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Unlocking the Bible’s Strategy for Anxiety-Free Living

After Moses died, the task of leading the Hebrew people into the Promised Land fell to Joshua. It was an enormous responsibility, one that likely caused Joshua more than a little anxiety. Recognizing that, the Lord offered words of encouragement to reassure the rookie leader. In those words we find clues as to how God works in the lives of people who are struggling with anxiety.

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:5-6).

 

God didn’t sugarcoat the situation Joshua faced. The Hebrews weren’t going to waltz into the Promised Land and set up housekeeping. Many battles against formidable opponents lay ahead of them. God didn’t promise to shield the Israelites from those battles.

Likewise, God doesn’t promise to shield us from situations that make us anxious. He doesn’t promise to make worrisome circumstances go away. What He does promise is that He will accompany us through every anxiety-ridden situation we face. He will give us the courage, strength and endurance we need to overcome our anxiety, one battle at a time.

In his letter to the Philippian church, the apostle Paul lays out the battle strategy. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Prayer is the most effective weapon we have. No anxiety is too severe for God to handle. No worry is too insignificant for Him to care about. If something affects us or robs us of our joy, God wants us to share it with Him. He wants to counteract it with His peace.

The apostle Peter echoes Paul’s advice—and offers a helpful image. “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Anxiety is baggage. The more we struggle with it, the heavier it becomes. Trying to carry it alone is exhausting. We may be able to handle it for a while. We may even be able to convince others that we’re not overly exerting ourselves. Eventually, though, the effort will wear us out.

Which brings us back to Peter’s advice.

Instead of exhausting our own limited strength, why don’t we give our anxieties to someone who can handle them? Not only is Jesus glad to accept them, He knows exactly what to do with them.

 

Peter spoke from experience. He and the other disciples were no strangers to anxiety. Case in point: the night they tried to transport Jesus across the Sea of Galilee during a furious squall. Wave after wave threatened to swamp their boat. The panicked disciples struggled to bail water while Jesus slept in the stern. Soon, however, their fears and anxieties overtook them.

Seeing no other options, they woke Jesus and, in effect, cast their anxieties on Him. “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” was their worried prayer.

Jesus’ response gives hope to everyone who’s ever struggled with anxiety or spent a sleepless night worrying. “Quiet! Be still!” He said to the waves. Immediately the storm stopped and the sea became still.

The incident left the disciples stunned and a little shaken. To be in the presence of such power unnerved them. Two thousand years later, however, the incident offers Jesus’ followers extraordinary reassurance that whatever storms life throws at us, Jesus can calm.

Think About It:

What are areas of your life that are filled with worry? How can you bring those to God and experience change?

41 comments on “Unlocking the Bible’s Strategy for Anxiety-Free Living

  1. Rianne says:

    Actually every single thing wich I have to do, makes me anxiety. It’s really hard to give it in the hands of Jesus. I’m afraid that I’ll be still as anxious as before. Lord I believe, help my unbelief.

    1. Miranda says:

      I can’t say everything I do causes anxiety but I do experience it more than desired. My most aggressive anxiety is presented in test taking. I’m finishing missing school and as I prepare to obtain my license I feel the overwhelming palpitations of my heart which overtakes my peace. What does “saying your cars look like?” How is that really done? I long for that comforting peace, in his presence, especially during test time.

      1. John.Andrade@harpercollins.com says:

        Praying for peace. Thanks for sharing.

  2. So true! Jesus is the only one who brings me peace. My struggle with depression, anxiety, and what He did for me for His Glory is highlighted in my blog series, “I Should Be Dead”.

  3. Sandy Mooney says:

    Love this! What translation is this?

    1. John.Andrade@harpercollins.com says:

      The Bible verses used in this post are from the New King James Version. Thank you for visiting the site and reading. Blesses!

  4. Amber Menta says:

    My health! My lack of control over my circumstances; Jesus is opening wide His arms to draw me into His Peace, trusting Gods plan in m y life!

  5. Renee says:

    Great message

  6. Yolanda-Bryant Curry says:

    Thank You So Much! This was a Perfect Mesaage filled with Hope! I was very upset yesterday because my husband didn’t come to Church and I was worrying that him not being there would affect our family and I could sense that satan was trying to attack my thoughts. I was balling out in tears at church. This wonderful woman of God Prayed with me and for me. I could feel peace and comfort coming over me. The Holy Spirit instructed me to continue to Pray for my Husband and my family and not to worry about them because I can not change them. I made myself sick worrying about my Husband. God gave me a message for Peace by reminding me to cast my Cares Upon Jesus and Ask for Peace while Believing I’m Him for it. I Love this message it is confirmation of the Presence of God! Glory Hallelujah. Thank You So Much!

  7. Charros says:

    Sharing the challenges of life through prayerfulness and through hope in Christ,guarantees the soothing power that is never ending,flowing out from the throne of God,reaching us in our helplessness and giving us new strength to walk boldly to the promised land of peace and everlasting rest. This, is the promise of God.
    Amen

  8. Marie Ang says:

    My question is: What is the point of God just being with us when we are faced with so much troubles and anxiety? Casting all our cares on Him does not pay our bills or debtors or sickness or abandonment!

    1. Anonymous says:

      To the person who wrote about what’s the point of God being there: that is an addition to the hope we have of something better coming our way no matter what happens. He reminds us of that. It’s a change of perspective. For example: not being able to pay bills is something that teaches us a lesson somehow and helps us gain experience for the future to help ourselves and others. Sickness is something that comes to everyone at a point in life due to the world we live in, but God’s presence gives us positivity vecause we are certain that if we are healed or if we die, it’s gain. If we are healed, we can still live on earth for a while and continue working for him here, if we die, we shall be in His amazing presence and not have to worry anymore. And about abandonment- God is there and so you aren’t abandoned! One of God’s gifts to us (His Word) shows us various examples of people who went through struggles just like ours. In my moments of loneliness I have read stories of people in the Bible who have gone through emotions and situations I can relate to and they are like friends to me now. He and His Word has helped me overcome many obstacles and continue working in my life and helping me today. Everything that happens is an opportunity to get closer to God, including the bad ones. Its up to you to decide what your decision will be.

  9. vanessa says:

    Even if you worry you will not add an hour to your life or a centimeter to your height. Worries blind the direction to the way out.

    1. Donna Jean Messner says:

      That was a good one to remember. Thinking about yesterday, takes away our Joy for today. Worried about tomorrow, we don’t see all the moments of Joy we are missing today.

      1. John.Andrade@harpercollins.com says:

        Very true! Thanks for sharing. Really appreciate it.

  10. Advait Dubey says:

    Our God is a good God.
    I am a student and next year I want to be in a good research institute and my marks and potential and resources were making me anxious.
    I am like a Joshua trying to conquer a great promised land.
    But our Lord Jesus christ is a God of SHALOM.
    He is my strength, song and my salvation and this whole academic year I am gonna be in faith(though imperfect) but our God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can think or imagine is going to bless this academic year.
    Praise the Lord

  11. Govind Pillay says:

    I worry about my youngest sister and her family.they are in a financial situation as she has so many children and do not have a home of their own.i also worry about the political situation in my country South africa

  12. Lydia Gah says:

    Thank you very much for this article. I am a christian counsellor dealing with clients who suffer from anxiety, depression and stress. This article is indeed helpfull for me to use in sharing it with my clients.

  13. Bradley says:

    My areas of worry is my businesses that are not doing good, but I trust I’m trusting God to fix all that is wrong

  14. Chris says:

    I have been going through many disappointments on my marriage. Despite all my kindness and all I do, dissertation and disappointment is all I face. Reading this passage gives me hope that I should give this to Jesus to help me out.

  15. RoseMary Baty-Willcox says:

    Would love a Print button!
    Thank You

  16. MARISA L JACKSON says:

    I am currently anxious and struggling with much loss. Loss of family and loss of a position I truly enjoyed; however it suddenly ended. I am trying to stay strong and take it one day at a time. I know God has a much bigger plan for me and my journey is about to change, but not knowing when and how this will occur does leave me feeling worried, anxious and very nervous of the unknown.

  17. Beveley says:

    Other than the nerve pain as a result of the shingles condition,I worry little.My greatest concern is that God will grant me understanding of his word and give me wisdom.

  18. Sandra Hart says:

    I’m always struggling with anxiety and try to remember to give it all to Jesus, but I still struggle. ADHD is no help.

  19. Bubu says:

    Thanks so much for this timely encouragement.
    I’ve been forced to resign and trusting God for a new job
    Currently a single parent with 2 children and np support from my ex…
    Trusting God for a job for my son, money for my daughters school fees, a new husband for me, divine direction
    Been feeling so overwhelmed but this reminder really helped.
    God bless you real good

  20. Charles Brown says:

    I really liked that,and I needed it to remind me that I don’t have to deal with things by myself.

  21. Jocelyn Tyree says:

    My employment status and finances is one area. My effectiveness as a minister and serving Gods people is another area.
    My mental and emotional stability is another area.
    My relationship with my boyfriend and my friends and family is another one.
    My relationship with myself as well.

    1. Larry says:

      Thank you for all you do. I just prayed for you.

  22. C.m.Mardon says:

    Reassuring message
    Thx

  23. Donna Hull-Anderson says:

    Worry and stressed over health issues, and needing a full time job that my health issues arent allowing. A hard struggle. God promises to provide our needs, yet my health keeps me down and out.

  24. Adeniran Makinde says:

    Bless you.

  25. Mr. Motsewakgosi. Kgopa. Seitshiro says:

    I believe this message will comfort me in all my worries, bitterness and anxiety.
    I am have some addictions such as gambling, alcohol abuse and lust may you pray with me to overcome these.

  26. Kevin says:

    I enjoyed this article. Metaphorically speaking, we have put Jesus to sleep in our day to day lives. We experience life without Him because we believe we have mastered life. When the waves come and they come with so much tenacity, we wake up Jesus with worry, not with faith. We must enter into every situation with the this understanding: JESUS is Lord before the storm, through the storm, and after the storm.

    1. Jovann says:

      This weekend I’ll be doing a very big catering for a film industry. This is my first ever big job I landed since culinary school. I do feel this overwhelming and anxious about this job. It’s going to be a one week catering.
      God, I need your guidance and strength. Give me wisdom and understanding to deal when situations arrives. The LORD is my High Tower. Amen.

      1. John.Andrade@harpercollins.com says:

        Peace be with you. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Lizzy Etteh says:

    Thank you for the encouragement . I pray am able to take Jesus at His word and move on with Him all the way.

  28. Lulama says:

    Thank you, we ought to come to God with thanksgiving first before we could ask Him for anything. He commanded us not to come to him empty. When we praise Him we price Him, we let him know how worthy he is. Then he grants us the desires of our hearts. Give thanks in all things, have a heart of gratitude! blessings.

    1. Emma Desmedt says:

      Loved this! Needing a Bible but don’t have money right now. Want the NKJV Bible.

  29. Ajoloko Olusegun says:

    The message is great and spirit filled

  30. Michael Bussey says:

    My worries are financial, and just trying to figure out how to make to the end of each month being able to support my family. I’ve seen God work in my life previously when we needed help with bills, and he provided for us. I believe He will continue to provide for us, and I believe it with my heart and soul. Please pray for me. Thank you.

    1. John.Andrade@harpercollins.com says:

      Will be praying. Thank you for sharing.

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