My pulse pounded and my shoulders tensed – tears threatening to erupt at any moment. Something has gone wrong. Something could go wrong. What should I do? What if I mess up? What if…?
Insecurities streamed through my mind, painstakingly endless.
This was the soul-dropping, mind-clenching anxiety that all too often clouded my days.
Before becoming a believer in Christ I was a perfectionist to the T. Paralyzing fear of failure loomed over the future and devastating regret defined my mistakes. My heart was set on man’s approval, instead of God’s.
In desperation for control and success, dread was always at the door. Fretting was an everyday enemy, that is, until I grasped the grace of Jesus.
Now a wave of peace comes when I seek the Lord, when I remember my life rests in the steadfast love and power of God.
I can rely on Christ’s perfection and turn to Him in my inadequacy. My worth is not in myself, but in my Savior who gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20), and what a relief and joy that is!
Anxiety still makes little visits, though.
The problem is, sister, that though the Spirit is in us we still dwell in this sin-inclined body (Romans 7:18-25). Until heaven the struggles with selfishness are all too real, but Christ gives us gradual victory. For me, the habits of perfectionism are dying hard, slowly but surely under the authority of God’s Word.
Are you in that place too? Do you need help overcoming painful anxiety? Are the cares of this world too troubling to bear?
From Anxiety to Assurance
In seeing the prevalent struggle with anxiety in our culture, I turned to the book that thoroughly displays this affliction—the psalms. David and other writers mourned over the evils and wrongs of their lives with stark detail.
Why are such dire writings recorded in Scripture? They always include bright spots of hope. In bemoaning their adversity, they nevertheless return time and time again to the One who is in control, the One who intimately knows their plight.
The psalmists’ pleas begin or end with prayerful praise, and this habit gives us great wisdom.
Rather than letting our worries bubble and fester in our minds, we have to cast them upon God and let Him heal us with the truth of His Word.
We can hand over our greatest fears and worries to Him, and walk away in faith-filled peace.Cast your cares upon God and let Him heal you with truth. Click To Tweet
Friend, the key to removing anxiety is remembering your life—everything you are—is in the total faithfulness, sovereignty, and love of God.
The psalms are ageless proof that we may experience anxiety, but it does not have to define us.
Our momentary mess is an opportunity to seek the One who longs to show His glory and orchestrate our good. Christ can redeem any hopeless or fearsome situation – we only have to wait and trust.
When we realize that help, strength, worth, and mercy comes from Jesus and not ourselves, worst case scenarios and fears dwindle in the light of godly courage and confidence.
Psalms That Calm
Study and savor these psalms below – which beckon us to God and guard us from the temptation of anxiety. They remind us that even if the world is crumbling, God remains strong and our eternal salvation ever sure. I highly encourage you to read the psalms in completion, but here are a few key verses to memorize.
1. Almighty God Helps and Keeps You – Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth… (v. 1-2)
The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (v. 7-8)
2. The Lord Listens and Gives Rest – Psalm 116
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live… (v. 1-2)
The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me. Return, O my soul, to your rest; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you. (v. 6-7)
3. He Loves and Forgives Without Limit – Psalm 103
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (v. 11-12)
4. God Protects and Acts in Perfect Timing – Psalm 27
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (v. 1)
…Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (v. 14)
5. The Lord Responds and Revives the Broken – Psalm 34
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed… (v. 4-5)
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! (v. 8-9)The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 Click To Tweet
6. God Restores and Brings Joy – Psalm 40
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. (v. 1-3)
As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me; your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me! (v. 11)
7. He Secures and Holds Us Fast – Psalm 62
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. (v. 5-7)
A common thread in the psalms is that God is near, ready to act on our behalf according to His glorious will. We only have to call upon Him.
Read these, write these, pray these, sing these – whatever will stick them in your mind! May God’s Word fill your heart with hope as you walk in the freedom only Christ gives.
Beat Anxiety with Pursuing His Peace
Covering core verses like Philippians 4:6-7 and more, this 3-week Bible study presents verse-by-verse questions to glean understanding from passages and apply them to your heart. Extra resources, such as memory verse cards and Scripture printables, also help you rest in God’s Word and who God is, encouraging you to replace anxiety with God’s gracious truth.
You can also study more life-giving psalms in depth with Free Indeed’s printable devotional Praying the Psalms: A 30 Day Journey of Praise.