When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
One possible response to the truth that our anxiety is rooted in unbelief goes like this: “I have to deal with feelings of anxiety almost every day; and so I feel like my faith in God’s grace must be totally inadequate. So I wonder if I can have any assurance of being saved at all.”
My response to this concern is: Suppose you are in a car race and your enemy, who doesn’t want you to finish the race, throws mud on your windshield. The fact that you temporarily lose sight of your goal and start to swerve does not mean that you are going to quit the race.
And it certainly doesn’t mean that you are on the wrong racetrack. Otherwise, your competitor — your adversary — wouldn’t bother you at all. What it means is that you should turn on your windshield wipers.
When anxiety strikes and blurs our vision of God’s glory and the greatness of the future that he plans for us, this does not mean that we are faithless, or that we will not make it to heaven. It means our faith is being attacked.
At first blow, our belief in God’s promises may sputter and swerve. But whether we stay on track and make it to the finish line depends on whether, by grace, we set in motion a process of resistance — whether we fight back against the unbelief of anxiety. Will we turn on the windshield wipers?
Psalm 56:3 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Notice: it does not say, “I never struggle with fear.” Fear strikes, and the battle begins. So the Bible does not assume that true believers will have no anxieties. Instead, the Bible tells us how to fight when they strike. It tells us how to turn on the windshield wipers.