Article

It’s Okay to Freak Out

Louie Giglio
11.10.00
5 min read

Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe it was while you were waiting for your morning coffee to brew. Maybe it was as you were trying to work while the kids wouldn’t stop screaming. Maybe it was at the end of the night as you fought to fall asleep. Maybe you’ve had a moment like this where, all of a sudden, you realized you were more scared than you’d told anyone, more anxious about what could come next than you’d realized, or closer to panicking than you had ever been before. And maybe in that moment, you felt the pang of shame, as if someone was whispering in your ear, “How can you be so uncertain? Don’t you trust God?”

 

Have you been there? 

 

Here’s the truth, we all have. 

 

Even the heroes of our faith, the men and women who walked with God for decades, have come to the same place you may have found yourself in.

 

Hear my cry, O God;

    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,

    I call as my heart grows faint;

    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For you have been my refuge,

    a strong tower against the foe.

Psalm 61:1-3

 

Even David knew what it felt like to experience moments of desperation. If the man who conquered Goliath (with the help of God) as a small child found his heart growing faint at times, maybe we can say to ourselves: 

 

It’s okay to freak out. 

 

Still, feeling like you shouldn’t? Feeling like maybe this email should have been titled, “Overcoming The Sense of Being Overwhelmed By The Storms Of Life To Walk Triumphant In All Things Through Christ By The Indwelling Power of the Spirit of the Living God?” 

 

Well, here’s the good news: those two titles are saying the same thing, just in a different way. 

 

Look at the Psalm again. Notice how it doesn’t end with David’s heart growing faint. It’s his response mid-freakout that teaches us three things about walking with God through trying times:

 

  • It’s okay to freak out as long as you visit and don’t move in.

 

Too often, we imagine freaking out as a house we call home. Sure, maybe now and then we step away, but our default position is anxiety and panic. We begin to confuse concern with worry. 

 

Concern results in asking God to help us deal with real dilemmas right in front of us. Worry is forecasting dilemmas that don’t yet exist, and spending our mental and emotional energy trying to mitigate problems that don’t yet exist.

 

  • It’s okay to freak out as long as you make it a step up and not a step down.

 

Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up on who He is. 

 

I call as my heart grows faint;

    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For you have been my refuge,

    a strong tower against the foe.

Psalm 61:2-3

 

God is the rock who is Higher than you, and He is calling you up. When the freak out comes, we have to remember that we’re not looking for a place, we’re looking for a person. God is our refuge—not our job, our coffee, or even our social interaction. God is and has always been our refuge, a strong tower against the foe. 

 

We have two choices amidst the storm, will we step or will we sink? 

 

It’s like when Peter was walking on water, and then all of a sudden, the wind and the waves took his eyes off of Jesus. That’s the same moment we were talking about earlier, the moment of freak out. Peter’s choice, and our choice, to be paralyzed and sink under the weight of our circumstances, or to walk towards Jesus and cry out to God to lead us up.

 

The freak out can be a gift from God if it leads us to follow Jesus and take a step up.

 

  • It’s Okay to freak out as long as you let it remind you that Christ Is able.

 

God isn’t looking for you to be a superhero. He isn’t sitting back and waiting for you to put all of the pieces together on your own. So many of us walk through life worried that if we show God any weakness, then He’ll slap us on the wrist out of disappointment, but that isn’t the character of our God.

 

As a father has compassion on his children,

    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Psalm 103:13

 

Our God is ready for our freak out because He is more than able to take us by the hand, and in compassion lead us through it. He isn’t afraid, and the moment isn’t a surprise. He formed us, and He knows us. He knows us so well that He believes in us despite our disposition to panic:

 

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

2 Corinthians 4:6-9

 

So what does God say to us when the freak out comes? What does He say when we’re pressed on every side and we feel as if we are at the very end of our rope? 

 

He doesn’t say, “Just hold on tighter.” 

 

He says, “Just let Go.” 

 

You have never been alone. Your Father in heaven has been holding you all along. So let go, fall into grace. He is able. 

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 

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Louie Giglio teaching God's word
written by

Louie Giglio

Louie Giglio is Pastor of Passion City Church and the Founder of the Passion movement, which exists to call a generation to leverage their lives for the fame of Jesus. Louie is also the author of national-bestseller Goliath Must Fall, Not Forsaken, The Comeback, The Air I Breathe, I Am Not But I Know I Am, Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God & Science, and How Great Is Our God: 100 Indescribable Devotions About God & Science.

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