Recently, it’s been tough. Life, that is. There has been a myriad of issues and difficulties confronting our family over the past few months, the results of which has been anxiety and stress. I can certainly relate to the psalmist’s words shown in this image… “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul.”(Psalm 94:19) Last week, I needed to take stock of what’s been going on and spend a few hours of time dedicated to pondering on this passage and talking with the Lord.This passage of scripture has brought comfort to my soul. I see scripture as God’s best and most effective way He talks to me and reveals aspects of His character. Allow me to share my thoughts with you, trusting that you may be comforted as well.
The psalmist was obviously familiar with anxiety brought about by difficulties. He was no different to us in today’s world. He was a realist. In fact, all the authors of the psalms were. They didn’t hide or sugar coat the reality of life and it’s many and varied struggles and neither should we. It’s both unhealthy and unhelpful to do so. Yet, he does not remain wallowing in self pity but states what I will call the higher reality of the situation.
The psalmist states confidently that “Your comforts delight my soul.” I asked myself these questions.
What comforts can I think of off the top of my head ?
How do I define my ‘soul’?
What will I learn from marrying God’s comforts with my soul in light of my current anxieties?
The Comforts of God.
(This is certainly NOT an exhaustive list but what I could think of right away).
By reminding ourselves of God’s sovereignty, that nothing escapes His attention and that He rules over all, should provide immense comfort.
The Lord told Noah after the Flood that:
“While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, Winter and Summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Gen. 8:22)
Jesus told His disciples:
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will.But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore, you are more value than many sparrows.”
Having the peace of God permeating your soul is indeed a comfort. One of my favourite passages of scripture is found in Isaiah 26:3 and says
” You will keep them in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because they trust in You.”
A part of our soul involves our mind. How interesting! If we fix our MIND (soul) on God, a consequence is peace! There are many, many scriptures about the peace of God but here is one more, found in 1 Peter 5:7. (The image is taken from my second book- CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE.
His Protection How comforting is it to know that God protects us and our loved ones ?This protection or banner over us (Jehovah Nissi) can (and should) alleviate our fears. Another favourite scripture of mine that describes this well (and is also contained in CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE) is from Isaiah 41:10..
The Lord promises that He will make us strong and help us through fearful situations.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 says to us that,
“The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
He WILL, not He ‘might’ or ‘may’ protect you. You can count on the fact that whenever you see the word ‘Will” in scripture according to the Lord’s character, it is a PROMISE we can claim. What reassurance that should bring to our souls!
How comforting to know that, no matter where we are, God is there. He is with us-ALL THE TIME! The psalmist proclaimed,
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, And your right hand shall hold me.”
What a precious passage of scripture! I LOVE this! How comforting is the Lord’s never ending presence?
Some of my anxieties stem from a concern we will not make ends meet financially or be able to acquire what we need. But the Lord shows us as a family time and time again that He is our Jehovah Jireh (provider) and we always have what we need at the right time.
Luke 12:24 says
“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow or reap and have neither storehouses and barns and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than birds?
And Jesus goes on to add (from verse 27)
” Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil or spin and yet I say to you, even Solomon and all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”
I have briefly outlined 5 delightful comforts from and of God- His Providence, Peace, Protection, Presence and Provision. Each of these characteristics of God are clearly shown in Passages of scripture! Each of these comforts-along with many others I haven’t even mentioned in this blog will, when intentionally thought upon using our minds, will have a positive effect on our emotions (another part of our soul) and our will. (the third part of our soul)
Our mind- what we think on, is key when working through anxieties. Scripture plainly tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our MIND (Romans 12:2).
I will leave you with one last scripture to meditate (or ponder) on which when read and better still, committed to memory, will place us in a healthier state of emotional well being during seasons of multiple anxieties within us. Blessings..