How are you doing today? Are you feeling stressed? If you are, then you are in good company: we are all there.

As believers, the question is not whether or not we are stressed. It is not wrong to be stressed: even the Apostle Paul was stressed! We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:8–10)

The question is: what are you doing with it? In our first live-streamed sermon following the stay-at-home orders, I preached a message on Philippians 4 and how to deal with stress and anxiety. You can watch it here. That following week Jordan Grant (you know Jordan: he plays guitar and sings on the worship team) gave a great testimony about how the application of the Word of God brought him from stress and anxiety to peace.

I asked him to write a blog post about it. He did. And here it is for you. Find encouragement in what God is doing in the lives of others, and follow them as they follow Christ.

Here’s Jordan

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
        my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
        -Psalm 13:5-6

Last week was rough.  Between schools closing, attempting to work from home, and the ever growing uncertainty of what the 24-hour news cycle would bring I was feeling a stress and anxiety that was unprecedented in me.  Then add in the fact that midway through the week I learned that someone in my office tested positive for COVID-19 (which rightfully earned me a spot on the bench for the worship service livestream and a special church-wide notification email), my thoughts began to fixate on the uncertainty of my health, my risk of exposure, how much of that risk I’d passed on to others, how bad this was going to get and how much it was going to disrupt our lives.  My mind was filling with fear and worry until it spilled over into my heart and the rest of my body.

My body felt tired.  Even when I would sleep, I wasn’t sleeping well.  I remember telling my wife that my chest felt constantly tight, like there was a physical anxiousness that I was just carrying around with me.  I was regularly pausing to take deep, slow breaths to attempt to get my heart rate to decrease so I could feel relaxed for a few moments.  The problem was that for a few days I became so focused on gaining physical relaxation that I neglected to seek true, biblical peace and rest.  I stopped seeking God first in the morning, I forgot to pray, and I became consumed by my situation instead of God’s sovereignty.

So what happened?  Well, God had given Pastor Brandon some words for me from Philippians 4:4-7:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The two things that the Holy Spirit had been reverberating around in my head from this scripture were “rejoice” and “pray”.  So first I went to my Heavenly Father in prayer – praising Him for His sovereignty, thanking Him for all the blessings that he continues to lavish upon me, and asking for the Holy Spirit to help me to remember, “Don’t worry—pray!”  Then I made a playlist of every song I could think of off the top of my head that would encourage and remind me not to fear, but to trust in the Lord.  This has been the soundtrack to my last week, and choosing to worship and sing to the Lord in the midst of uncertainty has been an incredible blessing to me.  I’ve included these songs with this blog so that if you are in need of encouragement and reminders of God’s promises to overcome your fear and anxiety that they can be a blessing to you as well.

How effective has this been for me?  I can say with honesty and joy that God’s promises are true and He has blessed me with that supernatural peace that Philippians 4:7 speaks of.  My body has relaxed – that physical stress has subsided.  I have been sleeping better.  I don’t feel constantly overcome by anxious thoughts.  Sure – I still have my moments of worry: my job is more uncertain today than it was last week, the daily news updates don’t seem to offer any more certainty to what the future will hold, and I still think about how this could affect my family and friends and forever change the world we live in.  “But I have trusted in your steadfast love…(Psalm 13:5)”  I wanted to lead with these verses from Psalm 13 because they have spoken to me so powerfully since I read them during devotions last week.  David begins this Psalm by crying out to God, asking tough questions like “Will you forget me forever?” and “How long will you hide your face from me?”  But he concludes with that awesome statement of faith: 

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord,
 because he has dealt bountifully with me.”
-Psalm 13:5-6

Trust in the Lord’s perfect, steadfast love.  Dwell in the truth of His faithful promises and not the uncertainty of your current situation.  Rejoice and pray!  Sing!—actually physically sing.  Don’t just listen to good songs or “consume” worship, give your worship to the Lord and sing!  He alone deserves our worship and, “he has dealt bountifully with me”.  I hope this encourages you as much as it has encouraged me.

You are loved, 


Click here for Jordan’s peace playlist.