Scripture’s Cure for Anxiety

He determines to be proactive: “What shall I  render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” He will “take up the cup of salvation, call upon the name of the Lord (pray), and pay my vows to the Lord.” “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and will call upon the name of the Lord.”

He ends: “Praise the Lord!”

OK. Here’s how Psalm 116:7 works out in actual practice…

You’re on that plane, headed somewhere important. Your nerves (fears, anxieties) did not let you sleep much the night before. What do you do?

You give yourself a good talking-to, reminding yourself of all the times you have taken trips in the past and the flights have been wonderful and smooth and quick. Remind yourself of all the places you’ve been able to see, the events you’ve been able to attend, because you took those flights. Remind yourself how the Lord is faithful regardless of how you personally feel.

You’re planning on preaching a sermon the next day (or bringing a lesson or giving a talk). You’re anxious and cannot find any specific reason for it. What to do? Take 116:7 to heart and start listing all the times you’ve been in this position before and how the Lord was faithful each and every time. Those sermons worked out, God blessed and all was well. How you felt in advance had nothing to do with what the Lord did.

My wife Margaret used to be so anxious before she taught the Sunday School lesson to her group of ladies. She would work hard all week and ask me lots of questions. On Saturday nights, she was worried and fearful (anxious, right?). Invariably, on the way home from church, when I would ask, “How was your class today?” she would answer, “It was wonderful.” I would tease her about all that anxiety. One day one of our staff ministers told her she was over-preparing for the lesson and that was the reason for her anxieties. She took his advice to heart and it helped.

This is how we are to understand all those Psalms where the writer is giving history lessons. “Remember, O Israel, how the Lord brought you through the Red Sea. How He erased Pharaoh’s armies. How He fed you in the wilderness. How your shoes did not wear out and your clothes were good the entire trip.” He’s giving reminders of the Lord’s provisions and faithfulness in the past in order to drive a stake through the heart of their fears and anxieties.

The Lord gives to His people baptism and the Lord’s supper. The Lord’s supper to show the death of Jesus and baptism to demonstrate His burial and resurrection. Together, they remind us of all the Lord has done in the past and why He can be trusted for the future.

“Hitherto, the Lord hath been our help,” said the Lord’s prophet to His people. “He has been faithful up to this point. I think it’s safe to say we can trust Him the rest of the trip” (that would be I Samuel 7:12).

Help us to trust Thee, Father. Thank you for Thy faithfulness.

This article originally appeared here.