Anxiety is a struggle that can be experienced in a variety of forms. While some situations will require professional help and treatment, I believe the following words will still help in providing some relief. Although I’m not a doctor, I am an anxiety survivor.
It is notable to say anxiety is by no means a new reality. Even Jesus talked about is as being a part of the human experience, as we will see in one of the Scripture passages below. St. Paul also covers it in one of his letters. This shows us that worrying and stressing about our lives is a common issue that has always been a struggle. However, the words of Jesus and St. Paul also show us as long as we have had anxiety, we have also had help in overcoming it.
Here are three Scriptural passages that have helped me in battling anxiety. I hope they are just as powerful and helpful for you!
Use it as a weapon of sanctification.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Mt. 11:28-30)
For those who have experienced it, it is easy to see the burden of anxiety and worry is tremendous. Many people go through terrible affliction laboring against their own thoughts. In this passage, Jesus is speaking to those who are caught in this battle. If your mind is constantly gripping you in worry, overthinking, or thoughts of the unknown, use it as an invitation to go to Jesus.
Give all of it to Him with a simple prayer like, “Jesus, You said You would take this so it’s yours.” We can’t always expect something to happen right away. We don’t go to the gym and expect to walk away in perfect shape after one visit. We need to repeat the act of surrender to Jesus, not to treat Him like a magic wand, but by showing Him that we trust in His power enough to know He is real even if the results aren’t instant. Show Him He doesn’t need to prove Himself to us for Him to have worth in our lives, keep petitioning Him, and then eventually, He will come through.
Live in the ever-present moment.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat , or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? (Mt 6:25-26)
Many specialists and intelligent thinkers today have caught onto the practice of grounding yourself. Look around and pay attention to what is going on right in front of you in the moment.
Essentially, Jesus is telling us to do this. Don’t worry about the future, what you WILL wear, or WILL eat. Don’t worry about what WILL happen. Surrender the future to God. Tell Him, “God I don’t know what will happen, but You do. You already see how all my problems are solved. You see the peace that is waiting for me on the other side. Help me, Lord, to have that peace without yet knowing how the problem will be solved.”
Jesus offers a tip on how to stop worrying about future events: look at the birds, look at all of nature in this moment. Find a quiet place in nature, even if it has to be on YouTube, and look at how everything lives and survives. In doing so, think about your own body. What it has done, and what it is supposed to do. We don’t control our hearts beating, our blood streaming throughout our bodies, and my eyes are really bad without glasses or contacts, but we still have vision without having to open our eyes. So much more can be thought of.
Maybe everything can go wrong one day, but live in the moment you are in and focus on the things going right. Do your best to overlook the negative and focus on what is going well. Stop thinking that just because something bad can happen, then it will. And if it does, we need to trust that God will be there for us. We have a bright future, even after death.
Speaking more to this, I was on a run one time and I was thinking about my future. At that moment, I had a vision of a huge canyon and God told me that this was my future before me. I first saw it from the ground inside the canyon and then my view of it raised up so that I could see the view from above. It was big! God showed me my future will always be this vast, even when I am facing death there is always a huge canyon of life before me. Essentially, with Jesus, we always have something to look forward to. Even when we are suffering.
I owe this knowledge to this next bit of Scriptural advice.
If we pray, Jesus delivers.
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
If you follow this advice from St. Paul, you are putting a death certificate on your anxiety. The date has not been entered yet but know Jesus will deliver you from this. It is impossible to pray, with thanksgiving for all the good things in your life already, and not know peace in Christ. It is impossible to follow this advice and not be delivered from your anxiety.
I don’t know when, but Jesus does. He is waiting for us to push ourselves to that moment. He’s not a God of Wonders simply to fix our problems. He is a God of Wonders to help us know Him, because that is what is best for us. Sometimes, if He just satisfies our needs, we miss the point.
There are many more passages we can use as well in this battle that are not included here. If there is one you or someone you know likes that has helped, please let us know! We can share these in a future blog to help others discover the freedom that God has planned for us.