10 Scriptures for Overcoming Fear & Anxiety

from Dr. Carol Tanksley’s Overcoming Fear and Anxiety Through Spiritual Warfare
special thanks to Barb Schumacher for gathering this together for us and helping to share some encouragement for us all!

 

You know the Bible says “Don’t be afraid.” But sometimes anxious thoughts and feelings seem to overtake your heart and mind even when you don’t want them to. There are plenty of helpful scriptures for overcoming fear and anxiety.

Cooperating with God to overcome worry will involve many things; caring for your physical health, optimizing your lifestyle, learning to take charge of your thoughts, and practicing standing firmly on God’s side in the controversy between good and evil. And without question one of the most powerful tools you can use in this journey is God’s Word.

Here are just ten verses of Scripture (to get you started) for overcoming fear and anxiety to put in your mind and heart, with some brief commentary. Meditate on these Scriptures, and your mind and emotions will become freer and more positive.
 
 
Make it an activity: Consider copying this devotional and cutting out the Scriptures, or write them on cards, and place them around the house to remind you of God’s faithfulness during this Covid-19 crisis. As Dr. Tanksley writes, “God’s got this!” We can trust in Him!
 
 
 
  1. Fear is NOT from God.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV

Fear is a natural human response to many things, but it does not come from God. When you feel fear, you can know that it is not God speaking. The mind God has promised you is clear, strong, and more than able to deal with whatever He allows into your life. You can claim that sound mind today.
 
 
  1. God’s got this!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with gratitude, make your requests known to God.”   Philippians 4:6 MEV

Anxiety is the most common human mental health disorder, but as a believer you don’t need to stay there. God’s got this! His shoulders are big enough to carry anything you need. Most things you worry about you cannot change anyway, so why not leave them in the hands of the One who can do whatever you need.
 
 
  1. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s troubles.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  Matthew 6:34, NIV

We cannot see the future, and the unknown is often scary. Keep your primary focus on what God has given you to do today rather than mulling things over in your mind that you do not have control over. Tomorrow will be ready for you when you get there because God, who exists outside of time, will already be there. He holds all your tomorrows in His capable hands.
 
 
  1. God is with you. Don’t be afraid.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 MEV

The Bible contains hundreds of “Fear Not’s”, admonitions to not be afraid. God must have known that we as human beings would need that kind of reminder! If Jesus was standing right in front of you, would you be afraid? He has promised to be with you always. He IS with you right now, just as much as if you could see Him with your physical eyes. There is no need to fear.
 
 
  1. Give your anxiety to Jesus.

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

The Greek word translated cast is very descriptive. It’s the same word used to describe how the disciples threw their garments over the donkey Jesus would ride into Jerusalem. (Luke 19:35) Do that with your anxiety today. If necessary, write your worries on a piece of paper, and then throw them into a river or leave them at the altar at your church (or tear them up and put in the trash – Miss Barb J). Such a physical act symbolizes casting all your worries onto Jesus, and leaving them there.
 
 
  1. When love comes, fear leaves.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”      1 John 4:18 MEV

If you want to be free from fear, go where love is. Who can you connect with today that leaks out love? A family member, a friend, a fellow believer? God is the ultimate Source of all love. God IS love. (1 John 4:8) The more time you spend in His presence, letting His Word and His love fill your mind, contemplating Who He really is, the less room there will be in your mind for fear.
 
 
  1. Jesus promised peace in the midst of trouble.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33 NIV

Jesus promised His followers both trouble – and peace. As long as we are in this world we will experience trouble. Right now that trouble is great! Sometimes we face trouble of our own making. Much trouble is the crossfire we experience during the final stages of the conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. But we can gratefully experience His peace regardless of our circumstances.
 
 
  1. God’s peace can point the way.

“Let the peace of God, to which also you are called in one body, rule in your hearts. And be thankful.”   Colossians 3:15 MEV

When wrestling with a big decision, fear and anxiety can keep your mind swirling and upset. Is there any point, any small space, in which you feel a measure of God’s peace? What decision would you make from that place? Thinking in that way can help you stop worrying about things you can’t control or what other people may think. It will help you take a step away from fear and anxiety and toward thoughtful action.
 
 
  1. Run into God’s arms, and hang on!

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath you are the everlasting arms; He will drive out the enemy before you, and will say, “Destroy them.””  Deuteronomy 33:27 MEV

Do you remember when your child (or a child) would run into your arms when they were anxious or afraid, grabbing your neck and holding on for dear life? Your presence could make monsters disappear and booboos get all better. In God’s arms is our place of safety. When anxious or afraid run into His arms through worship, grab ahold of Him and don’t let go. You are never more protected than when resting in His arms.
 
 
  1. With God on your side, other’s opinions don’t matter.

“So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”  Hebrews 13:6 MEV

Fear and worry about what other people think or what they will do holds many of us back. But who are “they” anyway? When we can come to the place of living our lives before an audience of One, everything else becomes much clearer. And God’s got this! With Him on our side, the response – good or bad – from other people becomes much less important.
 
 

May Jesus bless you with His gift of peace today and every day.

 

Read more...

Do You See What I See?

by Jess Slenker
 
Yes, I know this is a line to a Christmas song. Yes, I know this is a Lenten Devotional. But when God shows you something, you don’t question it. This title has been going through my head for a little more than a year now. I really wish that everyone could see what I see.
 
I have the opportunity to teach the little ones who come to Christ and I get to see His light shining through them. As I’m typing this, so many faces are flashing in front of me and it moves me to tears. It’s all because of what God has done in their lives. The thing that amazes me the most is how unashamed they are to share the Gospel. So many times I have been teaching and looking at their precious faces and expressions and can see how much they truly love God.
 
My favorite part of teaching is talking about salvation. Those who have declared Jesus as their Savior have the biggest smiles on their faces! You can see they want everyone else to experience that same love they know.
 
I sometimes joke that I’d like to wear a camera because I want everyone else to see what I see. I am so honored that I get a glimpse at what God sees. I see the outward expression of what is on the inside, but God gets to see their hearts.
 
Just like kids, we make mistakes, get off path, and do things we ought not to do, but God sees our hearts and that we believe in who He is! He doesn’t see that ugly human nature; He sees our smiling faces beaming with His love and grace. Each day we grow closer to Him and more like Him, just like our children. I am so proud of the kids I have the privilege to spend time with and God uses them every day to teach me new things about Himself! Do you see what I see, or better yet, do you see what God sees?
 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Read more...

Destructive Little Foxes

by Melissa Myers
 
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Songs 2:15 NIV)
 
When my daughter Sara was a toddler, we developed a ritual for the times when her feelings would be hurt. She would come to me and, in sobbing wails, explain some insult from one of her playmates. I would kiss my finger, touch it to her heart, and then place a Band-Aid over it. The tears would immediately stop and she’d bounce away to play, never recalling the incident again. If only our emotional wounds were so quickly resolved in our adult lives!
 
Most of us hold our emotions close; we don’t want to appear weak or overly sensitive. Too often, it’s the little unspoken offenses (foxes) that build into a destructive result. Bitterness and the inability to forgive can consume a relationship. This is especially true within the church, where we hold a higher expectation of being loving and sympathetic. It’s never a good feeling to learn that you’ve offended someone and it may seem easier to avoid an awkward conversation when you feel insulted. However, when the air is cleared, our relationships are spiritually stronger and we are freed from the burden. Being vigilant in mending our wounds strengthens the church and encourages good fruits. Certainly not every minor insult need addressed, but when a thought becomes pervasive, we need to conquer it before it takes root.
 
As a sensitive person, I have learned that getting beyond a hurt is a conscious choice. When I invited God into the process, I was amazed at how easy it is to accomplish. Thankfully, we have God’s promise to “bind up our wounds” if we turn it over to him. There is strength in being vulnerable enough to acknowledge a hurt, share it, and most importantly, release it to God.
 
“He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3 NLT)
 
Is there an offense burdening your heart today? Are you willing to step out in faith to resolve it? Will you accept your loving Father’s promise to heal?
 
“All of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted and keep a humble attitude.” (1 Peter 3:8 NIV)
Father God, give me the courage to show a tender heart and make amends when I’ve wounded a friend. May I have your strength when I need to bring an offense to light. Cover our wounds and make a path to peace as we seek to love one another.

Read more...

Bummer Lambs

by Pat Bentzel
 
Ever since Pastor Todd did several sermons about Psalm 23 last year, I have started to read more about sheep and how the shepherd cares for them. The analogies of how sheep are cared for by the shepherd has given me a better understanding of what my Lord wants me to know and do. I really enjoyed the story of a bummer lamb from author Sheila Walsh in her book, Loved Back To Life:
 
Every once in a while, an ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once an ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone.
 
So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock.
 
But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It’s not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one.
 
So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.
 
Our good shepherd is always working in my life and loving me!
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Read more...

A Refuge

by Vicki Becker
 
When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
 
God has led our daughter, Sara, to have an active faith. Not too far from her home in New York City, she is volunteering for an organization that works with immigrants. She accompanies them to court where they try to get a court date in order to stay in this country permanently. She doesn’t know how they came to be here: work visa, tourist or illegally. She just knows they want to call America their home.
 
If you walk a few blocks from Sara’s apartment, you can look out in the harbor and see the Statue of Liberty – there, welcoming all who want to come. I look and see our Father saying, “Come.” We are reminded that all are foreigners in this land but He continues to welcome us in. He doesn’t care who we are, what we’ve done, or where we’ve been. He stands with open arms, wanting to love and care for us. We just have to come.
 
Like Jesus, her work and her joy is to be a friendly face. To show them that someone cares. To extend a hand of comfort and a heart of encouragement.
 
Father, in these troubled times, let us stand with open arms and welcome in those who are foreigners (by culture, race or land). Let us help them know someone cares, that we are a refuge from the storm. Amen.

Read more...

Holding Steady

by Christina Hice
 
2019 was a challenging and change-filled year for our family. High school graduation for one, college graduation for another, second-guessing choices, new starts, old frustrations, job searches, health concerns, heart concerns.More often than not, when someone asked, “How are you?” my reply was, “Holding steady.”
 
I think of that and wonder if I should have been more positive. Maybe. But the truth is that our year was filled with unrelenting, unyielding, and unmoving situations, and only the passing of time affected them.
 
Did my reply of “holding steady” indicate a lack of faith in God’s faithful provision, care and unceasing love for us? Did it reflect a lack of appreciation for all the good and positive moments in the year? Were my words reflective of a negative heart attitude?
 
And yet, what really fit, when asked how I was doing, was that I was holding steady. It was (and still is) an honest reply. As I continue to think about this, and pray about it, I understand that there is an underlying strength that is in my reply. And it is not my strength.
 
My stress, worries and fears might have been in my mind, but my “holding steady” was (and is) a profession of faith and a verbal confession of steadfastness from my heart. But not in myself, not in my circumstances, and certainly not in my ability to affect a thing.
 
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. (Isaiah 26:3)
 
He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (Psalm 112:7)
 
My heart is steadfast, O God; I will sing and make music with all my soul. (Psalm 108:1)
 
I think it is okay to hold steady, if we are holding steady to the One who never changes, who loves us more than we will ever truly understand, and whose faithfulness is great… Immanuel, God with us.
 
Lord, help us to see not what our circumstances may be, but that You are with us through them. Please restore our hope when things seem hopeless and secret your joy in our hearts, that we may continue to step forward in faith, to attend to the tasks that you bring us each day. Amen.

Read more...