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5 Life-Changing Scriptures That Combat Anxiety

There aren’t many things in this life so crippling and miserable, as anxiety.  Recent studies show approximately 40 million people are affected by anxiety in the US each year. How staggering. I’ve fortunately only encountered short bouts of anxiety after acute crisis and loss, but it was enough for me to forever empathize with those currently or continually struggling with anxious thoughts. At a time when issues and stressors in our world seem so much more amplified for the worse– politics, the economy, wars, increased racial tension, divorce rates, etc. we really do need more than Prozac and therapy. External remedies are of course helpful for a season, but thankfully the Word of God has a lot to say about anxiety, and how to overcome it, for good. Here are some powerful scriptures that have always gotten me through:


#1: God is our Father.  Isaiah 64:8: “But now, O Lord, you are our Father;  we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

This may seem like a simplistic statement. We all know God created the universe and we’re his children, right? But this truth in particular has meant so much to me during times of severe stress, sadness and anxiety. I lost my father at the age of twelve, so in the natural I really do think of God as my father. And now that I have kids, the reality of how much love, provision and care and protection God has for us, feels even more profound.

Moms. There’s nothing on this side of heaven we wouldn’t do for our kids. We’d take a bullet without blinking and yes, we’d and even miss the annual Nordstrom Rack sale if our kids called for early pickup. It helps to think about the source of our anxiety in the light of our value and identity to God. God will not let whatever’s causing our anxiety to overcome us. He just won’t. It may feel terrifying, and hopeless and never-ending, but God will not allow us to be conquered or defeated by fear, anxiety, or depression for that matter. It even helps to speak directly to your anxiety (try at this moment!). “I belong to the Lord. You have no place here. And you have to leave, in Jesus’ name.” Say it again, and again, and again if need be. Which leads to my next scripture…


#2: Psalm 27:1 “The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom (or what) should I be afraid?”

God is in control. And he’s bigger than the source of your anxiety. He’s bigger than a cheating spouse, or teenage child found with drugs. He’s bigger than the mound of debt you’ve accrued, or your recent job loss or the ominous health diagnosis. It may feel like the opposite. But it’s true. For moms reading this who are newer to this faith thing, let me just say that I, and hundreds of thousands of others have witnessed absolute, unthinkable miracles of freedom and breakthrough for those struggling with fear and anxiety. He can turn around any situation, and he can re-w ork any story. All we need is believing spirits and an open heart.

Unfortunately, we will always succumb to some level of worry and sadness (even Jesus did) but we don’t have to be riddled with anxiety while we go through the storms. We can choose to trust that God is our stronghold, he’s acting on our behalf, and we will overcome our situation against all odds with Him on our side. Start “looking upward” by focusing on his truths, and his character, more than the sources of your anxiety. The Lord can only be our stronghold when we involve him in our pain, and accept his help and comfort.


#3: Matthew 6:34: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Not worrying about tomorrow, or the future in general can be easier said than done. Because when dealing with anxiety, everything feels overwhelming. Sometimes just getting dressed and attempting to drive to work can feel impossible. Attending a social event can feel crushing. This is when we should take one moment at a time. One hour at a time, praying every minute if we have to, and giving over our thoughts to Him. “God I trust you. Be with me in this moment. Go before me in the next. I come against lying, anxious spirts.” One hour at a time will turn into one day at a time, and eventually we’ll train our brains and spirits to operate under a new realty led by the Lord.


#4: Psalm 84:11: For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

When we have the favor of the Lord, we know we will be okay. God’s favor simply means God stepping into one’s situation to make a worthwhile difference. If we’re walking with Jesus, we have God’s favor. Period. Doesn’t matter if you just cursed out your husband on the way to church. Or if you haven’t read the Bible in months. Or if you’ve been playing your Guns n Roses playlist more than K Love to get you through the morning commute. His favor is not earned, it’s a gift. Because you’re His. So, this truth might not seem like an obvious antidote to anxiety, but when we really began to understand and absorb what the favor of God means, it helps combat fear and anxiety tremendously. It gives us that extra spark of faith and hope when our sadness and worry feel so overwhelming. God does not let those who he favors be overcome or beaten. He promised to protect and uplift us, and He’s not a liar, or a quitter. So if you are a favored daughter of the Lord, you will not live in perpetual anxiety. The source of your anxiety is a temporary circumstance, not your state of mind.


#5: Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

If you’re experiencing any form of anxiety right now, you are absolutely in “the fire.” But think about what it would really mean to walk through fire. It would be painful, terrifying, horrific but also miraculous when we realize we are not burning. We are actually living a miracle and testament to God’s protection in the midst of absolute chaos and horror. Next time you feel pierced by the paralyzing fingers of anxiety, picture being in the fire. With your head held high, scoffing at the flames. They smell, they make it hard to breathe. But they can not engulf you. Now use that picture to invoke the kind of faith and bravery it takes to come out the other side. Remember what it’s like to walk in peace and calm. Because that is your destiny. You will be delivered.


There’s so much to say about anxiety. We shouldn’t feel weak, or less than, or non-spiritual when we’re faced with it, but we should arm ourselves with truth. You will get through and overcome. There is no circumstance more powerful than the supernatural peace of Jesus.   Xo


For more on anxiety check out these two amazing sermons by Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore.

For more on what the Bible says about conquering fear, check out my post. “Top 5 Scriptures That Banish Fear.”


Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist, author and contributor to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Huff Post, God TV, Beliefnet, Crosswalk and many more. When she's not burning dinner, daydreaming about the beach, she can be found on the trampoline with her copious amount of children, wishing she'd ordered the turbo shot.

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