While I write this, Steve and I are vacationing near the beach. We have needed rest and renewal as we step into a new season.
The other night we were walking the beach and I was watching the waves pound the surf. In the quietness of my heart, I prayed, “Lord, so often through the years, my soul has churned like these pounding waves. All the things have stirred up my anxiety; projects and deadlines, worries and fears, concerns and cares. Father, thank you that as I have learned to praise You, You have calmed my soul with the power and presence of your Holy Spirit. I praise You that You are loving and faithful. You go before me, behind me, and beside me in the journey of life. No good thing will you ever withhold from me as I press into you. I praise You that I can lay every burden at your feet and relax in your presence!
The Psalmist wrote, “When I said, ‘My foot is slipping,’ your unfailing love, LORD supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (Psalm 94:18-19). You might think you are the only one who has ever wrestled with anxiety. It’s possible you beat yourself up with your self-talk – shaming yourself for feeling anxious. I’ve got good news for you. Many people wrestle with anxiety. You are not alone! In fact, the Psalmists who wrote some of the most profound portions of Scripture also wrestled with anxiety.
You don’t need to feel guilt for your anxiety. You need a plan to calm your anxiety. Learn the power of turning your panic into praise.
One way to praise God is to focus on His promises. Rehearse them in your mind and thank Him for these assurances. As you meditate on the promises of God, the Holy Spirit will quiet the churning in your soul and speak peace over you.
Here are 3 promises from Psalm 89 to get your praise going:
His love stands firm forever (Psalm 89:2). No matter what circumstances you face, His love stands firm forever. Nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:35). Nothing! Others in your life may walk away or disappoint. But God’s love for you will never shift. His love is the most perfect of any love you could ever imagine. Even when your heart feels frantic or frazzled, His love is continual. Even when you sin, His love pursues. Even if you tried to walk away, His love holds you secure. Praise Him for His love. When you dare to praise Him for His love, the Holy Spirit strengthens your heart to experience His love even more. It’s not that He loves you more. It’s that His Spirit awakens your heart to a deeper understanding of His love.
His faithfulness surrounds you (Psalm 89:8). God’s very nature is faithfulness. He never shifts in his nature. He will never betray you. And everything He allows in your life is consistent with His faithfulness.
One way to awaken your heart to a deeper awareness of His faithfulness is to praise Him for how He’s been faithful in the past. Steve and I are coming up on our 42nd anniversary. As we’ve been here on vacation, we’ve had so much fun looking back on all the ways God has been faithful to us. So many crazy stories. Friend, you have those stories too. Grab a journal and a pen. Look back. How has God been faithful to you when you felt you couldn’t go on? How has He provided for you when you had no idea how you would pay the next bill? How has He healed you when you were sick? How did He quiet your fears or calm your heart? Looking back strengthens your faith to look forward.
His hand will sustain you (Psalm 89:21). When you feel like you’re slipping, His hand will grab hold and sustain you. Whatever season you’re in, He will sustain you. He will hold you up when you feel you can’t take another step. Relax. Rest. Trust. He’s got you and He will not let you fall. Praise Him that His grip holds tight. Nothing can pry His hands loose from you. As He sustains you, He will strengthen you to do the next thing.
Friend, I have lived these promises. I know them to be true. Allow them to soothe your soul. He is more than able to calm your anxious heart. As you exalt and praise Him, His peace will wash over you.
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