Just over three years ago, my life changed dramatically. Up until that time, I was unaware that stress and anxiety were boiling inside of me. I was one of “those guys” that didn’t believe I could be affected by anxiety. I thought I was too tough or strong for something like anxiety. I never saw it coming; truth is, when it did come, I didn’t believe it. My wife saw it, but neither of us would have guessed the magnitude of what life can become when anxiety takes over.
- I started to journal everyday.
- I read and studied the Bible every day.
- I prayed all the time, and did not hold back my feelings or thoughts from God.
The stress or anxiety or fear – whatever you want to call it was unbearable and continuous. It completely debilitated me. I could not sleep, I could not work, I could not eat.
Enter panic attacks – If you have had one, you know what they are. If you are unsure, let me suggest that you haven’t had one. Within a week, I was having panic attacks. My comment at the time was that God was giving me a glimpse of hell. Writhing in pain, massive anxiety and fear were wonderfully tied up with the feeling of being utterly alone and empty.
During some of the most anxiety-filled times, my wife would read Bible verses, especially the Psalms, to me. If your anxiety is so high that it is difficult for you to read, get someone to read God’s Word to you.
Instrumental in healing was God’s Word and the transforming affect it has on the mind.
Below are some of my favorite Bible verses regarding anxiety. They are in the English Standard Version (ESV), unless noted otherwise. I’ve been told that there are 365 Bible verses where God speaks to anxiety and fear. I trust and pray that these are helpful to you.
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This was one of the first verses that I journaled; It was on the second day of journaling. My journal entry was ”I do so desire to have this. I want to call it a promise between God and I.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 – “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
I faced a lot of questions. A key one is what I journaled just after writing this verse, “How do I equate God not leaving or forsaking me when recovery or healing is not guaranteed? People die, people do not recover, people get sicker. How do I not fear (have anxiety) if the outcome I fear is a real possibility.”
My anxiety left me with many nights of no sleep. During the first 45 days of dealing with anxiety, I slept an average of two hours a night. At times I was positive, and would journal while I read throughout the night, but most of the time, I was in utter despair.
Romans 5:3-4 – “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I prayed constantly for rest. I considered myself heavy laden; that is, overwhelmed with burdens that I could not carry. I so much wanted rest for my soul. It is a good prayer to pray!
2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self control.”
This was one of my first memory verses. I loved how the New King James Version says “sound mind” instead of “self control.” I knew that I wanted a sound mind, but the anxiety was in control. I prayed for a sound mind.
Psalm 27:1 – “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
David wrote this while he was experiencing great stress and anxiety. Anxiety is a normal part of life. I pray that you don’t have it as bad as I did (do – 3 years and counting); please know that the Lord is whom you should trust, and that it takes time to heal.
Romans 8:18 – “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Often times, I would journal a prayer after the verses I wrote in my journal. After this verse I prayed, “I look forward to that glory. Lord help me have the mindset that these sufferings I’m going through are nothing when compared to the glory that will be revealed to me.” I pray for those reading this that you are able to pray this for yourself.
James 1:2-4 – “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Counting your anxiety and fear as joy is difficult, but it is possible as you allow God’s Word to have an affect on your mind (to renew your mind – see Romans 12:2). Know that there is joy in the suffering you are going through when you allow God to grow you!
Psalm 34:18 (NASB) – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
I often wrote in all capital letters – “I MUST ENDURE!! Lord please help me as I am weak” – It may not feel like it, but the Lord is with you as you walk through your anxiety. Think Romans 8:28.
How hard it is to wait for the Lord…especially when you are suffering and want healing.
Psalm 37:7a – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way…”
1 Peter 5:6-7 – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you.”
God cares for you; but remember, He cares for you from His perspective, not ours. He is using this suffering you are enduring to make you more like His Son.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) – “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.”
Psalm 34:4 – “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.”
Oh how I love this next verse! Count it as a promise from God to you!
1 Peter 5:10 – “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
In the worst of times, I found peace from this verse; I told myself that God was going to restore, confirm, strengthen and establish me! He will do this for you, too…
I’d like to remind you of something that I wrote in my journal on day 21. I acknowledged that Satan wants me to be stressed and full of anxiety. I told God that Satan does not want me to learn what God has for me. I told God that I wanted to learn what He has for me. If you are feeling anxiety and stress, make sure you are praying to God. Make sure you let Him know that you want to learn what He has for you to learn from this. As best as you are able, know that God will answer your prayer.
If you feel led to leave your comments or experiences below, please do so. I promise to pray for you regarding what you share and as I am led by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.