How can I overcome anxiety?

Knowing where our security comes from, and praising God for it, gives us peace.

Illustrative view of how Weobley Castle appeared. Image credit: Ian Greig

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:12-13 NLT

SUMMARY

Living free from anxiety is about knowing where our security is and where our supply comes from. Too easily we forget, and fail to praise the God who gives us everthing. When we think we’re on our own, He is looking out for us.

PRAYER

Thank You, Lord, that Your provision and protection is sure
in times of plenty and in times of lack.
We thank You for the many safeguards and protections we enjoy,
which previous generations never knew.
We regard every source of provision,
every comfort of life
as coming from You,
every ability we summon up as coming from Christ,
and we honour You as the Giver.
Amen.


For a reflection on this verse, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com

How can God help me handle false accusations?

It’s wrong and Scripture forbids it, but we still find ways to murder the reputation of those we don’t like — and it happens to us. Scripture’s promise here is that this strategy of the devil against believers will not prevail — God’s truth will.

Image credit: Joshua Eckstein on Unsplash

But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken!

Summary

Murder is abhorrent but we find ways of justifying the murder of a person’s reputation, although strongly condemned by Scripture, from the Ten Commandments to the letters to churches. Scripture’s promise here is that this strategy of the devil against believers will  not prevail — God’s truth will.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, no one knows the pain of betrayal and false accusations like You do. Thank You for believing in me, and being my comfort when others have sought to create discomfort — or worse.

Where I am wrong — show me my fault.

Where others are wrong — show them the truth.

I praise You, Lord of heaven and earth, as the great and good Creator who is over every created thing — including Satan and his accusations.
I praise You that Your truth and Your  justice will prevail, and I trust Your promises. Amen.


For a reflection based on this verse, go over to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

How do I receive God’s guidance?

Only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

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Verse

I set my heart on Your precepts and pay close attention to all Your ways. My delight is found in all Your laws, and I won’t forget to walk in Your words. Psalms 119:15-16 TPT

Summary

What guides us through life? Our upbringing, the peer pressure of friends, family and colleagues and the traditions and expectations of the community we live in all seek to influence, but only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Good news

God is constantly revealing Himself, especially through different dimensions of His word. That’s how He speaks to us, personally, as His children, as we listen.

Prayer

Lord God, You have shown me Your way over and above all other ways.

The way that is true has been shown by Jesus, and His Spirit is active in helping me to see it……

If I listen, and if I remember, and If I avoid all the the other distractions and influences.

Lord, I come to You for help.
Give me eyes to see with insight, and spiritual ears to hear Your voice.
Help me not to quickly forget what You have shown me, but rather, to walk in it.

May this point others to Your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com
on this page.

In all life’s uncertainty and change — what is God saying?

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution

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But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. Psalm 33:11 NLT

Summary

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution, rather than the requests of those overwhelmed by immediate concerns.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, You are constant, unchanging in Your love and forbearance and faithful towards us when we lack faith.

We praise You for Your goodness, and also for Your greatness in perspective and eternal timescale.

Forgive us for being so short-sighted and so concerned with the provision of today rather than seeking Your kingdom and living by its values.

We pray for true spiritual revival of turning towards Jesus, receiving what He has done for us and recognising His Lordship. We pray for this to bring Your goodness and Your new life, widely among our neighbours and across our communities. We ask this in and throughYou, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com and this page

How can Jesus say, “Ask anything in My name”?

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives.

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And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep My commands.   John 14:13-15 NIV

Summary

“Ask me for anything” invites the equal and opposite follies of asking God for what is inappropriate, and not asking for what tests our faith. The context of the verse helps us find the balance — Christ is drawing out from His disciples who He is. He alone is the way into the kingdom — and that kingdom life and kingdom order meets everyone’s needs, your personal ones included.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise You as the One who holds all authority in heaven and earth. You are the king of the kingdom of heaven. Before You, every knee must bow.

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives. May Your kingdom come in a revival: many turning to You, coming to know the Father and experiencing the joy of new life.

As I ask You to to bring the renewal of Your good rule to my world, nearby and further afield, especially… I thank You that you know my needs… and are renewing me in spirit, soul and body. I receive this, remembering what You have already done for me, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse (3 min read) see www.believethegoodnews.com on this page.

How to feel secure

King David’s tried and tested solution to finding God’s peace to conquer anxiety

Image credit: Ian Greig

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
 Psalm 27:4 NIV

Summary

David knew all about anxiety, with his life and reputation under threat even from those close to him. But he also knew God and His goodness. He knew where to find peace. We are better equipped to practice the presence of God, even in our busy lives — we have the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who will always lead us to finds heaven’s perspective on our situation.

Good News

The good news is that we can ask Jesus into our heart and life and make that transition to knowing God personally. We don’t have to find Him in His temple because we ourselves become a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Lord, I feel assaulted by life, and fear and anxieties keep pressing in.
But I come to You in Jesus and I ask You this: that I might draw close to You, to know Your presence and gain Your true perspective.
Thank You so much that I have privileged access to You at any time, and I have Your promises all the time. Remind me again, as I regard Your beauty, Your kindness — and Your wisdom. Amen.


For a longer reflection on this verse, see this post on www.believethegoodnews.com

What do You think, God?

Image credit: Wikipedia/Apollo2005

Learning to focus on God’s thoughts, for a change

VERSE

How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17–18 NIV

Summary

Once we have become friends with God through Jesus, we have a conversation going with Him. But a listening attitude is important if we are going to hear His voice — not pretending we know best. Agreeing that His thoughts are precious is a good way of seeking His wisdom for our lives.

For more teaching on this verse and theme, see What do You think, God? on http://believethegoodnews.com

Prayer

O God, Your thoughts are precious, of incomparable value by the measure of man’s wisdom. You see all, understand all, and know the end from the beginning.

Help me to be a hearer and a doer of Your Word1. Where my thoughts crowd in — my anxieties and doubts, my wrong judgments and the opinions I proudly uphold‚ forgive me, help me to quiet my soul and — to make space for You to speak and me to hear.

My way too often proves to be no way, but Your way is life and salvation. Your words are like gold2 and taste sweeter than honey3.

Thank You, holy and Almighty God, that You delight in speaking to me as I come to You in Jesus. Amen.


  1. James 1:5–8 []
  2. Psalm 12:6 []
  3. Psalm 119:103 []

Why do we need to stay alert and on our guard?

Image credit: Ian Greig

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13 NIV

At strategic times God has sent angels to people to tell them what they needed to know. That tells us that heaven and earth are not disconnected, and what happens on earth has a spiritual dimension. Our spiritual engagement influences this. Following Paul’s advice in his letter to Corinth and being aware, prayerful and confident, can make all the difference.

To explore this thought further, see this post on Believe.

PRAYER
Forgive me, Lord, for being casual and unprepared spiritually. Your word instructs us to “pray continually” and my response is so much less.
Help me to begin to see not just everyday concerns but the spiritual realities behind them. Lead me to pray accordingly, and bring Your kingdom to earth. For Jesus’ honour and glory, Amen.

What is God’s kind of love?

Our romantic ideas of love don’t even come close to God’s love for us, which is UNCONDITIONAL. We come to know this through Jesus.

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Our casual definitions of love are a far cry from the kind of love which is God’s essential being, and which He grows in those who are His.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. ”  1 John 4:16 NIV

“God is love” is big, all-encompassing statement. John is repeating the statement he already made earlier (v.8), so he is emphasising his teaching here. But what does he mean?

Love, for us, means a lot of things…

continued here

… from the early icon pop song refrains “Love, love, love” (All You Need Is Love, Lennon and McCartney 1967) to a classical view from Plato, “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet”.

We start with romantic love — Valentine’s Day quotes — and in today’s society, quickly home in on sexual attraction. But love is bigger and broader, encompassing filial loyalty like David and Jonathan, the love of particular brands, pursuits or places. The biggest and broadest of all is unconditional, faithful enduring love which is the meaning of the agape word used here.

That’s the kind love we all need like emotional oxygen. Sociologists’ research has found how social breakdown and dysfunction comes from a lack of love. It is a powerful force for all kinds of healing,

Understanding something as abstract as unconditional love needs us to take a step back and find a wider perspective. To describe something we need a picture, and concepts don’t lend themselves to that. we can do better by thinking about what love produces.

Looking down from a hill on a patchwork of fields, we can’t see the fertiliser that has been applied. It might even be ammonia gas injected into the ground, invisible and buried! But it’s easy enough to pick out the effects, the darker green and vibrant growth. Similarly, where some mechanical glitch has caused a deficiency, the lack shows up on the overall picture.

Faithful, unconditional love produces the bonds and mutuality of relationship. If we say that God is relationship, this holds true because the Trinity of God is three distinct Persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit but at the same time the relationship is so close (in a way we can’t fully understand) that they are one Person. Our receiving of the love of God inevitably produces this kind of relationship in those experiencing it and living in it — as John puts it, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them”. He is saying, that is the evidence of new life that has encountered God’s love — we are people that value and grow loving relationships. This is what church is all about. This is what the breaking of bread in communion (koinonia, fellowship) celebrates. We are reminded of God’s unconditional love for us, in the context of how we relate to all the others breaking bread all around us, in it together because we all share Jesus.

And this kind of love is experienced in belonging. A lot of social dysfunction — drugs, alcohol, violence but also hopelessness and depression — comes down to a love deficit in early life, the pain of which spins off into all sorts of attempts to compensate.

What marks the Christian life in the kingdom of God as so indescribably valuable, like the precious pearl that the man in the Jesus’ story had to have, even at the cost of selling all he possessed is not just the assurance of eternal life. It is the assurance of a kind of life now where, whatever the past has attempted to dictate, we know we belong and in belonging, we have a resilient, strong kind of relationship that is so desperately needed in our world of no-fault divorces and constructive dismissals, of strategic redundancy and judgmental discrimination.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. ”  1 John 4:16 NIV

PRAYER

O God, as I turn to You I wonder how much I know, let alone rely on, this kind of love that I am learning You have for me.


Why would I deserve Your love? But I am slowly coming to see that this is the point — no one deserves Your love, but You give it anyway, without condition.

And as we come to know You personally, in the way Jesus made possible for us, we receive a life-giving and restoring force far greater than our popular and self-centred idea of love.


I draw near to You now, and agree that You ARE love. May Your love overwhelm me, change me, grow in me — and spill out from me.

To the glory of Jesus and His kingdom, Amen.

How real insight comes

Image credit: Ian Greig 03314

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7 NIV

Question and answer

Q. Should  we fear Someone who is love, and who is committed to be merciful in His dealings with us?

A. There is the ‘stab of fear’, like when the tiger in the zoo fastens its eyes on you; and there is the slower apprehension of being momentarily speechless in the presence of greatness, like meeting the Queen.
One stirs you to ‘fight or flight’; the other moves you positively, to deep respect and deference – and a willingness to listen.

SUGGESTED PRAYER

Lord, we worship You.

We bow down before Your majestic presence,
yet You would have us address You as ‘Father’.

We put aside our imagined  knowledge and experience,
and seek Your instruction.

We bring our situation of difficulty which has baffled the  leading minds,
knowing You have wisdom and insight far above our own,
and the grace to impart it to those who listen.

Lead us in Your  way, Lord,
and share with us a glimpse from Your  perspective –
raising our faith to pray in agreement with You,
for Your will to be done.
Amen.


A thought about this verse – possibly controversial, but topical

Real insight page (www.believethegoodnews.com)