When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul (Psalm 94:19 NIV).
There is a common practice of awarding consolation prizes for competitors. Usually it is awarded to those whose performances were good, in spite of which they failed to receive a prize. It is given both as a consolation as well as an encouragement for better performance next time. It is a way of telling the losers that people care!
Similarly, God has His own way of telling us that He cares. One such instance is mentioned by the psalmist here. He talks of a time when anxiety was great within him. He also says that God’s consolation during that time brought joy to his soul.
Anxiety can occur acutely when the feeling that there is no one to care or understand dominates your mind. There could be truth in this thought. But mostly this kind of anxiety springs from your own imagination. There are people who care. But your mind deceives you into thinking that there is none. To a certain extent, it is true that others cannot share your burdens to the extent you want them to. It is not possible for any human being to do that for you. And then this anxiety takes away the joy from your soul. Everything you do will be burdened by this sense of joylessness. It is a miserable condition.
But God does not leave us alone when anxiety weighs us down. He brings consolation. But the ways in which He does it cannot be predicted. Usually He does it in ways we thought not possible and through people whom we never expected to be of help. His tokens of love are real and the reality of His consolation brings joy to the soul.