My emotional state of late has been controlling me, overwhelming my faith in God, my trust that whatever happens, He is in control and at work. Philippians 4:6 and John MacArthur’s notes on it gave me some direction the other day: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” The notes say, “Fret and worry indicate a lack of trust in God’s wisdom, sovereignty, or power. Delighting in the Lord and meditating on his word are a great antidote to anxiety.” I have some truly amazing brothers and sisters who pray for me when I ask and even when I don’t but lately these things, including my own prayers, haven’t been enough. My soul was more at peace earlier in this, more hopeful and trusting in God. I haven’t been in the Word as much as prayer, though, and the Spirit is pushing that. So to settle myself I’ve been reading more and it has been the balm I needed. And today I came across the passage in the picture there- For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7. Reading the accompanying MacArthur notes again helped me. “Refers to a self-controlled and properly prioritized mind. This is the opposite of fear and cowardice that causes disorder and confusion. Focusing on the sovereign nature and perfect purposes of our eternal God allows believers to control their lives with godly wisdom and confidence in every situation.”

I cannot neglect time in His Word- He is making me dependent on prayer, which is effective and so very necessary for all of us who believe. But this petition and communion is not all we are meant for, either. I think my prayer life was what He needed to build in me after stripping out the greater part of that sinfulness I’d been living with. Now that is more firmly established, He returns to my study of the Word with more depth and passion than I ever had before, absorbing all of it into my heart now, as well as my head.

Are you devoting enough of yourself to prayer and the Bible? If you are in a dark season like I am, take them up and be comforted and fight to work out your salvation and know the heart of your God. If you aren’t in so dark a place- you can get prepared for when one comes.