Fighting Worry and Anxiety with God’s Word
Written by Jenn Arman | September 14, 2014
It’s a sad fact that in today’s world, many people, even children as young as six, suffer from serious worry and anxiety. Don’t misunderstand—normal anxiety is a part of life. It’s a feeling we get before giving a presentation at school in front of our classmates or from other stressful events, but sometimes anxiety and worry can get out of our control.
I can’t get through one church service without speaking to at least three people who struggle with regular, serious anxiety. In my own family, both my mom and youngest sister suffer daily with this type of anxiety.
I think one of the worst things about excessive worry and anxiety is how hard they are to fight. No matter whether we struggle with serious anxiety or normal everyday stress, worry in any form is one of the most difficult emotions to overcome.
Thankfully, we have a savior who has already overcome the world and everything in it—including worry, in all its forms.
In order to fight worry, we need a few things. First, let’s identify what worry is from a biblical perspective. Worry is the opposite of peace.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (Jn. 14:27, ESV)
That’s Jesus speaking. He said He was leaving peace with us and not worry. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us there’s no reason to worry because the Father takes care of the birds and we’re far more valuable to Him than they are. Philippians 4:6 tells us to replace our anxiety with prayer and thankfulness.
So, worry isn’t just the opposite of peace. Worry is the enemy of peace, which makes it one of the devil’s favorite tools to use against us.
Next, we need to understand that faith and belief are separate, distinct things. Faith is a choice we make to believe certain things. We choose to believe that Jesus died and rose again and that His sacrifice makes us right with God. We choose to believe the Bible is true. That’s faith.
Belief is harder, isn’t it? Ever tried believing someone who’s lied to you? How about changing something you’ve believed for a long time? That’s hard too. Belief is harder because it’s based completely in trust, and it’s hard to trust.
Do we really believe God loves and values us more than anything else in creation? Do we really trust God to have everything in the universe under control? That’s a lot to keep track of! I know I couldn’t do it.
The best way I know to increase belief is repeatedly seeing or hearing what we need to believe. Take scriptures about God’s love and put them everywhere your eyes look regularly. Write them on your hands, put them in your notebook, write them on your mirror, tape them to your walls—whatever gets them before your eyes as often as possible.
Now we know that worry is a tool of our enemy, and that belief in God’s word and promises is what we need in our hearts and minds to fight worry, so let’s take a lesson from Jesus Himself.
In the account of Jesus’ temptation in the desert (Mt. 4:1-11; Lk. 4:1-13), every time the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus responded with “It is written” followed by the word of God.
Girls, this is how we fight back against worry and anxiety. The devil uses worry to tempt us to fear. When he does, we need to respond with “It is written” followed by the word of God, just like Jesus did, then thank God for His faithfulness in acting according to His word.
Remember, girls: The devil is persistent. You may have to tell him to get lost many times in a single day, but keep doing it because he has no power over the word of God.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
Girls, what do you think are the most powerful verses about dealing with anxiety?
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