When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your consolations delight my soul
- Psalm 94:19 (NASB)
The fact is that anxieties do multiply. They breed! One leads to another, so that your imagination, mingled with fear, can take you on a journey into despair and depression.
Some of the Bible’s greatest heroes, such as Elijah, Moses and David knew such times. They wanted to take wings and fly away, to die, to have their lives taken from them. Anxiety is powerful and energy sapping, robbing you of peace and security.
Anxiety wants to take you into an imagined future of failure and shame. It certainly doesn’t want to remind you of God’s previous faithfulness and loving-kindness. It wants to direct your imagination into a day that does not yet exist, a day where God’s grace has not yet arrived. That imagined day has not yet happened so God’s grace has not been manifested for it yet.
Fears project you and your anxious thoughts into a make believe world in the future, while Jesus says ‘take no thought for tomorrow’. The psalmist says ‘your consolations delight my heart’. I love that NASB rendering of the verse.
God knows how to console. His consolations are powerful, rooted in His character, power and constant faithfulness. But the power of the verse lies in the word ‘delight’. It is so important not merely to acknowledge them but to actually delight in them.
It’s not enough to know about them, you must drink deeply! Make sure that your heart is delighted!
Anxiety is a powerful emotion with ability to multiply. Drink in God’s consolations, his love, faithfulness, awesome promises, ability to behead Goliath, to destroy Jericho walls, forbid fire to burn, close the mouth of lions, open prison doors, make a way where there is no way, cause rivers to gush out of a rock in the desert, feed millions in a wilderness and make all things work together for your good!
Is your heart delighting yet? Maybe you need, like Paul in a prison in Philipi, to start singing and praising till delight fills the soul. Then let Him bring the earthquake that breaks your prison chains. Just as God vindicated His call to Paul to go to Macedonia in the first place…
Paul refused to allow anxieties to multiply in that dark prison cell. Anxiety must yield when delight fills the soul, but make sure you don’t stop short of delight, or anxiety may not give ground.
How do we recognise true delight? Well, if anxieties multiply, consider some of the offspring of delight. As mentioned in the Thesaurus, these are some of its companions or offspring; pleased as punch, over the moon, on top of the world, like a dog with two tails, jump or dance for joy, purr with pleasure, be like a cat with a dish of cream, luxuriate in, bask, in, wallow, have fun, relish, smack ones lips. Get the picture? You need to have your soul smacking its lips with joy. Let the power of delight banish the false claims of multiplied anxieties. Let the Lord restore your soul, the joy of the Lord is your strength, enough to overcome all anxieties, but make sure you get right into full delight in God and all His faithfulness to you.
Anxieties can’t live with delight.