Anxiety and the Confidence that Beats It: Sunday August 31st

Few of us would claim not to feel anxious at times. But what lies behind that anxiety? And what's the answer to it? Psalm 27 tells us both (and in surprising ways).

You can download sermon summary notes in English here, or in French here.

Or you can read them below:

Anxiety and the Confidence that Beats It

Psalm 27

As we grow up, we lose some of our childhood fears, but that does not mean that we don’t feel anxious abut things. Psalm 27 speaks to that anxiety.

The Answer to Anxiety

As a king, David had plenty of reasons to fear. Our anxieties are not so different: anxieties about work, security, finances, family. Even bitterness and resentment at past hurt can threaten to eat us up, as David enemies threatened to destroy him.

But why do we fear, or get anxious in the first place? Because, in the face of some event or situation, we feel small, threatened or out of control, at the mercy of events. And yet David had an inner confidence. Why? Because he was not trusting in himself, but in God who is bigger than any situation.

Where do we put our confidence when trouble comes? Often, we will put it in places that were not designed to bear that pressure, and they fail. But David put his trust in God who never fails.

Understanding the security he had in God left David with a sense of longing.

The Desire for More

David has tasted that God is good, and he wants to deepen his relationship with God. He is single minded about it: ‘One thing have I asked’. In fact he wants two things: to gaze upon the beauty of God and to inquire of him. To know God and his will and his ways. And it was knowing this growing security in God that meant David could respond to trials not with fear, but with joy and with song.

And yet, we are rarely so steadfast in our faith.

What To Do When You Wobble

Just as David seems so confident, reality kicks in, and he seems vulnerable and uncertain. He wobbles. We can know what that feels like. Behind that insecurity is a fear that God will abandon him: that he is not worthy of God’s favour, just as we know that we fail to meet the grade.

David deals with this by throwing himself back on God. But he also knows that he needs grace (v7): he needs God to treat him better than he deserves.

The One who is Gracious

Because God has given Christ for us, we can know that he will not withhold anything good from us. The cross is the measure of his love for us. We can know deep inner security because his love and care do not depend on us being good enough but on Christ dying for us.

God hid his face, and abandoned Jesus, just as David feared would happen to him, but he also raised him up, just as David wanted to happen to him. Because Jesus was forsaken, we need never be.

As we put our trust in Christ, we will know this deep inner security that dispels fear, and brings joy instead. And we will find the courage we need to face what we face.