Resources

Rest in the Midst of Anxiety

God is the One who has given us life. He is our Creator. He is our Redeemer. He is our Saviour.

God is the One who loves us. He is with us. He is for us. He is sanctifying us.

God is the One who is in ultimate control. He is bringing all things to pass in accordance with His will. God intends eternal blessing for His people. He is making all things new (Rev 21:5).

Our own sins and the sins of other people have painful consequences. Living in a fallen world of fallen people brings inevitable suffering to our human existence. As a result of perceived threats to our sense of well-being, we often experience fear, worry or anxiety.

It is perfectly alright for us to acknowledge our anxieties and share our feelings with family members and close friends (in fact, it would be detrimental to us to suppress those feelings). We can then without shame receive their listening support and loving encouragement. At the same time, we should learn to entrust ourselves and our situations to God. We should aim to grow in our faith in God.

By holding fast to God’s promises to us, we receive from Him comfort, courage and confidence to persevere in the journey ahead. Although our lives will not be trouble-free, God is with us every step of the way. He will strengthen and help us, mould and transform us, and at the end He will bring us home. We can learn from the godly responses of two psalmists, below.

When King David feared for his life, he put his trust in God and His word:

3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;

I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4 ESV)

9 … This I know, that God is for me.

10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust;

I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 56:9-11)

In moments of great distress, the psalmist wisely took refuge in the LORD alone:

5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.

6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

7 The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. (Psalm 118:5-9 ESV)

Our future is secure in God’s hands. We know that our work will not be in vain. We know where we will be going when it is time for us to enter into our eternal rest in the glorious presence of God and His perfected people. In the dwelling place of God, we will experience life totally free from any fear, worry or anxiety, because there will no longer be death, loss, sadness or pain (Revelation 21:1-4).

God is worthy of all our worship. Our lives belong to Him and are to be lived for Him. When we lose our lives in loving service to God, we will paradoxically find our lives (Matthew 16:25Mark 8:35Luke 9:24). We will live meaningfully and purposefully. We will be joyful and fulfilled in this present life, enjoying a close relationship with God now, even as we await the full experience of His presence and glory (1 Peter 1:6-91 Corinthians 2:9Revelation 21-22).

Written by Ps Ivan Ho

In these troubling and uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to take steps to find rest in the midst of anxiety. May you find true and abiding rest in God.

 

SERMONS

“Finding Rest in the Midst of Anxiety”, by Rev Tony Yeo: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1554

“From Wrestling to Resting”, by Rev David Chan: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1249

(Pastor David gleans wisdom from the prophetic book of Habbakuk to help us find rest in times of personal suffering and struggle.)

“Resting in God’s Presence”, by Rev Tan Kay Kiong: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/1172

(Pastor Kay Kiong reflects on the perspective and experience of King
David as recorded in Psalm 131 and encourages us to learn to rest in God’s presence.)

“God’s Cure for Anxiety”, by Rev Edmund Chan: https://sermonresources.cefc.org.sg/file/996

(Pastor Edmund explains Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6:25-32 to help us deal with anxiety.)

 

 SCRIPTURE

Psalm 23 ESV

Psalm 27 ESV

Psalm 46 ESV

Psalm 56 ESV

Psalm 118:1-9 ESV

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

John 14:27 ESV

Romans 8:9-11 ESV

Romans 8:14-17 ESV

Romans 8:26-30 ESV

Romans 8:31-39 ESV

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

 

SONGS

“Wildflowers”, by Clay Finnesand: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8_9RDMG-JA

“Just As Sure”, by Tori Kelly & Jonathan McReynolds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP6fdkC4uwo

“Be Still My Soul”, by Libera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqgC1tqifV8

“All the World”, by North Point Worship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDR4k6Yf76w

Psalm 46”, by The Corner Room: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RBmNsbFrRU

 

ARTICLES & VIDEOS

“Worry-Free Living”, by Bill Gaultiere: https://www.soulshepherding.org/worry-free-living/

(A helpful article on understanding and dealing with worry and anxiety with a number of practical suggestions.)

“How Do I Find Peace in the Midst of Fear?”, by Dr Ed Welch: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/podcasts/q-a-podcast/how-do-i-find-peace-in-the-midst-of-fear/

(In this 10-minute podcast, Dr Ed Welch (Christian counsellor and educator) helpfully suggests how we should respond to fear when we anticipate loss and proposes the direction we should aim for, so that we can grow in our faith in God and experience His peace.)

Coronavirus Resources: https://www.ccef.org/coronavirus/

(A wonderful resource page from Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation with many short videos and blog articles on various coronavirus-related topics that you may find helpful in these anxious times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.)

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Daily Devo

Daily Devotional Journal

Scripture:
Jonah 1:4-16; Psalm 86:11
Tue, 25 January 2022

The Fearful Men

Observation:

How did the sailors’ fear change from verse 5 to verse 16?

Deeper Reflection
THE NARRATIVE OF THE STORM AND SAILORS IS FULL OF irony and comedy. Picture the drama. The seasoned mariners were scared out of their wits (v.5). In an utter frenzy, they dumped cargo, desperately trying to save themselves. In contrast, Jonah the rebellious prophet was oblivious to the danger, sleeping in the bowels of the ship. The mariners were frantically calling out to their gods. But the prophet of the LORD was asleep. And so the flabbergasted captain came to Jonah and commanded him, “Arise, call out to your god!” (v.6). This is a parody of the divine command that Jonah rejected: arise,…and call out against Nineveh (Jon 1:2).65 After an exercise of lot-casting to determine who is responsible for the disaster, the sailors discovered that it is Jonah, who then disclosed, “I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (v.9). Jonah’s talk about “fear” must have sounded incredibly hollow to the sailors who knew about his wilful rebellion!66 It was them, and not the LORD’s prophet, who understood the gravity of what Jonah had done (v.10). Another irony of the story is that because of Jonah’s irreverence, the sailors came to genuinely revere his God (v.16). How about us? Are we like Jonah, professing to fear God but treating God flippantly? Pastor Timothy Keller defines the fear of the Lord as being “overwhelmed with wonder before the greatness of God and His love”67. Let us ask the LORD for an undivided heart that truly fears His name (Psa 86:11).
65 D. J. Wiseman, T. D. Alexander, and B. K. Waltke, Obadiah, Jonah, and Micah, Tyndale Old Testament commentaries v. 26 66 Ibid., 116. 67 Timothy Keller and Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage (New York: Dutton, 2011), 68.
Application:

What does the fear of the Lord mean to me and how does it impact the way I live?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for pastors and staff: That they will have an undivided heart that fears the name of the LORD (Psa 86:11)
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self

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