I like to think logically and clearly. Unfortunately, mental illness has caused me to spend most of my life chasing thought squirrels in my mind.
One of the things I so love about God’s Word is that it tames the chaos in my brain.
So, whenever my mind starts spinning out of control, I’ve learned that I can apply the Word of God and trust that He will bring peace to the chaos.
Let’s say I said something to someone at church, and then on the way home I started wondering if I said the wrong thing. Here’s a sample of the progression of my thoughts.
– Did so-and-so hear what I said? Did they leave offended?
– I’m such an idiot! I shouldn’t have said that!
– See, this is why I shouldn’t even bother going to church!
– I’m sorry, God. I’m such a failure!
This is what it looks like in my mind.
It’s a tangled mess of negativity. Even if it started out with a possible truth, it ends up in a twisted lie.
The good news is, I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to end there. When I find myself spinning this way in my mind, I know how to stop it.
The first thing I do is fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for help.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
I go to His Word and look up scriptures to help in that particular situation. But sometimes, I read a verse and even though it promises to give me what I need, it requires more from me than I think I can give.
For example, if I thought I said something wrong to someone at church, then I need mercy and grace to cover me.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
My goal is to receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. But in order to get that, I have to approach God’s throne with confidence.
But what if I don’t have any confidence? I blew it. That’s the whole reason I need mercy and grace.
In verse 16, the word, “then,” means that this verse is a result of the verse before it. So I go back one verse to see if it tells me how to have the confidence I need.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.
This tells me that I have a high priest who knows my weaknesses. The high priest was the person that took the needs of the people to God.
So, when I realize that the high priest ushering me to the throne empathizes with me, I understand that I don’t have to be perfect to approach God’s throne.
How do I know that the high priest truly understands my weaknesses? Let’s back up one more verse.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
The high priest is Jesus, who became a man and experienced my weaknesses first-hand. But He didn’t just feel my pain, He overcame it. When He paid the price for my sin, He bought my freedom from the threat of death.
When I feel unworthy to approach God’s throne to ask for grace and mercy, it’s because I don’t feel like I have any right to be there. And that’s because I see the stains of my sin in contrast to the perfect holiness of God.
But to stay away from the throne because I feel unworthy is to deny what Jesus did through His death and resurrection. My sin – my stains and mess of a life – are irrelevant in the throne room of God.
Because I don’t enter the throne room alone. I walk in behind the high priest. So what God sees when He looks toward me is Jesus.
That’s why I can have confidence to approach God’s throne, because I’m covered by the worthiness of Jesus.
Studying His Word has brought me to the point where I know that what I need to do is hold firmly to the thought that Jesus is my high priest. And I can do that.
Then I can follow the progression His Word has provided to get the mercy and grace that I need.
But, His Word doesn’t just bring me peace by logically leading me to an understanding of peace. Logic isn’t where the power is. His Word also supernaturally applies peace to my mind in the process.
II Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
God’s Word is God’s breath. Bringing God’s Word into my mind fills it with His presence, which clears the way for the logic of His truth to start straightening things out.
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
How does God’s Word bring order to the chaos in your world?
Photo credit: geralt