The multitude of anxieties is commonplace among many. Just think of our own lives, how we may have experienced the spirit of anxiety, just one of endless afflictions. The width, depth, and height of these afflictions can, at times, confound even the best of counselors and pastors. Add to this the instability, passivity, and brokenness of the soul that is alienated from the life of God and you have a mammoth crisis. Those who are unbelievers will have a difficult way back to good health. The absence of any spiritual resources will be a detriment to them regaining their health. On the other hand, those who profess the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior can exhibit the same dilemma as the unbeliever because of their failure to stay faithful to the truth of God. These are those who have left the way of righteousness by choice and have become captive to the spirit of this world. Giant Despair comes, overwhelming the unknowing soul, putting his eyes out, and releasing them to wander among the tombs of his estate.
They have failed the teaching of Paul in his letter to the Ephesian Christians. “This I say therefore, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, becoming alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” (Eph. 4:17-19) It is a sad thing that the wayward Christian ends up with the multitude of anxieties because of his/her neglect of their walk with Christ. They have exchanged the presence, fellowship, and joy of the Lord for the friendship of the world. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy with God.” James 4:4. They have forgotten their calling. “As therefore you have received Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7.
The unbeliever, lacking the spiritual resources of the believer, is on his own to deal with the multitude of anxieties. He can receive counsel from the wisdom of the world, which is a good thing in itself. But, the counsel of this world cannot change the heart of stone. Only God can change the heart of stone into flesh. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes. And you keep my judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:26-27.
King David in Psalm 94 writes of the oppression from within his own soul and from the wickedness of neighboring nations. “How long will the wicked triumph?” Violence has festered within the nation. “The proud utter speech and speak insolent things. All the workers of iniquity boast in themselves —-and afflict Your heritage. They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.” David is overwhelmed with anxiety. “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” David leans on the Lord in his crisis, “If the Lord had not been my helper, I would soon rest in the silence of death.” David leans on the word of God in his crisis. “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law.” This alone is his comfort in the multitude of anxieties.
In the work, More Than Notion, by J.H. Alexander, a compilation of spiritual experiences of a family and their friends in the 1800’s, a respected teacher of God’s word wrote to a Mrs. Oakley to help her with her anxieties. He pointed her to Jesus. “Search daily for this Friend (Christ Jesus), as you would for hidden treasures, and you will surely find him from time to time. His presence will compensate for all your bodily pain, family troubles and world anxieties; and while it lasts you will be able to see all things in right aspect, and that He can do you no wrong. It has pleased God to put a worm to every gourd that you have planted, so that all things in this life whither, and it is mercy to you that they afford no shade nor repose for your flesh.” Take heed to wise counsel!
A last word from the Counselor of all counselors. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3 He is your comfort and peace in the multitude of anxieties!