10 must-read encouraging scriptures when dealing with fear, anxiety or worry -and how to apply them
Did you know that "Fear not" is the most frequent command found in the Bible? Stated 366 times.
Fear = Fake Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear stands between us and the greatness God has for us. It can stop you dead in your tracks and take you down an unintended road. All of a sudden, we are riding bareback into a hole of despair. Our ride? Fear. Fear is like an untamed wild animal. It can also be like an angry toddler; demanding and loud, drowning out every other sound.
Here is the good news; fear is an emotion we can harness.
Buckle up buttercup, it's time to fight back!
Here we go:
1. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7)
Fear is a spirit, one that is not from God but from the enemy, who is a thief.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10).
Worry and stress can rob us of experiences, happiness, health, etc.
Once the enemy has your mind, he has access to the rest of you: your physical body, your plans for today, and your plans for tomorrow. He will never let you become who God intends for you to be.
Are you still living in bondage? You have been freed; you have the power over fear.
2. "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)
The enemy loves to whisper fear in our ear. We get frantic with worst-case scenarios running through our minds, and fear grips our hearts.
Are you listening to the whispers of the enemy? These worries do not make us a more responsible person. Identify the lies.
Anything that delivers fear/anxiety/worry into your heart is not from God. God's love is perfect, one that brings joy, peace, gentleness, the opposite of fear.
God does not frighten you, to move you. Perfect love would not do that.
“Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
Can I get a #NotTodaySatan right about now? Shut down those voices by resisting them. In their place speak peace over a situation or thought.
3. "Though an army besieges me, my heart will not fear; though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident" (Psalm 27:3).
War and my heart will not fear… how is that possible?
I am glad you asked:
"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (Proverbs 4:23)
It's a choice, either listen to fear or guard yourself against it. The sea may rage around us, but it is up to us what we choose to feel.
Time to gear up -
“Turn your ear to My Words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are Life to those who find them and Health to one’s whole body” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
Feed your soul; guard your heart with good stuff so good will flow out.
4. "Man's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed" (Job 14:5)
One significant cause of worry in our society is death and dying. How can it not be?
God intends a long peaceful life for you; the only one who can steal it is the devil if you let him.
Stop looking up every disease in the book, stop googling every lousy thing you feel or fear. Don't fuel your fears! Our worries become like a prayer; we think about it, meditate on them, speak them out loud, and before we know it, we are watching them come to life. Stop the cycle!
Create a space where you feed life into your heart, not more fear.
Turn up that worship music.
5. "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged" (Deuteronomy 31:8)
You are equipped to do all the things presented to you. He is making a way in the wilderness, keep going. The clearing is just ahead.
6. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request 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)
Did you hear that? Don't be anxious about anything, not a thing! Not the health of your family, not your job situation, your to-do list, or your finances.
Instead, follow the simple step by step instructions: pray, ask, and thank God (be grateful) for what he has done and what he is about to do.
Meditating on these words got me out of the hardest time of my life battling miscarriage after miscarriage. I clung onto the promise of peace. I made 4x6 copies, laminated them, and put them all over; my purse, car, work, home. This scripture became my inner mantra when anxiety would start to rise.
The peace came, just as promised.
Jesus on fear:
7. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27)
8. “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, & the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, & yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Mathew 6:25-26)
9. "Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" (Mathew 6:27)
We often use human-made tools to try to defeat the worry, anxiety, and fear that we experience. Feelings like these are prevalent; it makes sense why there are so many "helpful" ways that attempt to defeat these feelings. Some include self-help books, therapy, anti-anxiety medication, podcasts, alcohol, enter your vice here______.
We have to remember that fear is a spirit, and if we fight spiritual battles with human-made "help," the peace we are going to feel is fragile and will only last a short while.
The spirit of fear is real and can only be defeated, for good, one way.
Allow God to speak the worry away; it will look different for all of us because our stories are different. I encourage you to go back to the source of peace in the original texts, written long, long ago.
And with that, I leave you this;
10. "Let the peace of Christ rule in Your Hearts" (Colossians 3:15)
Let the peace, allow it in. Your worry does not make you a better person or a more responsible adult. Only in peace can we hear God's direction for our life. Fight for your peace because the enemy is for sure fighting against it.
I have always been interested in psychology. Probably because I was an anxious child, one that was taken to therapy, but that is a story for another day... maybe. I had all the intention of getting a degree in the field, but biology stole my heart. I still ended up getting a minor in psychology, and most of my early reading circled this topic.
When I started reading the Bible, I was struck by the number of (what I thought were) "modern" psychological principals I encountered within. The ideas in the self-help books and Ted talks were not new… a man who loved to teach with a stick in the sand had preached them over 2000 years ago. Forgiveness, gratefulness, meditation, communication, humility, etc.… it's all there. In the original text, waiting to be read.
Thank you for reading this, share if you think it will help anyone, and I hope it encourages you to stop listening to the lies and embrace the goodness God has for you.