described in three words: worry, fretfulness and concern. If you can relate to that you are not alone, even the Psalmist had to admit that it described his life.

Anxiety was one of the issues that Christ addressed on several occasions (Matthew 6, Luke 10). His observation on humanity was that we often worry about things that are not really all that important in life. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25. The answer to His question is yes, life IS more than food and the body IS more than what we put on it. We have made those things priorities in our lives but to God they are somewhere down the list. Perhaps one reason that we worry so much has to do with wrong priorities.

One of the interesting things about anxiety is that God never chastises us for worrying. It’s true that He doesn’t want us to worry – Philippians 4:6, be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God – but He doesn’t rebuke us. He knows that we are human (Psalm 103) so He doesn’t get on our case, He simply tells us to trust Him with the anxieties of life.

But there is more – notice the last half of Psalm 94:19: In the multitude of anxieties, your comforts delight my soul. The psalmist was able to find comfort even though his life was filled with anxiety. And that’s one of the great secrets of the Christian life: we can find comfort even when we are consumed with the worries of life. It is possible to have peace in the middle of the storm. The story of the disciples on the Sea of Galilee is a good illustration (similar but different events actually happened – Matthew 14, Luke 8). The reason they lacked peace was because they were more focused on the storm than on the God who controls the storm. And the same can be true in our lives. It’s a matter of focus and trust. Focus on God – His love for you and His power to work in your life, instead of on the destructive nature of whatever is causing your anxieties. And trust Him to bring good out of your circumstances (Genesis 50:20).

It is possible to find comforts that delight your soul even in anxiety. You just need to look in the right place.

Stay in the Word
Pastor Steve

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