Anxiety is one of the most challenging conditions to deal with, even as Christians. The longer you struggle with fear, the more likely it is to be overwhelmed by it, allowing it to control your every decision and move. Choosing not to deal with it can leave you with scars. Even still, we have a promise that “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability” (1 Corinthians 10:13), and this includes the sinful unbelief of an anxious heart. One of the best ways to rid yourself of the fear plaguing you is to turn to Scripture. Here are eight Bible verses to read when anxiety strikes.
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.”
In the previous verse (verse 17), John tells us how to be confident or bold on the Day of Judgment. And in verse 18, he tells us how to cast fear out of our lives. These are naturally positive and negative ways of saying the same thing: getting rid of fear is a negative way of becoming confident. John wants to help us enjoy confidence before God. He does not want us to be paralyzed or depressed by fear of judgment.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”
What this Psalm tells us is that even in rough or desperate situations, we can be filled with the joy of the Lord. He is our consolation, and His Word eases anxiety as nothing else can. God can bring joy to your soul even when you’re most anxious by simply knowing that He’s present and trusting in His power.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food and the body more than clothes. 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! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Life is more than food and clothing. God has reminded us of that throughout the Scriptures. Jesus reminded us of it when He faced temptation from Satan. So we shouldn’t worry because God will take care of the big stuff and the little stuff. Worrying doesn’t change things, big or small, except to make those problems appear worse than they are. So why let ourselves get so worked up into a frenzy over “big things”? Cast your cares on God and then trust in His wisdom.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”Like many psalms, King David wrote this from a season of trouble. Yet, it is a song of confidence and triumph because David was not in darkness or ultimate peril. After all, the Lord was his light and salvation. God Himself brought light to David’s life. He did not despair in darkness and all that it represented. His life was filled with the Lord, and his life was filled with the light.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two and minister life, healing, and comfort. Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants some special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” On the reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
By definition, a refuge is a safe place. When the Bible describes God as our refuge, it says that God is our safe place when we need protection from something. Knowing God is our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether physically or spiritually. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be, always, is right with Him.
“Then He placed His right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”
Jesus said first, “Do not be afraid” This is what we need to hear in these days when many of us are so anxious. Remember, fear doesn’t glorify God. Jesus was always saying “fear not” to his frightened disciples. The Gospels record that they expressed themselves in manifestations of fear, anxiety, worry, and panic every time they were in trouble, but the Lord always came along at the right moment and said, “Fear not.” We are called to do the same.
One of the best ways we can combat anxiety is by trusting God. Read the Bible, and repeatedly immerse yourself in it. The more you read, the better you will understand His Word and the truth found in it. While anxiety may continue to show up for you, when you acknowledge and truly believe God is in control, fear and anxiety will no longer paralyze you.