When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19 (NIV, 1984)
Dear Anxious One,
Do you beat yourself up—and even get anxious about your anxiety? Do you read verses like Philippians 4:6 (do not be anxious about anything) and feel like a total failure? Do you find it hard to explain to people that you don’t look for anxiety … it looks for you and grips you and shakes you like a pit bull, not letting go? Just let your eyes read Psalm 94:19 slowly … with wonder.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
This, dear friend, does not sound like a God who is angry with the anxious guy who wrote Psalm 94. Let’s take a closer look together.
When anxiety was great within me. The psalmist talks about his anxiety matter-of-factly. Openly. He even admits that his anxiety isn’t trivial—but a great, big, huge thing stuck inside him. His anxiety is all-consuming, and he seems to have no shame in sharing this. It’s a fact. He had great anxiety. Everyone has troubles of one sort or another. Some of us struggle with a quick temper. Some of us have to work through melancholy. Others want to talk on and on, when perhaps we should listen more (ahem). Our temperaments predispose us to certain maladies. People who feel deeply—which is not a bad trait at all—often fight anxiety—which is a hard thing, a suffering thing. Sometimes, I think we make our troubles worse when we don’t admit we have them.
Your consolation brought joy to my soul. Do you hear these sweet words from the God who loves you? In the very midst of anxiety, while it still had its grip on the psalmist, God consoled. Right there. Right then. While it was still “great” within him. That consolation was a solace that brought joy to his soul. The hidden message is that the psalmist didn’t run from God in shame and fear and self-loathing. He acknowledges his anxiety and turns toward God and receives consolation.
Too often, your enemy the devil compounds the offense of anxiety with the burden of shame. And you lose twice. Anxiety and Blame. Of course, God doesn’t want us to be anxious. Scripture is full of His teaching and His advice on ways to overcome it, and almost every time He calls us to bring our cares to Him. Still, at times anxiety intrudes.
Savor the words in this beautiful psalm, dear anxious one. How does God treat anxious people? He consoles them. Let that fill your heart with joy.
Dear Father God, thank You for consoling anxious people. Thank You for bringing joy right in the midst of scary times. Thank You that Your answer is always, “Come to Me.” Thank You for a deep, lasting, kind love that enfolds and comforts and teaches and helps. Help those reading this today who struggle with anxiety. May they sense Your consoling love. In the name of the Good Shepherd, Jesus, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)