What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety?

Anxiety is something that the vast majority of people will experience at some point in their lives.

While it’s normal to feel nervous or anxious before an important exam or a dentist appointment, anxiety can become excessive and all-consuming, at which point, it is classified as a mental health disorder.

Anxiety disorders are difficult and often debilitating conditions, often accompanied by symptoms such as panic attacks, fatigue, insomnia, and brain fog. 

An estimated 30% of American adults suffer from anxiety disorders.

Unfortunately, there remains something of a stigma against anxiety in some Christian communities where the condition is misunderstood and perceived as a weakness of faith.

Feelings of fear and anxiety are addressed in the Bible, and there are many words of comfort and strength to be found in both the Old Testament and the New Testament to help you cope in difficult moments.  

What The Bible Says About Anxiety?

Anxiety In Joshua 

The Book of Joshua offers one of the Bible’s first perspectives on anxiety, although it is framed as advice on courageousness. 

Joshua 1:9 says, ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’

This verse reaffirms the presence and power of God, which is a comforting prospect in moments of overwhelming anxiety.

Although the verse may seem to treat being ‘strong and courageous’ and ‘frightened’ as opposite states of being, it is important to remember that being truly courageous requires bravery in the presence of fear, not an absence of fear.

If you are experiencing anxiety, this verse calls you to be courageous by trusting in God’s plan despite your fear.

Anxiety In Proverbs 

Proverbs also has some reassuring words for those who are feeling anxious. 

Turning to Proverbs 3:5-6, we find the following verse: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.’ 

Sometimes, when we are feeling anxious, our minds can blow situations out of proportion and hinder our decision-making.

Placing all of your trust in God during these moments will help you to overcome your anxious feelings. 

Later on, Proverbs 12:25 reads, ‘Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.’ 

People who experience severe anxiety will often spend a lot of time ruminating. Often, it can be difficult to let go of the anxiety and rumination because it feels as though it keeps you safe.

However, this Bible verse reminds Christians that anxiety is a heavy burden to bear and that the word of the Lord will help to lift it.  

Anxiety In Isaiah 

There are two verses in the Book of Isaiah that talk about anxiety and how to manage it. 

In Isaiah 41:10, the Bible says ‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’

This is closely followed by Isaiah 41:13, which says, ‘For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

These verses serve as yet another reminder that God is with us, even during times of anxiety, and will help us to walk the right path and conquer our fears. 

Anxiety In Matthew 

Matthew 6:34 reminds Christians experiencing anxiety of the following: ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’

This is good advice in general for people with anxiety, although it is more easily said than executed. Many of us get stuck in the trap of always living in the past or the future when anxiety strikes.

However, this verse is an important reminder to live in the present moment.

Matthew 11:28-30 also reminds us that it is important to turn to God for strength and support when we find ourselves feeling anxious: ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

This is one of the most comforting verses for worry and anxiety in the Bible.

Anxiety In Philippians 

In Philippians, you can find verse 4:6, which reads: ‘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.’ 

Anxiety can make us feel as though every problem is ours to solve alone. It is, therefore, crucial to remember the message of this verse: ask, from a place of gratitude, for God’s help. 

Anxiety In 1 Peter 

1 Peter contains a similar message. In 1 Peter 5:6-7, the Bible proclaims, ‘Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.’ 

Again, the humility to ask God for help is crucial and will be rewarded in times of excessive worry.

Anxiety In John 

Feelings of anxiety can often leave us longing for peace and relief. This, John 14:27 states, is readily given by God: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’ 

Final Thoughts 

We hope that these Bible verses about anxiety have demonstrated the importance of trusting and seeking solace in God during times of mental turmoil. 

Remembering that God is always walking alongside us and guiding us in the right direction can be a great comfort to followers of Christ who find themselves feeling anxious for whatever reason. 

However, if you experience severe or debilitating anxiety that regularly interferes with your daily life or causes you extreme distress, it is wise to seek help from a medical professional.

This way, you can discuss options for managing the effects of anxiety in your day-to-day life. 

Anneka Huddleston
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