Finding Peace for an Anxious Spirit
When Christians are consumed with anxious thoughts, the way to find peace is by remembering the ways God has provided rescue in the past.
Is there any specific situation that causes your mind to race, either with anxiety, fear, or thoughts of the worst?
Are there times when you want to jump ahead in time and just know how things are going to work out?
Do you remember a time where you felt as though the Lord had abandoned you?
Today we are looking at Psalm 13. “A Plea for Deliverance.” This Psalm overflows with real emotions including overwhelming feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, and abandonment. This passage reveals David’s struggling with the Lord and his emotions. But he didn’t stay there. David found the only way to bring peace to his spirit.
Read Psalm 13
Let's unpack the biblical text to discover what the Scripture says.
- What tone or repeated phrases stands out to you about these verses?
- Looking at verse two, what does it mean to “store up anxious concerns within me, agony in my mind every day”?
- Have you ever found yourself saying these things to God?
New seasons of life bring about excitement, but they may also bring about anxiety. This is the experience of the couple who finds out they will be parents for the first time, the college graduate headed to the “real world,” or the experienced professional who is back on the job market for the first time in years. Emotions can range from elation and celebration to fears and doubts about what is to come. Dwelling on the weight and responsibility that new seasons of life bring can lead to anxious and fearful thoughts that easily multiply.
These two verses clearly detail David’s emotional state. He felt abandoned. His expectations were that God would do something to deliver him from this trial. But God had not done that yet and it caused David to feel alone and separated from God. David allowed his thoughts to control him. He focused on his problem, and his anxiety about his situation had multiplied and caused him grief and agony. It is good and right to be honest with the Lord about our thoughts and feelings, even with feelings of being abandoned by the Lord. Where do you currently need to identify and confess fear in your life to the Lord?
Read Psalm 13:3-4.
What is it that David thought was necessary in verse 3 to avoid sleeping in death? What was David most concerned about in verse 4?
The “brightness” or “light” that David referred to is the joy of the Lord. His faith in God was the only thing that kept him from facing an eternity of death and punishment. It is important to recognize that David asked God to restore his faith because it reminds us that we cannot renew our joy by our own strength. The Lord sustains and holds us, and that includes our faith in Him. It is God and God alone who rescues us from death.
David also realized that his enemies would notice if his faith was not firmly rooted in God’s deliverance. His enemies would think that the Lord had abandoned David and that they had “triumphed over him.” Therefore, David understood that his need to restore his joy in the Lord was not only for his own sake, but also for the sake of his enemies—that they would see and know that God was with him and had given him the victory.
Where do you need God to “restore brightness” to your eyes? What areas do you feel hopeless in?
read Psalm 13:5-6.
How does the tone of these verses differ from that of the first four verses?
David spoke of deliverance and the Lord’s generosity, but he hadn’t experienced it yet for the current problem he faced. How could he claim that God would deliver and treat him generously?
Did David only trust in God because he wanted to be delivered? Or do you think that David would’ve been satisfied even if his situation didn’t resolve?
David claimed victory over his trial because he remembered God’s faithful love. David knew that this faithful and loving God cared for him and rescued him. David also knew about God’s faithfulness because he witnessed and experienced God’s deliverance and generosity over and over again in the past. David took his eyes off of his problem and refocused on the One who could deliver him from it. David was able to sing and praise the Lord, not because David wanted to manipulate God into helping him, but because he knew that God deals with His people with abundant grace and love. David knew that God would be victorious over his enemies, even if that victory was not seen in David’s lifetime.
When facing difficult times, or the temptation to be anxious, remember God’s faithfulness in the midst of your trial and have peace. Submit your fears to God and remember His sovereignty over your trial. View the trial through a lens of a proper view of God and be at peace in the midst of it.
What led David from being consumed with anxious thoughts to singing praises to the Lord? How can that process be applied to your life?
How does a right view of God make a difference in your perspective about a particular trial or problem?
How does the gospel affect your understanding of deliverance and being treated generously by God?
Consider this: In the midst of your worst fears, would you be able to praise God for future deliverance, even if it was not seen in your life?
God, in your abundant grace and love You pursued us, while we were still enemies, in order that we might be called sons and daughters. God, we confess that there are often times where we begin to focus on the size of the problem in front of us and it causes us to have feelings of fear, anxiety, depression, and even abandonment. Yet, we know that those emotions are not true of our relationship with You. God, help us keep our eyes focused on You and the richness of Your good gifts to us, including our salvation. Amen.