Reassurance for the anxious ∙

Reassurance for the anxious

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. – Psalm 94:19

Psalms 94:16-23

 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 defend you when you made a mistake or your performance was subpar? Perhaps, in doing so, they put their own reputation at risk. They even defended your mistake to a customer or even management. They shielded you from criticism. Perhaps, they even 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 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).

Sadly, many of our enemies are inward: harmful negative attitudes and emotions. Anxiety, fear, uncertainty about the future or the present become our adversaries. They grip us. Fear and anxiety are like muggers lurking in the dark waiting to strike and harm us.

They pounce without warning. Our feelings go into overdrive. We begin to churn inside and our rational thought is smothered. Our anxious thoughts explode within us. Any contentment or sense of assurance and safety vanishes. Negative thoughts overwhelm us.

There is wonderful news. 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, we are able to have a catharsis. We calm down, become centered, and return to tranquil 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 sharing our negative thoughts and emotions. You know our thoughts before we say a word. You know where we are coming from. You respond by pouring out lovingkindness and sweet comfort.

INSIGHT

Psalm 94 models how we can pour out our hearts to the Father. 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 to harm him are close by. But wonderfully so is the Father. He is present to console and comfort. The psalmist asks a rhetorical question.

Psalms 94:16 Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers?

Who has his back? The psalmist exclaims in beautiful Hebrew poetry, for all to hear for the millennia to come.

Psalms 94:17-19

 17 Unless the LORD had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.

 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.

The Hebrew word translated as comfort or consolations is tanchum. Tanchummeans to reassure 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. The psalmist praises the Father as he recalls the Father’s steadfast, loyal love (hesed).

There’s something wonderful, concealed just below the surface. On the one hand, the Father is revealed in all of his greatness and power. He can come to the aid of all children of the King. But on the other hand, His comfort effervesces with sweet cheer. The Father’s comfort is like a soothing touch.

The Hebrew of Psalms 94:19 actually reads “when my worries are many within me, your comforts cause my soul to delight” (UBS).

Not only are children of the King upheld by the Father’s steadfast love amid their adversity, but their anxiety is exchanged for a sweetness of solace and heartfelt gladness. “From my sinful thoughts, my vain thoughts, my sorrowful thoughts, my griefs, my cares, my conflicts, I will hasten to the Lord; he has divine comforts, and these will not only console but actually delight me. How sweet are the comforts of the Spirit!” (Spurgeon).

Imagine for a moment a traveler lost and alone in a desert parched with thirst. He is desperately seeking water to quench it. A stranger finds him and provides the necessary refreshment. But instead of water, the fluid is the most marvelous, best-tasting nectar he has ever tasted. His thirst is quenched. But remarkably, his anxiety is replaced by the delightful sweetness of the delicious nectar.

As the children of the King, we can have a total paradigm shift. Rather than being shackled by bitter cares and anxiety, we are offered sweet solace in our adversity. 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.

Psalms 94:12 Joyful are those you discipline, LORD, those you teach with your instructions.

For each child of the King, the question becomes, “What am I supposed to learn from this and how do I respond properly to Your gracious intervention?”

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).

¯\_()_/¯ 11-12-2

© Dr. H 2022

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