Your grace isn’t a thing that You place in my hands. Your grace is your very Hand, Jesus, offered to me to hold onto. And when I don’t even have the faith for that, it’s the Hand that is on my back, guiding me forward into the next moment, because you never leave my side. Thank you, Jesus! (Isaiah 41:10-13, Ephesians 2:8-9, Hebrews 13:5-6)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. 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 41:10-13
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
. . . for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12:26-27)
I’ve often forgotten about my fellow soldiers when engaging in my battle with anxiety. I forget that Christ is OUR commander (Col. 1:18), and that I have a common bond with my brothers and sisters in Christ as we seek to live in obedience and enjoy His presence with us. We have the same hope (Eph. 4:4).
An image the apostles Paul and Peter both use is being a stone in God’s temple, built on the foundation of Christ. (Eph. 2:19-22). But we aren’t inanimate stones. We are LIVING stones who are also priests or intercessors– for our children, unbelievers, and our siblings in Christ (1 Pet. 2:5)
And if those images weren’t intimate enough, Paul also calls believers a body (Col 1:18, 2:19, 3:15, Eph. 4:15-16, 1 Cor. 12). When my daughter dropped the broom on my toe, the pain made my whole body cry out. If my toe weren’t connected to my body, only my toe would feel the pain. But my toe also wouldn’t be any use. Here’s what the Lord has shown me through meditating on these passages:
-It’s my responsibility to ask my husband and friends to pray with me out loud and/or share verses that point me back to who God is when I am feeling anxious. (And if they’re not with you, you can tell them how to swipe up on the microphone icon on WhatsApp so they don’t have to constantly hold down the button to record a prayer for you.)
-Participate in Sunday morning worship and commit to a weekly Bible study or small group. Ask the members of your group to help keep you accountable by asking how your anxiety has been. Volunteer the information if they don’t ask. Choose one person to check in with weekly.
-Pray and ask God for help in the presence of your children or others you live with.
Which of these Scriptures will you jot down to memorize? What is one way you’re going to invite others into your battle?
Next week, I’ll share how asking for help enables you to focus on others and minister to their needs.
There are times I wake up during the night feeling anxious, sometimes even being jolted awake by a nightmare. You can check out my previous posts for the foundation the Lord has been building up in my heart as I’ve been able to form more patterns of remembering His sovereign care, infinite wisdom, and unconditional love, but today I’ll share some ideas for the nighttime (or some daytime patterns that influence my sleep at night).
- Listen through the book of Psalms on Bible.is or another audio Bible and echo the words out loud. Write down images you can picture at night–Jesus being the Good Shepherd and you His little lamb, Jesus being the Light filling your life with His kingdom light, God being a rock of refuge, holding you with His Everlasting arms, etc.
- Start thanking God for as many things as you can think of as you reflect on what happened the previous day. Thank Him for the ways He helped you to be obedient and faithful.
- Listen to worship songs or hymns and sing along (or whisper the words at night). Pick a couple hymns to memorize, like “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” or “Blessed Assurance.”
- Picture yourself as a child, walking up to God’s rocking-chair throne as He reaches down and sets you on His lap. If you are feeling anxious about someone else, picture yourself taking them by the hand and leading them to God’s rocking-chair throne. As you pray for them, imagine both of you sitting on His lap together.
- Write out some Scriptures and tape them in front of your toilet. Believe me, you’ll look at them! Say them out loud quickly over and over until you’ve memorized them so you can quote them during the night. (Psalm 34:8, 55:22, 62:1-2,8, 107:1, 118:8, Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:9, Isaiah 43, Romans 8, Philippians 4:6-9)
Which one of these things are you going to try this week?
Next week, I’ll share about inviting others to help you engage in this battle.