How to Deal with Anxiety [Psalm 94:19 Daily Devotional]
Everyone experiences anxiety. Some experience it to a more severe extent than others. Some experience it on a clinical, physiological level, while others experience it as a strong emotion. Regardless of the extent of that anxiety or how it’s experienced, Jesus is here to bring us joy. In this verse, we see the Lord as a counselor – as someone who cares about our internal state and wants us to feel better. I pray that you would allow him to console you.
How to Deal with Anxiety
I’ve written about anxiety several times in the past, and each time I make sure to mention that I’m not discounting anyone’s legitimate mental health concerns. Anxiety is very real, but it is also treatable. I’m a huge fan of good, Christian counseling and, if you and your doctor decide on it, medication. In fact, if you’re experiencing anxiety, I encourage you to pursue those options.
I will say, though, that counseling and medication should be done and used in addition to prayer, fasting, worship, and serving. God is concerned about your everyday life, so involve him in it! As Psalm 94:19 says, the Lord brings you peace in your anxiety. As you seek professional help to cope with your emotions, seek the Lord to walk in the peace he has for you.
Jesus, first I thank you for mental health professionals who help people every day. In addition to that, help me to continue to pray for my own mental health concerns, and allow me to experience the consolation that you have readily available for me when I ask. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
How to Acknowledge God [Revelation 4:11 Daily Devotional]
The author of this book in the Bible is writing in awe of God’s power. This is an expression of worship that can only be seen after truly experiencing the power of the Lord. In the context of Revelation, the author is seeing a lot of things that many people may never experience, so it makes sense that this is his response. After everything he’s seen, the only words he can muster are about how great God is.
How to Acknowledge God
We may not ever experience God in the same way the author of Revelation did, but that doesn’t mean we can’t worship him with everything we have. When you pray to God, you’re worshipping him by trusting that he’ll meet your needs. When you sing to God, you’re worshipping him by offering up your voice as a sacrifice to him. And when you approach the Lord with thanksgiving, you’re worshipping him by acknowledging that he is trustworthy to meet your needs.
Father, you are trustworthy. Help me to recognize your goodness in my life and in all circumstances. Remind me of all the things I should be thankful for. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
Jesus is talking to his followers and laying out the ground rules of what it means to follow him. At the time, Jesus and his followers would have been subjected to hundreds of rules in order to be considered a “good Jewish person.” Jesus, however, simplifies that life for his followers back in ancient Israel, but it still applies today. In order to be “good followers of Jesus,” we must love one another how Jesus loves us.
Love Each Other
How does Jesus love you? He loves you self-sacrificially and selflessly. Jesus’s command to you is to love in that same way. You can do this by serving one another and giving generously. When you serve someone, you’re giving up your time and resources to encourage someone else or help them through a tough time. When you give generously, you’re sacrificing your money and, in some instances, your time to expand the kingdom of God or help another organization to do that on your behalf. Both are important.
When giving, the first place you should give is your local church. They will be the ones who are the most impactful in your community. After you give the amount you decided to give to your church, find another organization you believe in and support them. You could also carry around a designated amount each month to give away to strangers, friends, or family.
Jesus, thank you for serving me and for being generous toward me. Help me to love my community in the same way. It’s in your name I pray, amen.
Why Go to Church [Colossians 3:16 Daily Devotional]
This is an encouragement from the Apostle Paul to the church he helped start in Colosse. Though this letter was written specifically for that church, it still applies to us today. Paul wants all believers to be in community with one another. The kind of community we should be looking for encourages each other, learns together, and worships together.
Why Go to Church
Paul’s vision for the church is one of a tight-knit community, and that’s still true today. In order for you to experience what Paul is writing about here, you’ll need to find a church that you can feel a part of. I don’t know where you live, but I can guarantee that there are many good churches near you. None of these churches will be perfect, but neither are you, so you’ll fit in great.
Find a church that puts an emphasis on teaching, worshipping, and community. Good teaching without good community is essentially school. Good music without solid teaching is just a concert. And good community without biblical teaching and worship is just a country club. You need all three for the church to work as Paul says here. At the center of it all, gratitude for one another is key.
Father, thank you for the church. Help me to fully engage with the community I’m a part of. Give me courage, wisdom, and strength to stick with my community for the long term. It’s in Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
One of the most challenging things we can do is tell someone else about our shortcomings. We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, but there is forgiveness for each of us. That forgiveness is free because of Jesus’s sacrifice for us on the cross. There’s a difference between forgiveness and healing, though. Jesus forgave us, but we need confession to get healing from our sins and mistakes. It will likely be uncomfortable at first, but our healing is worth a little discomfort.
Now, don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to just confess to anyone because confessing to just anyone can be dangerous. Find a safe space where you can confess without being judged by who you’re confessing to. I’m a big fan of Christian counseling because counselors are there to listen to you talk about whatever you need to talk about without judgment.
Another way you can get healing through confession is through a good church. Ideally, the church you go to should have caring small group leaders who are there to pray for you, so seek those people out and get the prayer you need.
Jesus, thank you for the ability to be healed through confession. Help me discern who I should talk to about the sin in my life. Give me safe spaces to heal and become more like you. It’s in your name I pray, amen.