If you could look inside your head, would you find the thought center of your mind dotted with the warts of worry and the ulcers of anxiety? If so, you might find some comfort in the potent promise of Isaiah 26:3: You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Here’s the simple truth of this verse: If your mind is not staying on God, it’s straying from Him, and it’s easily disoriented by the worries of life. Undisciplined thoughts leave room for unfounded arguments that foster fear; however, Christ-centered thinking augments your faith and smothers the fires of anxiety.
Billy Graham has said, Historians will probably call our era “the age of anxiety.” Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are c entered on anything short of God and His will for us.
Worry and anxiety are expressions of fear and both can be attributed to a sense of lacking or loneliness. The next time your mind begins to agonize over thoughts like these, mobilize by taking these steps:
- Focus on God: I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. ~Psalm 34:4
- Claim the promise of God’s presence: Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do. ~Joshua 1:9
- Believe God loves you: The Lord your God is in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; and, He will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:17
- Get a grip on life: For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ~Isaiah 41:13
As you begin this week, it might help to remember that God is holding your right hand, so you don’t have to worry about holding the wrong one.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
In some of the more difficult times of my life, I have found comfort in the words of Psalm 121: “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Whenever you fear failure or feel forsaken, review the key points of this Psalm:
• Your help is dependent upon the abundant resources of the Maker of heaven and earth
• Your Guardian God will keep His watchful eye on you, and He won’t fall asleep on the job.
• He’s present and aware of your circumstances and His strength is sufficient.
Because there is evil, sin, sickness, and death in the world, it’s only normal to struggle from time to time; but you don’t have to go it alone. You can be encouraged by the promise of Isaiah 41:9-10: “God has chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for God is with you; do not be afraid, for He is your God. He will strengthen you; He will help you; He will hold on to you with His righteous right hand.”
The right hand of God speaks of His preeminence and power, and Jesus spoke of this in John 10: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
There will be times when someone will try to kick you and keep you down and there will be moments when your own mind shouts that you’re a failure. When this happens, listen for the Shepherd’s voice and follow Him.
Remember He keeps you in the palm of His hand, and He is greater than all. He is your precious Lord.