Category Archives: anxiety

a lighter load

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My mom gave me this book, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young for Christmas.  Last year a local Christian radio station read from it daily and I was often so encouraged by her words.  She took her own prayer journal and her increased awareness God’s daily presence in her life and created a devotional filled with Jesus’ words to her and us that we would have a greater sense of “God with us.”  Each day is written as if Jesus were speaking directly to us.  Because He is.

Today’s words are taken from Isaiah 41:10, Zephaniah 3:17 and Psalm 34:19

The world is too much with you, My child.  Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots.  When you think like that, you leave Me out of your world-view and your mind becomes darkened.  Though I yearn to help, I will not violate your freedom.  I stand silently in the background of your mind, waiting for you  to remember that I am with you.

When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter.  Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together.  Your compulsion to ‘fix’ everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me.  Together we can handle whatever this day brings.

I love this reminder from some of my favorite passages of scripture.  I will travel lighter today, sharing my burdens with the One who carries them with me.

when I dont’ feel like it

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sharing a great post from the girltalk blog today …
2011 at 1:39 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre
Sometimes I struggle with feeling guilty that I don’t feel like doing the next thing. Even though I have repented from fear and anxiety (and will keep repenting and talking to myself) the feelings of fear still linger. But aren’t we supposed to do our work with joy and gladness as unto the Lord? How can I glorify God in my work if I still feel anxious? I wonder. So just as I pull one foot out of the ditch of fear, the other one falls into the pothole of condemnation. 

But there is a firm and level path for us in God’s Word, which John Piper points out in this meditation on Psalm 126:5-6 called “Talking to Your Tears.” He’s counseling people who are sad and suffering, but I think it also applies to those of us who feel anxious:

So here’s the lesson: When there are simple, straightforward jobs to be done, and you are full of sadness, and tears are flowing easily, go ahead and do the jobs with tears. Be realistic. Say to your tears: ‘Tears, I feel you. You make me want to quit life. But there is a field to be sown (dishes to be washed, car to be fixed, sermon to be written). I know you will wet my face several times today, but I have work to do and you will just have to go with me. I intend to take the bag of seeds and sow. If you come along then you will just have to wet the rows.”

Even if we sow in tears (or fears) we will one day reap with joy. Read the entire meditation and then do the next thing–whether you feel like it or not.

Hope for Your Dark Night of the Soul

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a great article from Justin Taylor’s blog today . . .

Hope for Your Dark Night of the Soul.

 

” . . . That was the beginning of the way out. And I remember saying to myself literally hundreds of times—every time these feelings of hopelessness and panic and a desire to ball up in a fetal position would come on me—“I feel completely hopeless because I am hopeless, but Jesus Christ died for hopeless people, and I’m one of them.”

Over time I began to believe that. And today when I tell people that Jesus is a great Savior, I believe it, because I know that he saved me. That’s where my joy comes from. My joy comes from knowing that at the very bottom, at the very pit of who I am, it is blackness and sin, but the love and grace of Jesus goes deeper.”


AMEN.

scripture memory #3

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today we posted verse #3

http://blog.lproof.org/

My verse #3 is Philippians 4:4-8

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:4-8 ESV)

I realize this is a lengthy passage and not a verse .. but I just couldn’t cut any part of it out.

Revisiting the Psalms

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125:1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.
3 For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
their hands to do wrong.
4 Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
and to those who are upright in their hearts!
5 But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
the Lord will lead away with evildoers!
Peace be upon Israel!


a few years back, I did a study on the psalms of ascent (Beth Moore’s Stepping Up bible study) .. I recently dusted it off and have been revisiting it.  As I’ve been thinking on the idea of Trust this week, this Psalm especially stood out to me.

I love the picture of God surrounding us as the mountains surround Jerusalem!

 

Psalm 34:17-19

17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the Lord delivers him out of them all.


“God’s great deliverance in itself presupposes a trouble from which the person was delivered.  God’s closeness to the brokenhearted presupposes a difficulty that broke the heart.  … God never promised to remove us from the human experience, but for those of us who call Jesus Savior, the only difficulty we’ll ever experience will be right here.”

This psalm is illustrated in the New Testament with Paul and Barnabas in Acts 14:22,

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.


I liken this to physical exercise .. something I can relate to.  It’s challenging, it can be painful, it leaves us out of breath, muscles must break down to build up, and it can be discouraging when we don’t see results right away.

“God’s delivering us from every ounce of trial will never develop the relationship that occurs when God shows Himself faithful in the midst of difficulty, delivering us through it.”

This is where we come to know Him and to depend solely on Him .. where our faith is strengthened .. where we are called to Trust!

The Steadfast Mind

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So, I must confess that I borrowed the idea for the title of my blog from a combination of my studies in Isaiah this year through Bible Study Fellowship and Beth Moore’s Breaking Free study. The title of the 9th week of the Breaking Free study is “The Steadfast Mind.”

This phrase is taken from Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (the NIV uses the word ‘steadfast’).

I found myself so encouraged by the many thoughts Beth Moore gives on this passage . . .

“Surrendering our thought lives to Christ is not just a means to more consistent victory, it is the safeguard against finally being given over to a depraved mind.  We can persist so long in our willful wrong thinking that God can give us over to our desires ..”

The ‘perfect peace’ promised here refers to a satisfied condition, a state of peacefulness, a sense of well being, a prosperous relationship between two or more parties.

“Just as the kingdom of God prospers when we are steadfast in Him, so do our own hearts and minds.  God will never send us in to the valley and ask us to bow to His authority without sooner or later bringing a harvest from the ground watered by our sweat and tears.”

“When temptations and troubling thoughts come, the steadfast believer chooses to lay her hand on God’s Word and know that it’s the Truth.”

In studying this same passage in BSF, we looked at the connection between Isaiah 26:3 and Philippians 4:6-8.  I love this connection.

Philippians 4:6-8, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”


This passage promises the same peace  .. and that it will guard our hearts and minds! Oh how I want and need that!

Then, finally, this passage tells us some things that the steadfast mind thinks about and meditates on ..  what’s true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, excellent, praiseworthy.  My mind is so prone to wander .. and the result, so often is anxiety and not peace!

In the midst of difficulty, I find my thoughts can be very troubled and extremely defeating.  God has shown me my need for a steadfast mind .. a mind stayed on Him .. on His Word.  This is where Truth is found. This is where I want to live.