The Bible tells us, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace” (Colossians 3:15). Yet, this can be difficult when we are filled with worry and anxiety. This peace doesn’t focus on the absence of trouble. It is unrelated to our circumstances; it is a goodness of life that is not touched by what happens on the outside. You may be in the midst of great trials and still have biblical peace. Finding peace isn’t easy. It only takes a simple glance at the world news or a mounting to-do list for uncertainty and restlessness to rise up and overwhelm our hearts with anxiety. Any look at the success and joys of those around you can lure your soul into a never-ending longing for the possessions, personality traits and positions in life that we don’t have. A quick encounter or exchange with a difficult person can quickly stress you out and leave you feeling unbalanced. It almost feels like we have to fight for our own peace daily. It is crucial now more than ever that we try to remove anxiety from our hearts and focus on peace. Here are four things Jesus tells us about worry and anxiety.
Jesus can dissipate all stress and anxiety.
Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27). When life gets hard and our hearts are filled with anxiety, we sometimes forget that Jesus is right there, listening to us and addressing our needs. Our circumstances can cause us to drift away from God and not trust that His plan is right for us. But God knows and understands the hopes and fears we keep in our hearts. In fact, He’s the best listener. Even when we don’t shout or cry out loud, He hears even our silent prayers. It’s important that we trust Him, especially during our darkest hours. Jesus knows exactly where you are and has a good plan for your life. Too often, people try to take control of their own lives, through their own will because of their desire to make things happen according to their plan. But as believers, we know that God makes everything according to His plan. Many people who have experienced and depression are in a space where fear has become their focus. When we accept Jesus’ plan, all fear, anxiety and stress can dissipate.
God can restore us.
The Bible says “Cast all your anxiety on Him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). This verse is more than a notion. There is power in prayer to help us beat anxiety and depression. Jesus is the Great Physician. There’s no wonder that there are so many accounts of Jesus healing people during His earthly ministry. The Bible tells us that Jesus was sent to heal the broken-hearted (Luke 4:18), that He will restore our health and heal our wounds (Jeremiah 30:17). Jesus not only carries all of your pain, but also has the power to heal you when you turn your anxiety over to Him. Even in times of difficulty and uncertainty, God wants us to know that He is present and able to make us whole again. The beautiful part is that when God heals and restores, our lives are transformed. Trust in His power.
Prayer can change our hearts.
The Bible tells us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). When we’re feeling anxious, one of the best things we can do is turn to God in prayer. The ability for prayer to relieve our anxiety and depression only happens when our relationship with God is secure. When we believe Jesus is loving, and we trust Him to handle our needs, we move away from stress and worry and enter a place of healing. There is power in prayer to change not only the situation that is being prayed about or for, but also to change the one that is praying. When we are in the presence of Jesus, we are laying our lives before Him in complete submission and dependence. The Bible says “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). When we pray in the presence of God, we are seeking peace. From Scripture we are told that there is nothing for us to be anxious about when we seek Him in prayer and turn things over to Him. We know that Jesus is separated from our hearts when we lack peace, and God is present in our hearts when peace is present.
He is the Prince of Peace.
In the New Testament, peace refers to rest and tranquility. A key focus on peace in the New Testament is the advent of Jesus Christ, as announced by the angels in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth among those with whom he is pleased!” Isaiah had also predicted that Jesus Christ would be the Prince of Peace, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Jeremiah 6:14). It is through Christ that we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1) and that peace will keep our hearts and minds secure (Philippians 4:7). Since Jesus is the Prince of Peace, we know that when we turn to Him, there is nothing we need to fear.
Struggling with worry anxiety is never easy. One assurance that we have is that Jesus is right there with us as our peace and can remove any trouble from our hearts. Jesus listens, knows and understands what you’re going through and wants nothing more than for you to be anxiety free. When life gets hard, trust that Jesus is on your side and that He has a plan bigger for you than you have for yourself. He will never leave or forsake you.