“Please listen and answer me, for I am overwhelmed by my troubles. From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.” ~ Psalm 61:2-3 (NLT), Psalm 55:2 (NLT)
Heart pounding, I gripped the kitchen counter. Anxiety and stress had overtaken and I couldn’t get myself under control. Day and night my mind raced as desperate prayers begged heaven for a loved one. I couldn’t find rest, nor find the balance between praying like crazy and not going crazy.
Prayer needs were overwhelming, life was overwhelming, everything seemed overwhelming. Ack! I needed to get over the whelming!
God was once again attempting to teach me to trust Him more, to believe His power and goodness, and to believe a message of hope He had shared years earlier in a time of prayer for my loved one. I believed, but my unbelief had robbed me of joy and rest.
One evening, while attending a Christian concert, one of the men shared “What overwhelms you, owns you.”
Ouch! That sure put things into perspective. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by anything, or anyone, other than Jesus. I needed to put my perspective back where it belonged, the place where freedom, answers, peace, guidance, wisdom, and eternal love are found. I needed to remember who God is and remember the truths He gives us in His Word.
To break overwhelming thoughts, remember…
God made a way for the Israelites to cross over the Red Sea by parting the waters and destroying their pursuing enemies (Exodus 14:13-30).
God helped the Israelites cross over the flood-stage Jordan River to the promised land (Joshua 3).
God helped His people step over the ruins of the walls of Jericho to be victorious against their enemies (Joshua 6).
God’s power is big enough to help us cross over any concern or problem, He will part the way before us and help us step over and through the ruins to victory against any enemy.
When anxious thoughts multiply and overwhelm, when footing is slipping, God and His word bring comfort…
“When I said, my foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!” ~ Psalm 94:18-19 (AMPC)
When peace can’t be found, Isaiah returns focus…
“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (AMP)
When the way is unknown, God’s Word reminds…
“You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” ~ Psalm 16:11 (NASB)
When burdens are so heavy, Jesus beckons…
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” ~ Matthew 11:28-29 (NASB)
When the sorrow of past sins torment and overwhelm…
“My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. In Christ we are set free by the blood of his death, and so we have forgiveness of sins. How rich is God’s grace.” ~ Psalm 65:3 (NLT), Psalm 38:4 (NIV), Ephesians 1:7 (NCV)
Jesus reminds again where peace is found…
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]” ~ John 16:33 (AMPC)
Even when burdens are heavy, even when life is overwhelming, God’s Truth holds firm.
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’ No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” ~ Romans 8:35-38 (NLT)
Paul blesses with a final reminder…
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:6-7 (AMPC)
In these overwhelming times, turn the focus off the problems and back on our Savior. Be as those who saw Jesus and were overwhelmed with awe.
“When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.” ~ Mark 9:15 (NLT)
Overwhelmed by the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we find confident, undaunted courage, and peace in His loving, overcoming, conquering power.
Relieved, happy sigh…
Heavenly Father, so often life is hard, difficult, messy, and overwhelming. Thank You that nothing is impossible for You. Thank You that nothing can separate us from Your love. Please help me look up to You, to see You, trust You, and give all my worries to You. I want to be only overwhelmed with awe by You and Your great love.