Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” This should be the way to a peaceful and tranquil heart, but the fact is, we can sometimes lose sight of what’s essential, and our feelings will betray some of our fears. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” Often when we lay in bed at night, anxiety creeps up on us. It is when we are most tired that we are most susceptible to worry. This happens when worry and doubt take up a place somewhere in our minds, and these feelings won’t stop nagging us about the possible negative outcome that rolls around in our minds.
Try as we might to forget it, sometimes we cannot control it. Our inner demons of self-doubt work on this level. Doubt whispers in our ears to keep us focused on the possibility of disaster that awaits if things go as bad as they could. This is the “anxiety in the heart.” It colors every other thought and action until we can get rid of it by solving the problem or trusting God with the outcome. Sometimes, we cannot control the outcome. As much as we want to control everything, some things are just out of our control. That’s when we must trust that God will get us through.
Think about being in the closet. Much of the time we are in the closet, the anxiety is tied to feelings of self-doubt, insecurity, and even shame because of who we are. All of us in the LGBTQ+ community have a period when we are trying to understand our sexuality. It is during this time when a “kind word” is the thing that can cheer up our hearts. “I accept you” or “It’ll be ok” is an excellent place for someone to start. The kindest words to cheer up an anxious person can be found in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
When I was trying to come to terms with my sexuality, I prayed a lot. I meditated, and I asked God for a sign. I did not get one immediately. Even when I came out, I still had doubts about my sexuality and my relationship with God. However, I studied the Bible, and I studied the passages that so many Christians claim are about homosexuality. I examined the words that modern translations of the Bible translate to homosexuality. I found that what we understand today about sexuality was foreign to the writers of the Bible.
The Word of God became my source of peace. The passages used to condemn LGBTQ+ sexualities gave me the most comfort because I fervently believe that God led me to study those passages. It was His sign to me that He loved me and that true love can never be wrong. I learned that prayer is the best way to deal with a problem. If you are anxious, consider this a kind word to you. If you know someone who is anxious, who is struggling to come out, be a source of encouragement to them, and you will be doing good in the name of Jesus.