One of the greatest struggles in life for many people is the thorn of anxiety.
Whether it is genetic or during a certain season in life, many individuals will encounter a time of fear or worry in their lifetimes. We can pray, use counseling tools, or even medication to help get us through hard times.
Even when freedom from the burden of the enemy and our flesh appears difficult, we know that when we have Jesus, we have hope each day. Today I want to share some personal favorites Bible verses to cling to in anxious times. These are verses we should reflect on not just on difficult days, but rejoice in every day.
They are promises from God’s Word.
1. Psalm 91
This entire Psalm is absolutely beautiful. The start goes, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:1-2)
Anxiety tells our minds to rush and panic. We can go into fight or flight mode. God’s word tells us to dwell in His shelter. Shelter implies that there is a storm, so there is reason maybe to worry, but we can find rest in Him during the difficult moments in life.
I remember as a kid in school they would say if you ever have trouble you call the police at 9-1-1, so remember Psalm 91:1 if you ever are anxious. This was such a helpful reminder to know where to turn.
2. John 14:27
“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.”
This is always an encouragement to remember that Jesus leaves us peace and gives us peace. He does not give temporary peace like the world can, but He gives eternal peace. He says not to let our hearts be troubled. This implies that we do have some decisions to make when faced with stressors.
Are we going to allow the thoughts to take over and physically affect us, or are we going to choose to trust God and invite His peace into our hearts?
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.”
These verses remind us to pray in every circumstance. When we feel the urge to worry, pray. When we have anxious thoughts, pray. We can fight the thoughts from the enemy and our flesh with the power of the Holy Spirt inside. Many times we fear because we do not believe that we have victory.
Ask God to help remind you that you are victorious through Him. Ask God for what you need in petition. Thank the Lord which leads to joy. And share your worries with the Lord because Hs cares for you.
4. Psalm 55:22
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
I love that word cast. I think of how far a fishing line goes into the sea. We can throw our cares to God and He will take care of us. He will hold us steady in the hard times.
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I love the visual of birds being taken care of daily by God. He feeds them and cares for their needs. We are made in the image of the Lord and are more valuable than the birds. Ultimately we can have fear because we are not in control. These verses remind us that we are not in charge, but we can trust our God who is sovereign.
6. Isaiah 41:10
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
When we feel alone in fear, this verse reminds us that God is with us and we do not need to be afraid of trouble. He will strengthen us and help us. He will hold us.
April Motl from Christianity shares, “However, when Scripture uses the image of God’s right hand, it is meant to be a picture of the pinnacle of strength and ability. In passages that specify God’s right hand, strength is a key focus.” The phrase “righteous right hand” informs us that God has 100% got us.
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
It is important to remember that everyone has different struggles in life. If you have an ongoing battle with the anxiety monster, you are not alone. I was challenged once by the thought that what if God allowed me to have a struggle so that He could be greater glorified in the midst of it.
Just like Paul had a thorn, maybe your thorn is anxiety. Remember the verses above that God’s grace is sufficient for you. His power is perfect in our weaknesses.
We can acknowledge that we are not perfect and we have difficulties, but Christ’s power rests on us and we can point to Him through our challenges. Then, as we learn to live more with the thorns that have been allowed, we grow stronger in our trust and bolder in our testimonies to encourage others.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Anastasiia Stiahailo
Emma Danzey’s mission in life is to inspire young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. Emma is a North Carolina resident and green tea enthusiast! She is married to her husband Drew and they serve international college students. She enjoys singing, dancing, trying new recipes, and watching home makeover shows. During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first two writing projects: a Bible study on womanhood and a non-fiction book on singleness. You can visit her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com