Facing the Future with Power, Love, and Soundness of Mind
by THE SET APART TEAM
Fear and anxiety can be crippling.
Whether it’s the current events of our hurting world, personal trials we may be walking through, or simply the unknown road ahead — there are so many things that pull at our human tendency to be anxious and fearful about the future. But God Almighty tells us, His beloved children, that we are not to worry about tomorrow. (See Matthew 6:34.) He tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that He has not given us a spirit of fear — but one of power, love, and a sound mind. We have been given a way by our glorious Deliverer to resist the crippling bondage of fear and the fog of anxiety, and instead, lay hold of peace that surpasses all our own understanding — entrusting every unknown ahead to the One who knows and cares.
So how do we walk in His Spirit?
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word and believe what He has said, He gives us the power to overcome by His Holy Spirit — supplying us with His power, love, and truth-filled thoughts.
In this article, our team at Set Apart Magazine shares glimpses into our own moments on the battleground of fear and anxiety for the future, and how God’s victory and ministering grace arrived in those moments of great need.
May these testimonies press you closer to the One who is your strength, hope, and safe harbor, no matter what storms may come. And remember, He holds you today, and He holds all your tomorrows — in His mighty, faithful, loving hands.
From Storm to Stillness
by Mandy Saeler
It felt like the heaviness of summertime humidity in my lungs … the anticipatory scent of rain riding on the air … the sight of maple leaves fluttering in a nervous dance … all the signs and senses of an impending storm.
I knew that something was coming … but I couldn’t clearly see what it was. The suspense I felt in my heart was like the foreboding dark clouds that roll in just before a storm. And that sense of approaching change in my life, met with many unanswered questions, tempted my emotions to flail helplessly like the maple leaves in the wind … What did it all mean?
I retreated to the quiet shade of the front porch, the cool flagstone beneath my feet. Turning my heart to the Lord, I confessed that I’d never experienced an internal storm like this. I’d been reeling for days and didn’t know what to do. Desiring to be led, I came before Him with a searching heart that morning. What is this that I am feeling? How do I handle the weight of it? How do I break through to clarity?
It was then that the Holy Spirit brought a passage of Scripture to my remembrance. “Do not be anxious about anything…” It became clear to my heart: Anxiety … that’s what this is.
Rustling the pages of my Bible to locate those familiar words, the Word of God gave clear instruction:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:4–7).
As I began pondering those words and acting upon them, the heavy and humid climate of my heart slowly began to dissipate.
I remembered Whose I was and what that meant as I drew near to my Father. Submersing my heart in His Word, I let it wash over me and define my response to the storm my heart was facing. I rejoiced in my salvation; I rejoiced in His nearness; I rejoiced in the things which are eternal. And I presented Him with my cup of overwhelming concerns, pouring them out to the last drop at His feet with thanksgiving.
Although my anxiety-inducing circumstances hadn’t changed, as I embraced the Word of God, the atmosphere of my heart began to change in those quiet moments. In the coming weeks and months, Philippians 4 was imprinted on my heart as I returned to it often to wrestle away the hovering clouds of uncertainty and anxious reeling.
My front porch lesson on combating anxiety through practically obeying God’s Word, line by line, was life changing. Little did I know how those simple moments of sunlight on my spiritual path would equip me for anxieties that would yet come. But what treasure I found! And what treasure there is for you to find too, friend! Though we are weak, He is strong — and in Him, we become more than conquerors!
Braced for Winds of Change
by Sarah Guthrie
I sank to the carpet in a heap, my Bible sinking with me as I instinctively flopped it open to the well-worn path of the Psalms. My heart was racing; my thoughts a flailing jumble of what-ifs. Figuratively speaking, the precious contents of my life had been ripped open and my hurting heart lay strewn over the apartment floor similar to an unboxed suitcase after vacation. But this wasn’t vacation, it felt more like a nightmare. So many changes were about to unfold and in that moment, the fear that most tormented me was the very practical question: What if God was asking me to move? Waves of anxiety washed over me until I felt out of control. I didn’t know what direction to go. And I didn’t know how to put my life back together, or if that was even possible … but I knew where I had to begin.
“Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Ps. 46:2–3 ESV, emphasis added).
The world I projected had given way. Things I thought were givens had been taken. In that moment, Jesus knew I needed familiar, something that was still the same as I inwardly groaned at the thought of more change in the form of a decision; a decision that would alter life’s landscape and include a new house, a new job, and what I feared most … a new season. In love, the Lord who changes not (see Malachi 3:6) allowed the removal of things that could be shaken all so that, “the things which cannot be shaken will remain” (Heb. 12:27 KJV). As I looked out on the horizon of my life, He was what remained.
I wanted sameness and so Jesus gave me Himself. He was in my midst, His unseen hand directing my attention back to Himself without my realizing it, and He did so with this familiar passage.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
I read and reread the Psalm as He washed it in new light of His eternal truth. He didn’t just hold the whole world in His hands, He held my world too. The cosmos that comprised my heart was intricately known to the Creator of the universe. And even if my whole world was falling apart, even if the things I thought were permanent fixtures were thrown into a sea swirling with confusion and chaos … I did not have to fear.
He was very present in my time of trouble, easily findable, and not lost to me in the situation. Though the winds of change were rattling my branches, the truth strong enough to hold onto was not found in the twigs that were being removed, but in the permanent roots that were being strengthened — His everlasting truth, His constant presence, His unfailing love.
My heart stilled beneath His Word as tenacious faith surfaced, believing that He would be exalted in this situation. I rested in the knowledge that the One who created seasons was also in charge of my own, directing them from winter to spring in His good time. What was required of me was to be still and know that He was God — not a head knowledge, but a deep-seated heart-knowing. Maybe what was falling apart was really falling together in the redeemed symmetry of His perfect grace and my imperfect plans.
I clung to truth, cried out to God, and found His promise to be true — for He delivered me from all my fears, giving me the courage to rise off the floor and step into a new season, trusting Him with the implications and outflows of such a yes.
That yes led to a providential year of healing and hope in the cutest little house on Elm Street. Since then I have moved … again. And in just a week, I will be welcoming a new housemate into my home. More change, always change. But I can smile at the unfolding future as I am braced by His truth and embraced by His goodness.
Strength to Face Whatever Comes
by Annie Wesche
I’m so weary, Lord. You have to heal her. This can’t be our life. The constant fear is too much. Fear of her falling. Fear of another seizure. Fear of losing her. My body and nerves are exhausted, God. Shouldering all these constant worries is too great to bear. Please, please heal her!
My prayer to the One who hears was inaudible as I lay in anguish before the Lord. I wept heavily as the buildup of exhaustion and fear breached the wall of strength I had tried for so long to uphold. My dear mum’s six-month cancer battle had taken our family down a road marked with seizures, brain surgery, a stroke, and tremendous suffering — suffering I would have given anything to take away from the woman I loved more deeply than any other on this earth.
As one of her primary caregivers, my ear was always listening for any call for help coming from the master bedroom at the end of the hall. The days and nights were long with all my senses constantly on high alert, anticipating what would or could happen next.
After I unburdened my tears before the Lord, I faced the reality of our circumstances head-on and fixed my heart’s gaze upon God in whose hands we were all held, clinging to what I knew to be true. You can fully be trusted with everything, including those most precious to us. You are Almighty God and entirely good, even in suffering and sickness. You are loving and faithful in all You do. Your purposes go far beyond what we are limited to see. We belong to You and this story is Yours, for Your glory.
I let out a deep, heavy sigh and then spoke aloud, piercing the silence, “God, whatever You must take us through, whatever comes next, I trust You. Have Your way.”
The moment I spoke those words of surrender, a heaven-sent calm fell upon my weary body and a deep comfort flooded in, driving out the fear and bracing me with a renewed strength of soul.
And in the very next moment after that, an urgent cry came for me to come quickly to the bedroom. As I leapt up and hurried down the hall, as if to preach to my soul once more, I whispered, “Lord, this is where it matters — my faith in all that You are for us. Whatever comes, I trust You.”
I entered the room to find that Mum had suffered a seizure, and one far worse than any before. Dad and I quickly prayed and called 911. And as we waited for them to arrive, I held her in my arms on the floor and gently whispered into her ear of God’s nearness to her, the greatness of His love, my own love and gratitude for her, and many of the verses we’d committed to memory together from His most precious Word.
The hardest moments of my life unfolded in the moments and days that followed, along with the deep agony of a final earthly goodbye to my best friend, godly mentor, and mother. But it was undeniably clear that God had lovingly been preparing me for this valley. He’d tenderly led my heart to unburden my anxiety before Him, cast off all my fears as I looked upon His unfailing character, and freshly choose surrender to Him in that divinely appointed moment. He had called me to fully trust Him, and my obedience readied and steadied me for what was to come next. Though the valley He was leading our family through was immensely difficult, it was also richly beautiful. Fear and anxiety no longer clouded my view from beholding the precious moments God was unfolding, for “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Ps. 116:15). Mum had lived the life He had called her to live, she had lived for Him well, and now He desired her to be with Him. Jesus was calling her home. And He was calling me to fully trust Him. And to trust Him still, for whatever comes.
Take to the Depths, Dear Heart
Whatever your own circumstances or fears may be, God’s Word and presence are gloriously sufficient to calm your heart and steady your soul with His strength and peace. Step away from the storms of life into a quiet place alone, open your Bible, and lead your heavy heart and anxious thoughts into the powerful Word. Believe what God has said and with any rising wave of anxiety, speak these precious truths again and again. You will find that the grip of fear and anxiety will lose its power in light of the mighty Word of God!
- Joshua 1:9
- Isaiah 12:2
- Isaiah 26:3
- Isaiah 41:10
- Isaiah 43:1
- Psalm 23:4
- Psalm 27:1
- Psalm 27:13–14
- Psalm 32:7–8
- Psalm 34:4
- Psalm 34:7
- Psalm 46:1
- Psalm 55:22
- Psalm 56:3
- Psalm 94:19
- Psalm 112:7
- Proverbs 3:5–6
- Proverbs 29:25
- Jeremiah 33:3
- Zephaniah 3:17
- Luke 12:32
- John 14:27
- Romans 8:15
- Philippians 4:6–7
- 1 Thessalonians 5:24
- 2 Timothy 1:7
- Hebrews 13:8