Conntecting the Dots

The Cure for Anxious Thoughts

Several years ago, I discovered the cure for anxious thoughts after a wrong assumption created tension in a relationship I considered precious.

The other person’s unkind accusations broke my heart. I longed for everything to return to normal, but I couldn’t fix it. The situation consumed my thoughts. It was forefront in my mind no matter what I did throughout the day. It followed me to bed at night and kept me awake.

My thoughts raced in a thousand different directions. They even held imaginary conversations with the other person. They searched frantically for a solution but came up empty. I felt like the psalmist may have felt when he wrote the words found in Psalm 94:19—“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, your comfort delights my soul.”


What Does “Anxious” Mean?


In the original language, the word used for “anxious” implies “perplexing” and “various.” It paints the picture of a tree with branches growing here and there and twisting together in places. It suggests thoughts that are distracting, vain, useless, confusing, secretive, and even polluted.

Would you agree that this sounds like a fair representation of the thoughts that race through our minds every day? Certainly, we have thoughts that are good and pure and true, but we all wrestle with the other kinds too. Allowing them to run rampant only breeds more of the same. That’s what the psalmist meant when he said his anxious thoughts multiplied within him.


the cure for anxious thoughts


What Happens When Our Thoughts Run Wild?


The result of thoughts allowed to run wild is – are your ready? —stinkin’ thinkin.’ Rampant thoughts turn toxic. They shape our beliefs, influence our behaviors, and determine our destiny. They steal our joy, turn us into angry or fearful or downcast people, keep us awake at night, cause us to lose our appetite or gorge on comfort food, and ultimately make us sick. That’s why we have to bring them into captivity and align them with God’s truth.


The Cure for Anxious Thoughts


The psalmist recognized the importance of dealing with his various and perplexing thoughts. Rather than allow them to continue distracting him and dividing his mind, he turned to God.

“Your comfort delights my soul,” he wrote. The word “comfort” in this context refers to God’s promises. Psalm 119:50 says, “Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles.” The writer had learned how to lasso his random thoughts and bring them to focus on God’s promises. He replaced the many vain, useless, and confusing thoughts with those he knew to be true and right.

The writer also trained his thoughts to focus on the truth of God’s character. Psalm 119:76 says, “Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant.” He reigned his racing thoughts in to focus on God’s attributes—in this case, His unfailing love.

Camping his thoughts on God’s promises and character brought delight to his soul. That word “delight” means to stroke or to soothe. It’s the same word used in Isaiah 66:11 which refers to a nursing infant. A hungry baby will cry louder and grow more anxious until his mother puts him to her breast. This satisfies the infant and soothes him, often into a peaceful sleep.


How I Applied the Cure for Anxious Thoughts


Referring again to my situation, anxious thoughts multiplied within me until I finally recognized their control. I’d given them free reign and they’d multiplied until bitterness began to grow in my heart

I turned things around by focusing on God’s promises to give me wisdom. I focused on His faithfulness and kindness and I asked Him to develop the same characteristics in me. I meditated on the beauty of the grace—the undeserved favor—He lavishes on me, and I began to pray that He would strengthen me to lavish grace on that other person even though she’d said hurtful things.

God’s comforts delighted my soul. They stopped my anxious thoughts from multiplying further and they calmed me so I could think clearly and choose an appropriate response.

Maybe you can relate. If anxious thoughts about a difficult relationship, a major decision, or an uncertain future are multiplying within you, ask the Holy Spirit to help you bring them into captivity and align them with God’s truth. Fill your mind with His promises and thoughts about His character, and they will soothe your soul.

May I pray for you?

“Heavenly Father, You know the struggles we have with our thoughts. Please help us change the way we think by filling our minds with Your truth. May Your comforts delight our soul as we learn to focus on Your promises and Your character. In Jesus’ name, amen.”


Find comfort for your soul through the truth about God’s deep, deep love for you. Enjoy!


Find comfort, too, in my latest devotional books, available wherever Christian books are sold.

Finding Hope in Crisis; Devotions for Calm in Chaos

Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm

Fresh Hope for Today: Devotions for Joy on the Journey


NOTE: In last week’s post, I included a website link for Dr. Bengtson. Thanks to the reader who pointed out that this link was incorrect. I’m so sorry for that! Here is the correct link:

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