When you feel an emptiness of soul gnawing away your insides, you are tempted to fill your life with things you don't need. You shop, you eat, you binge watch Netflix, you medicate, you drink, you smoke, etc...
What if you sought to fill that emptiness with the truth of God?
He doesn't promise to make everything better. Turning your life over to Him is not a free pass out of trouble. Life will still twist and turn unexpectedly. Bad things will still happen to you. People will still mistreat you. Just as Christ suffered, suffering is guaranteed for those who follow Christ.
However, when you yield your life to God you can rest, knowing that you are still responsible for the choices you have, and now He will take care of all the details you cannot control. This new freedom brings purpose for today and hope for tomorrow.
No matter what happens, you know that God will use it for good.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
No matter what is going on today, you know that it is not the end of the story.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
With that in mind, fill your mind with these passages. Allow their truth to fill you next time you must combat anxiety.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
This beautiful poem is worth memorizing. Anytime you feel control slipping from your fingers or the shadow of despair creeping over your shoulder, repeat these words to yourself. If necessary, repeat. Remind yourself that your heavenly Father is your loving shepherd and He ONLY leads you where you need to go.
Psalm 33:11 - The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
God is never surprised by what happens. He is in control, He knows what is going on and He knows what He is going to do next.
Proverbs 19:21 - Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
This is a great verse to remember when it seems that others have seized control and are bent on wounding or destroying you. They have their plans in mind, but God's purposes for you will stand (and his purposes are always good!).
Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Remembering that God is in full control, replace your anxiety with prayer and thanksgiving. Knowing His Son has already provided for your greatest need, leave room for God's peace to fill your mind.
Matthew 6:25-34 -- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
These are among the most powerfully encouraging words ever spoken by Jesus. He reminds us of the loving attention God pays to even birds and plants. If the Creator cares that much for the smallest of creation, how much more does He care for us, the crown of His creation? Jesus rebukes us for worrying so much about tomorrow, challenging us instead to concentrate on living for God's kingdom today. If we focus on the kingdom, our Father will focus on us.