Written by Taylor Price
The pit in your stomach, the shaky hands, the downward spiral of intrusive thoughts: this is a place most of us know all too well. Feeling worried and anxious is often our natural response when life feels overwhelming, or frightening, or unknown. And while Scripture is not a magic pill or bandage to cover up real pain or emotions, its words of hope have the power to change our hearts and soothe our spiraling minds. Some days, we have to choose to preach truth to ourselves to drown out the lies, worries, and fear. Here are a few verses and key takeaways to call to mind when you feel anxious.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.
Truth to cling to: God hears–and listens–when I cry out to Him.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Truth to cling to: No matter what trial I am facing, I am never out of His reach.
O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.
Truth to cling to: I am able to calm my heart when I lean into God’s presence, knowing the problems of the world are not mine to solve.
…from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.
Truth to cling to: God has been, and will be, a stable, sturdy shelter for my struggling heart.
When I thought. ‘ My foot slips.’ your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
Truth to cling to: His love is my steady foundation and His Word is my perfect comfort.
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Truth to cling to: His faithful mercy and love will never be exhausted.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the LORD God is an everlasting rock.
Truth to cling to: When my mind is fixed on God, peace will follow.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Therefore do not be anxious saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Truth to cling to: Anxiousness will not serve me, but my good Father will provide what I need.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Truth to cling to: Even when I don’t know what to pray, God is still working His purpose.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Truth to cling to: Peace begins when I give Him my anxious thoughts and fill my mind with truth.
2 Timothy 1:7
…for God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.
Truth to cling to: God did not create me to live in fear; He enables me to fight my fears with power, love, and self-control.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Truth to cling to: We are called to be people of peace and thankfulness.
Like any good discipline, preaching truth to ourselves in times of feeling anxious or worried takes practice. These passages and principles will be most effective in combating our intrusive thoughts when we learn to use them as weapons, not pacifiers. God’s Word is active and powerful and should be called to mind often. Take it a step further by choosing one or two verses and meditate on them for the next few days. Set them as your phone background or write the first letter of each word somewhere you will see it daily. The more familiar you are with God’s Word, the easier it will be to recall when you need it most.