“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Even as I’m typing this, I’m already nervous about you reading it. I’ll never know that you even looked at these words, but my heart’s fluttering, my palms sweating, my thoughts racing. What if you don’t like it? What if you don’t like me? It’s crazy really; I’m writing about Jesus and my anxieties turn my focus inward time after time.
But that’s the thing with anxiety, worries, and fears ¬– they’re irrational, rearing their gruesome heads even in the face of the truth. My beast happens to be the anxiety that comes with people pleasing, but we all have them. Maybe you worry about your appearance, your grades, your family stability, or your upcoming soccer game. Little stuff or big, these fears can so easily consume us, but just like in Psalm 94, when you feel ready to fall with the weight of it all, God’s unfailing love remains steady in support.
1 Peter tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Even when your worries convince you that your entire world is collapsing, your God is constant and unchanging; He cannot and will not let you out of his loving gaze and careful grasp.
He is strong enough to carry these burdens for you, and gracious enough that he longs to do so - so tell him of your fears! So often we let ourselves get caught up in the way of the world, which just compounds worry after worry, when we have a Savior waiting to drench us in his limitless peace.
All of this sounds wonderful, but it’s so much easier said than done. I have to preach this to myself daily, even hourly, reminding myself for the umpteenth time to find my comfort and peace and identity in the Lord rather than the opinions of others. Anxiety causes us to retract inward, seeing no one else’s struggle and magnifying our own, but you are not alone in your fears! We all have to preach the gospel to ourselves over and over again; even those who witnessed Jesus’ miracles had to pray, “Lord I believe, only help my unbelief.”
The Christian walk consists of small, daily decisions to cling to Jesus while anxiety threatens to overwhelm you, to take a deep breath and choose to believe the Truth over the lies whispered in your head.
They tell you that you’re not enough, that no one likes you, that you’ll never be able to perform; but Jesus says I am enough for you, I love you, and you never have to perform to earn my favor. Friends, be still and let His peace sink in and quiet your fears.