What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety

What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety

If you were to just dive right in to answer the question – What does the bible say about anxiety I can almost guarantee that you will present one or both of these scriptures…

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…. 1 John 4:18

You are not alone, these are some of the most common scriptures on anxiety that we know of, and having been a person who has gone through the fire of a severe anxiety disorder, I heard these a lot. These are amazing verses to meditate on, especially if anxiety is a big part of your daily struggles. I remind many people who are in the fire that these scriptures are life changing, but only when they move from your head to your soul.

How Scriptures like 1 John 4:18 really ease anxiety

One of the biggest complaints that Christians have who are battling mental illness is other well-intentioned Christians advising them to just “stop being anxious”.  When these verses are given as advice to someone who is battling a mental disorder it can be very insensitive. At face value these two scriptures often come with a hint of “just stop being anxious”  A person battling a mental breakdown with intense anxiety would tell you, if they could “just stop” they would.

In 1 John 4:18 it says that “There is no fear in love”. At face value it can often be perceived as a nice thought. If we can learn to love better or receive love then we will not be afraid. Or worse we are NOT made in perfect love, therefore we are flawed, full of sin, or too weak minded to be healed.

The truth behind this verse is one of the most powerful revelations a person struggling with anxiety can receive – the power of God’s love. But what does that mean to a person who can barely leave their bedroom to face the day? It means uprooting a deep lie that was constructed into their very being, whether it appeared from rejection, neglect, abuse in childhood,  from going through trauma, or false teaching in the church that they need to strive to be loved by God.

When this lie begins to build a foundation of that person’s identity,  it creates a foundation of fear. If you are wanting to counsel someone who is in the midst of this sort of anxiety, do not just throw this scripture their way and expect them to use it as a topical ointment, instead you have to be willing to walk them through deep heart surgery. This scripture … 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. 1 John 4:18 is NOT a band-aid it is the diagnosis.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with… Click To Tweet

When searching the bible for truths on anxiety, you must be willing to mediate and seek deep Holy Spirit leading into these verses.

However, as promised there are a lot of scriptures in relation to anxiety that maybe some of us are not aware of, taking in mind that God’s Word is alive and active and sharp, but only if we receive it as truth and take hold of it in action.

what-does-the-bible-say-about-anxiety

What Else Does The Bible Says About Anxiety?

 

Proverbs 12:25 – Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.

This scripture has so much truth to it. Many people who struggle with anxiety, excessive worry and fear become exhausted fighting constantly. This weariness can lead to some pretty dark depression.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7)

The most important message in this scripture is the truth that He cares for us.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4:6-7)

Being thankful is not just an act that pleases God and therefore  gives us peace in exchange for our amazing gratitude. Being thankful also practically takes our thoughts off of our worries and onto the blessings in our life. This practical step actually retrains our brains and our thoughts. The more we focus on the positive the more we think positively, but it takes discipline. This scripture is all about letting go of anxieties and picking up blessings in return of them! A powerful action.

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? (Luke 12:25-26)

Giving up our need to control is one of the first steps to overcoming anxiety. I’ll meet people who claim to be completely anxiety free, yet they live with such control over themselves and others and fight hard to maintain that. When I see this, it screams anxiety to me. What do they think will happen if they let go? They don’t dare find out. Finding freedom from anxiety is completely trusting God that He’s got this!

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

This word was a lifesaving anchor for me. Could I trust God to save me, even if I was mentally ill? What if I lost my mind completely and had no ability to be righteousness? I had to surrender even my own measure of righteousness and trust in what Jesus had done for me, no matter how far removed my human brain took me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. (Psalm 94:19)

Consolation is the key word here, which means to comfort someone who is in distress. One of the ways we comfort others is by showing them that this isn’t the end, that there is more beyond their suffering, that things will get better. We receive these comforts through God’s promises and by learning to hear his voice! When we focus on God speaking to us personally, our life and anxiety changes!

A Few MORE Scriptures on What the bible says about anxiety…

Now it’s your turn to take some of these scriptures and find the deeper purpose in them and how it applies to your anxiety or the anxiety of the person you are trying to help…..

  • Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
    (Psalm 139:23-24)
  • Therefore I tell you, 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. (Luke 12:22-23)
  • And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (Matthew 6:28-29)
  • So do not worry, saying “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or ‘What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:31-32)
  • A man cannot discover anything about his future.
    (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
  • Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.(Matthew 6:34)

 

My prayer with this post is that you will begin to see how deep, how wide is the love of Christ and how His love can truly cast our fear.

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2 thoughts on “What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety”

  1. Wendy Dewar Hughes says:

    An extremely sensitive and thoughtful discourse on this subject, Sarah. Most of us (Christians) really have no idea how to handle situations such as anxiety and other mental disorders, nor know what to say that will really help.

    1. Sarah E Ball says:

      Thank you Wendy. Yes it’s a very misunderstood topic and is never really fully understood unless you have really studied it or lived it. Thanks for your comment.

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