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Have you ever struggled with fear?

A gnawing, nameless anxiety that chases you throughout the day...

...and finds you on your bed when you lay your head, wanting to find rest?

I have. I have experienced anxiety and fear more times than I wish to count.

This week actually, I found myself once again in a spiral of anxiety, fear, and worry. And I'm a Christian who knows God. Yet I still experience it, so I felt depressed on top of all that I was experiencing because in a way I felt I know better. I was left in despair, asking is there any freedom from my mind full of woes?

Is there any freedom from a mind full of woes?

Mental health has become a buzzword in culture in the last 5 or so years . In fact, I've become aware of the many different approaches and modalities to treat. Psychiatrists may prescribe a pill to calm you. Psychologists or therapists could offer a variety of new ways of looking and thinking at troubling scenarios. Self-help books galore exist and let's not get into the plethora of ways we can chose to self-medicate and numb the persistent negative thoughts or feelings from pleasure, to entertainment, to work and achievement.

And then I found this verse:

Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14 NKJV

This is a scripture that directly addresses mental health challenges-- glory! How you may say? I'll get that in a moment.

If you've been following the blog at all, you'll know I love deep diving into scripture. In fact Blue Letter Bible is my go to for finding the Hebrew and Greek definitions that give the scripture so much more meaning.

Courage is the word hazaq, which means to make firm, to strengthen, to stick fast, to bind.

Here, the word strengthen is ames, or to be strong, alert, courageous

Ames also has connotation of an alert or strenuous mind; a strong and undaunted mind, to make the mind strong and active. Another meaning of ames is to do anything speedily, or to be nimble. It is the opposite of to be cast down in mind, or knees that sink (a euphemism for loosing strength).

Heart is the world leb, which means inner man, including soul, conscience, appetites, emotions and passions, mind, memory, thinking, knowledge, will. It's is all of one's inner life of feeling, thinking and wanting that often is what drives us crazy (literally and figuratively).

Perhaps because I've become confronted time and again with my own human weakness that a promise of what God will do for me, for my inner man gives me hope.

If you know what it's like to be in a fog of depression or fear you may know why this is such great news! When in fear or depression, your mind is not clear. In fact it's usually the opposite. You may feel sluggish, unclear, cloudy, confused. And a byproduct of fear is it makes us slow to move or act. Fear paralyzes us.

I've tried self-help, and I don't have the will to keep wanting to fix myself. I want the work of the Holy Spirit to work through my inner man to bring change to my heart. To make my heart steady, and steadfast, not tossed too and fro. I want God to do a work in my inner man to make my mind alert and heart nimble to do what He asks of me.

Wait on the Lord;

Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:14 NKJV

Here, is the promise: if we wait on God, He will make our minds strong, active, and undaunted.

How do wait? We simply look to him. It's what we were created to do, the most natural thing in the world. To tune the world out for a while and look to the God who created us, to allow our souls to know and be known by the creator of the universe.

In an age of anxiety or mental health challenges, God wants to give us an advantage. The plug to a divine source of strength, courage, alertness and clarity of mind that is not of this world.

Isn't it wonderful that the Bible is not ignorant about the issues of our issues of modern day life?

It's it marvelous that it's prescriptions are not just for another time, but the promises and it's instructions are timeless?

In reality, every word of it is personal, powerful, prophetic (timely), relevant and effective in our present day situations.


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