Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
— Isaiah 41:10
I become anxious over the dumbest things. Even now, as I sit writing this devotional, I am dealing with a bout of anxiety. I always do. Every time I get the email notification from the church of my being scheduled to write a devotional for a particular week, my mind begins racing through a myriad of thoughts relating to the provided prompt, and my body tenses up a bit. Knowing I represent not only our church in the things I write and you read, but, of greater consequence, that I am a representative of God himself. Well, I keep a paper bag handy, just in case of an anxiety-induced panic attack.
I am sure our pastors and my friends in ministry will understand.
Think about this, if you will. Have you ever noticed one of the most common admonishments issued by the Lord is “Fear not”? More than 300 times in Scripture we read those words or a combination of them. And we should consider anxiety being just another word for fear. As believers, we need realize that anxiety comes as result of our lack of confidence in God’s ability to make good on his word. As someone once said, “Our problem is not believing in God, it is believing God.”
In my moments of anxiety, and there are many, I find confidence to keep moving forward in the words of Isaiah:
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
— Isaiah 43:2 NLT
As a sidebar, you may want to make note that God did not say that you will not experience flood or flame, but that he will be with you, and you will not drown or burn. You might get a distinct scent of singed hair (ask Randy Wade), but you will not be consumed. Trust him.