I was laid off from my dream job this past week.
It hurts a lot.
My boss kept repeating that it was nothing I had done, and that she'd rather give me a raise than lay me off, but her hands were tied. She had to let me go. I couldn't get her off the phone fast enough because sadness and fear and anxiety were quickly moving me to tears.
What are we going to do without my income?
We can't float without it. The ends won't even come close to meeting. We need my income.
My thoughts raced from bad to worse. I got caught in a spiral down and down and down until I was completely in the dark, overwhelmed and feeling sick.
All I could do was cry. I feared falling into a depression, leaving my kids and my husband with a shell of me. It's happened before, more than once.
I wonder if you have ever been there, in that dark place where worry consumes you and you can see no good options. Maybe you are there now.
I am not sage. I don't have wise counsel to offer you in this time of darkness, but I can tell you what I'm doing and hope it helps you as it's helping me to slowly – oh so painfully slowly – emerge from the grips of anxiety and deal with the situations as they come.
10 Bible Verses to Overcome Anxiety and Worry
1. Pray. Spend some time talking to your Heavenly Father. Tell Him your heartache. Tell him what you're worried about. I promise you that He has good in this for you, and it's okay to ask Him what that good is.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I sent an email to the prayer team at my church. I went up to the altar during our service and women laid hands on me and prayed more.
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6
2. Believe in God's plan. Our God is a miracle worker. He can part waters, move boulders, heal the dead (not just the sick, remember, the dead), save, destroy, bless, and curse. He can do anything, everything, things beyond our comprehension.
And He has you in the palm of His hand.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things, saying, “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?” These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” -Matthew 6:25-33
So that's it. It's a lack of faith. If we believe in God's plan and provision, we have no worry.
I have often meditated on these verses over the years as I've worried about our finances. Are we putting enough money into savings? Are we paying enough on our credit card debt? Just like now, the thoughts come and I don't know how to stop them.
As Jesus said, the birds don't worry about their next meal. Neither should we worry about anything.
The next one is actually the last verse of the above passage, but I thought it warranted its own box. It's a big one.
So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. –Matthew 6:34
My pastor preached a sermon on worry not too long ago. He said that worry is a sin.
That's right, A SIN.
He said that worrying is not having faith in God's plan for your life, unbelief that He has your best interest at heart. I can see his point.
I worry because I am broken and bruised and sad.
Jesus spoke often about worry and about peace.
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. -John 14:27
Do not let your heart be troubled. Pray through. Believe.
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:7
I have often felt the peace that passes all understanding in my life. When my 7-week-old baby was hospitalized with RSV and pneumonia. I had no anxiety that time. When my husband lost his job 14 months ago. I had no anxiety then.
This time is different. This time, it's me. I have tremendous anxiety that I just can't escape.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:1-2
Do not be afraid. The Lord is with you, and He will equip you for whatever is in your future.
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. –Psalm 55:22
You, my friend, are the godly. You are chasing after God, trying to do the right thing, seeking a better understanding of Him. Aren't you? He's talking about you.
3. Trust. It is not easy to trust God when you feel like things are out of control, but that's exactly what you have to do. Trust Him. Nothing is out of His control.
Trust in the lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:5-6
God is with you. He is holding you. He is in control of every little detail of your situation.
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. -Deuteronomy 31:6
This verse comes from a passage where Joshua and the Israelites are crossing over into the Promised Land, which is inhabited by giants and all sorts of scary people.
No doubt they were anxious. Their fathers turned away from the Promised Land and wandered in the desert for 40 years because of their anxiety over facing the insurmountable odds on the other side of the river.
But God had this under control. He knew what He had in store for His people, and He pushed those giants right out of their homes. He knocked down the walls of Jericho. He cleared a path for the Israelites to enjoy the milk and honey of their new homes.
God knew the plan. All the Israelites had to do was trust Him.
All you have to do is trust Him, too.
Pray. Believe in His plan. Trust Him. It's that easy and that hard.
Download these Bible verses on overcoming worry and anxiety in a convenient black and white printable below. You can work on memorizing and meditating on them, one at a time.
If you need help with a system for memorizing verses, check out this post on our family's memorization habit.
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