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 10 Scriptures 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.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. Such a physical act symbolizes casting all your worries onto Jesus, and leaving them there.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
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Your Turn: What Scripture do you find most helpful when you are struggling with fear or anxiety? Feel free to leave a comment below.
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