2292) “When I am Anxious…”

I'm Not Anxious... - Anxiety Sisters

By John Piper:  at http://www.dgm.org


Isaiah 41:10  —  “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” 

I Peter 5:7  —  Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.


     When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I fight against my fear and unbelief with one of my most often-used promises:  Isaiah 41:10.

     The day I left for three years of study in Germany, my father called me long distance and gave me this promise on the telephone.  For three years, I must have quoted it to myself five hundred times to get me through periods of tremendous stress.  When the motor of my mind is in neutral, the hum of the gears is still the sound of Isaiah 41:10.

     When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise of Isaiah 55:11:  “So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

     When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

     When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8).

     When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

     When I am anxious about the welfare of those I love, I battle unbelief with the promise that if I, being evil, know how to give good things to my children, how much more will the “Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)?

     When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).  And I take the promise with trembling, “knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3–5).

     When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.  I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).

     When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:7–9).

     When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promises, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6); and, “He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

     Let us make war, not with other people, but with our own unbelief and lack of faith and trust.  It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins.

     Let us turn our eyes fixed on the precious and very great promises of God.  Take up the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit for help, lay the promises up in your heart, and fight the good fight — to live by faith in future grace.


Take from us, O God, all impatience and unquietness; and let us learn to patiently trust in your ways, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

–Jeremy Taylor