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Psalm 94: 19               NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

It should come as no surprise that God can ease our souls even in times of great anxiety. What may be easily overlooked, however, is our contemplation of God’s abundant grace in our time of need.  

When we are under pressure or worried it is easy to retreat within ourselves. I call it the turtle syndrome. We withdraw into our shells in an attempt to protect our vulnerabilities. While it may be a completely normal reaction to stress or anxiety, it is the worst thing we can do. Walking with God is not always intuitive though. That is why the Bible tells us that we must renew our minds (Romans 12: 2). God is our strength and our fortress in our times of need. So, instead of drawing in on ourselves we must learn to extend our hearts to Him. This is walking in faith. It is the path of walking in the Spirit also. The very essence of walking with God is that we turn towards Him at all times. We can learn to live in a state of always looking towards Him.

Another key element of receiving the consolation of God in those anxious moments is to seek Him with your heart. How do you do that? For me it is always a matter of shutting up my mind for a few minutes. When you can get quiet in your mind and in your heart then you will find that you can hear God. In times of high anxiety, though, it feels like your insides are running on caffeine. Slow down, take some time to quiet down and look to God to be the consoler of your heart. Pick up your Bible and turn to the Psalms. God will give you peace and comfort. He always does. He will trade your anxiety for His consolation and peace. In times of great trouble, He is there with you. He has joy ready to pour into your heart. Train your heart to turn to Him and receive.

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