The Bible says not to be anxious, but if you’ve ever dealt with chronic anxiety or have had a bad anxiety attack, you may know that grounding, breathing exercises, and even sentiments like “don’t be anxious” won’t really do much good.
Thankfully, we have a God who understands our anxiety. After all, in one of his most anxious moments in the Garden of Gethsemane, he literally sweat blood—something that can only happen when someone experiences acute stress (Matthew 26).
1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Even in the midst of our most acute anxiety symptoms, we know that perfect love drives out fear. Our fears and worries won’t last forever. And God sits with us in the hurt and in the times of discomfort. Lean into him. Trust him. Know he has walked in your very shoes.
Psalm 94:19: “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
God brings us comfort. We call him the Great Comforter for this reason (and also the Great Physician, for that matter). Although we can’t diagnose disorders in the Bible, we can guess that David had experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression. At least, the Psalms seem to indicate this. Nevertheless, God ushers in comfort for David’s weary soul.
Proverbs 12:25: “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.”
We often want to help a brother or sister out when we see them experiencing anxiety. Telling them, “Well, the Bible says not to be anxious,” isn’t exactly kind. But if we do share kind words with them, it can help to clear away many of the anxiety symptoms.
Isaiah 40:31: “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
You’ve probably heard this verse. God renews our strength. Anxiety and worry sap us of all energy. But when we turn to God, he carries our burdens and makes our load light.
Luke 12:22: “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”
Jesus doesn’t disregard our fears and worries here. After all, he experienced stress in the Garden of Gethsemane. But he also extols us to trust in the Lord. When the bills accrue and tempers run high in the household, we may get stressed. Will we be able to afford groceries this week? Can we pay the electric bill for the month? But God asks us to trust that he has a plan.
Psalm 34:4: “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”
Hallelujah, Jesus delivers us from our fears. We don’t have to incubate in the worry and stress forever. We have a Deliverer.
Jeremiah 17:7: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.”
Though the earth may give way, we continue to trust in the Lord. Even if our feelings and emotions don’t agree with what we know to be true, we continue to trust God.
Luke 12:24: “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!”
God knows even the number of hairs on our head. Think about that for a moment. The God of the Universe knows more about you than you do. Of course he cares for you!
Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
God offers us what our anxious minds cannot: rest. When our frazzled nerves give way to exhaustion, we can turn to Christ, and he will renew our spirit.
Psalm 23:4: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
When terrors haunt me at night, I love to turn to this Bible verse. God follows us into the darkest moments of our lives. He will not abandon us to Sheol.
Colossians 3:15: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Gratitude works wonders on the anxious heart. Many Christians have suggested taking up a gratitude journal. Each day write down something that happened that you are grateful for. Some days it may be, “I’m alive and get to experience another day.” Gratitude has a way of ebbing many of the effects of anxiety.
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
God wants us to place our burdens on him. He doesn’t want us to sit, crumbled up, clutching our worries close to our chests. He offers his yoke, a way to share our burden with him.
Hebrews 13:6: “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Other people can often play a huge role in our anxiety. But at the end of the day, man cannot affect the state of our souls. If we belong to the Lord, what can man do to us in eternal terms?
Psalm 56:3: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
There’s something very wise in the saying, “Give it to God and go to bed.” Although easier said than done, God beseeches us to cast our burdens on him. Whenever we experience fear, worry, or anxiety, we should remember the words of David and place our trust in the One who sustains us.
Matthew 6:34: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Let tomorrow worry about itself and take things one day at a time. It’s very easy to grow anxious or uneasy when we think about all the tasks we have to complete in a week, a month, in years. But remember God’s timing and focus on the day at hand. As many Christians like to say, “Be present.”
Psalm 34:7: “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.”
God has given us spiritual protection. Continue to trust in him, even when the devil launches his fiery arrows.
In addition to the Bible verses above, we’d love to provide a prayer for when you feel acute anxiety or worry.
Dear Heavenly Father, I find myself paralyzed by fear and worry. Even though I know the Bible says not to be anxious, I find those words easier said than done. Nevertheless, I remember that you lift us up and help us to carry our burdens. God, I accept your yoke that is easy and ask that you uplift my soul from its anxious state. Remind me of your goodness, of your promises, and of all the ways you have come through for me in the past. Amen.
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Hope Bolinger is an editor at Salem, literary agent at C.Y.L.E., and a graduate of Taylor University's professional writing program. More than 1,000 of her works have been featured in various publications ranging from Writer's Digest to Keys for Kids. She has worked for various publishing companies, magazines, newspapers, and literary agencies and has edited the work of authors such as Jerry B. Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams. Her modern-day Daniel trilogy released its first two installments with IlluminateYA, and the final one, Vision, releases in August of 2021. She is also the co-author of the Dear Hero duology, which was published by INtense Publications. And her inspirational adult romance Picture Imperfect releases in October of 2021. Find out more about her at her website.