When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. – Psalm 94:19
16 Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the LORD had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of death.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!” but your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
22 But the LORD is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.
23 God will turn the sins of evil people back on them. He will destroy them for their sins. The LORD our God will destroy them.
Have you ever had a fellow worker who defended you when you made a mistake or performed badly on a task?
Perhaps, in doing so, they put their own reputation at risk. They even defended your lapse to a customer, or even management. They shielded you from criticism. Perhaps, they took responsibility for your mistake.
If this has happened in your life, it probably made a very deep and lasting impression on you. Trust was affirmed and your bond was strengthened.
Who supports you when you need it most? Who has your back?
For every child of the King, the answer is wonderful.
“God is an ever-present comfort, even when our emotions bounce off the wall and our hearts zigzag in a thousand directions. God wants to calm our anxieties, but even before that happens, He comforts us in our distress” (Stanley).
Many of our enemies are emotional. Anxiety, fear, uncertainty about the future or the present often become our adversaries. The take hold of us. Fear and anxiety are like a muggers lurking in the dark waiting to strike and do us harm.
They pounce without warning and our emotions go into overdrive. We begin to churn inside and our rational thought is blocked. Our anxious thoughts explode within us. Any contentment or sense of assurance and safety instantaneously vanish. We often lose whatever contentment we have and negative thoughts begin to overwhelm us.
But the good news is, that as children of the King we have the opportunity to switch gears. Our Father is ever present, tenderhearted, and lovingly concerned about us.
We have total freedom to share our anxious thoughts and feelings with Him. In some marvelous way this allows us to have a catharsis. We calm down and are able to return to thankfulness.
REFLECT & PRAY
In the midst of our anxiety the Father’s consolation produces joy to lighten our burden.
Father thank You that we can pour out our hearts to You normally are filled with negative emotions and thoughts. You already know exactly where we are coming from. Your desire is to pour out Your lovingkindness and comfort.
Psalm 94 models the process for us. The psalmist is in great anguish. His emotions are raw. His thoughts are running wild. He laments and pours out his heart and seeks the Father’s protection and consolation. Those that seek his harm are close by. But then so is the Father. He is there to console and comfort. The psalmist asked a rhetorical question.
Psalms 94:16 Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers?
Who has his back? He exclaims in beautiful Hebrew poetry, for all to hear for the millennia to come, the Father. His steadfast, loyal love, hesed, holds him up.
Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolations delight my soul.
The Hebrew word translated consolation or comfort is tanchum. Tanchum means to comfort or console. The origin of the root seems to reflect the idea of “breathing deeply,” hence the physical display of one’s feelings, usually sorrow, compassion, or comfort (TWOT).
Psalm 94 laments the present reality that the wicked are in control and oppress the children of the King. They have no fear of the Father. At the same time, Psalm 94 recounts the Father’s greatness and omniscience. He is well aware of what all people think, do, and say all the time. But the psalmist praises the Father as he recalls the Father’s steadfast, loyal love (hesed) for him.
As the children of the King, we can have a total paradigm shift. We can see our present circumstances as an opportunity for personal growth in our spirit. It is in fact part of the Father’s child training and discipline. The question becomes “what am I supposed to learn from this and how do I respond properly?”
The Father’s omnipotent kingship guarantees His final victory over all who oppose Him, even if they are members of His own people (who ought to have acknowledged His rule!). It is always worth being on Father’s side (ESV).