Know My Anxious Thoughts

Psalm 139:23-24
"Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (NIV)

Recently I discovered that the word "anxious" in the phrase "know my anxious thoughts" from Psalm 139:23-24 was missing in other translations like the King James Version, New Living Version and perhaps others. This is a big deal to me because I want God to know my anxieties. I know God knows all my thoughts for earlier in the same Psalm, David declares "you perceive my thoughts from afar" (v.2). However, if David was praying for this and Christ prayed three times for His anxieties to pass in The Garden of Gethsemane then I deem it an important word to keep.

The actual word, Sarappiym, is found only in two places in The Bible - Psalm 94:19 and Psalm 139:23-24 and only in the plural form, therefore meaning not just one troubled thought, but many.

The Psalm 94:19 passage reads - "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (NIV)

Another way to translate this verse is - When I was troubled in my mind about a great many things, your loving kindnesses brought me joy and relief. [Pritchard Paraphrase]

The word fear is used in Scripture as a beneficial keep from danger. A better word or phrase for this fear is reverent respect and/or deep appreciation. The word that we are dealing with here today in the Psalm passages deals with worry or fret. These are issues, problems and concerning thoughts that range from manageable to the point of obsession and loss of control.

Paul, in his letter to the believers in Philippi, gave what seemed to be an impossible charge concerning anxious thoughts, anything to do with unhealthy fear or anxiety.
  • "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)
The first time I ever read this verse, my knee-jerk reaction was - that is impossible; we cannot, not have an anxious thought about anything! However, the more you read the second part to that verse and walk in The Victory Christ has accomplished for us in everything - we do not have to have any anxiety about anything.

This is not a promise you will not have troubled or anxious thoughts, but Christ and His Victory is the answer every time we have them. The burdensome thoughts are like little flames that pop up and can cause havoc by turning into a wildfire in your mind. But if you consult with Jesus, He will snuff those fires out before they have a chance to do any harm. 

The key lies in the time we consult with Christ. We must name our fears, our worries, our anxieties then hand them over to The Lord who has the victory over all of them and like The Great Shepherd and awesome Father that He is - will gladly answer your prayer of "Know My Anxious Thoughts".