On Trusting

Lately it seems as if I’ve been having a similar conversation over and over. The conversation centers around anxiety. “How am I going to handle this illness? How are we going to pay this bill? What if the surgery goes poorly? What if our son continues with some bad choices? How will the marriage survive this latest stressor?”

We all tend to have minds that kick in to overdrive, that play out worst case scenarios. The evil one loves when he is able to escalate our thinking leading down a road of “what ifs”. He is winning when we lose sleep, develop ulcers, and literally tremble over that which we cannot control. Fear, and its cousins, worry & anxiety, are enemies of the soul! They are not gifts from the Holy Spirit by any stretch of the imagination! When we come up against these evil forces looking to dominate our days and suck the joy from our lives, what are we to do?

You no doubt have heard me say on more than one occasion that there are 365 times that the scripture uses the phrase “fear not”. That’s probably because there are like 365 days every year that we need the reminder. Our God is a protector of his people! Our God is for us! Our God is a refuge! Our God shelters us under his wings! Our God is with us like a mighty warrior! Our God fights our battles! Our God sees us as the apple of his eye! Our God is the defender of the helpless! Our God walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death! Our God is a shield! Our God is a strong tower! All reminders to “fear not”.

Psalm 46 puts it this way “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. therefore we WILL NOT FEAR…. Though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." The sons of Korah pen this psalm. Do you think they never feared? Hardly. We all do, and they were part of “we all”. They were writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and writing this down for all of the Lords people who were prone to wander, and also prone to give way to fear! They, like us, needed this in writing… something they could memorize, ponder, refer back to, and hide away in their hearts. They, like us, needed this in writing so they could fix it in their minds. So often in scripture we are admonished to think well. Thinking well is not just “happy thoughts” or positivity. It is about a deep and profound confidence in God and his word (some helpful references are Lamentations 3:21; Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 1:13).

We are encouraged to “call this to mind”, “ think on these things”, “gird our minds for action." We are to guard our thinking and align it with the truth of Gods word.

I’ve written on this topic before. But emotions like anxiety, fear, worry, and stress continue to weasel their way into the thinking of too many of us. What I’m saying is that this is an ongoing and relentless battle (because our adversary is cunning and relentless!) Think well my friends! Go to the Word! Hide Scripture in your mind and heart… and pull it out daily!

I leave us with the words from Isaiah the prophet:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”

Pete Nelson