I am not a stranger to anxiety. When I was growing up, it simply came and went depending on various situations I was in. But shortly after my second son was born, I found myself battling a whole new type of anxiety. I found it hard to sleep, and when I was able to sleep in between the anxiety and the newborn nighttime feedings, I had terrifying dreams. I felt paralyzed to make decisions and was constantly fearful of something bad happening to my husband or my young children. I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety and put on medication. About two years later, as that anxiety became more manageable, I found myself struggling with a whole new type of anxiety after both of my sons began receiving diagnosis after diagnosis and my life became filled with a million appointments (or so it felt), and a constant worry I wasn’t doing enough for my children.
The anxiety crippled my mind, my sleep, and my body as I found myself experiencing stress-related health issues. I continued my anxiety medication and began counseling and a regimen of looking up, writing down, and memorizing Scriptures about peace and anxiety. There’s hundreds of verses about peace and worry, fear, and anxiety in case you were wondering, but I’d like to share six of my favorites with you today. These Scriptures help bring so much peace to my heart and mind and spirit when I am feeling anxious.
- “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7, MSG
I’ve read and heard this verse many times, but reading it in The Message version just awoke something in my anxious mind. It showed me that instead of focusing on my worries I should focus on the good things in my life, and thank God for the things I was grateful for, and as I did that, my worries seemed to melt away. There will always be something we could worry about, but there will always be many things in our lives that we can be grateful for, and focusing on those things really does help our worries take a back-seat as we’re reminded of God’s goodness and provision in our life. When we focus on the blessings in our lives or the amazing characteristics of God, we see how God has been good to us and provided for us and will continue to do so in our lives and our situation.
- “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT
In the first Scripture we focused on the character and the provision and grace of God and how that can offer us peace. With this Scripture, we are reminded to remember who God created us to be. He did not create us to be fearful or anxious, but created us with a unique calling and purpose and with “power, love, and self-discipline.” By focusing on how God created us we can find the courage to persevere despite our anxieties and our fears, knowing that God is equipping us with what we need to keep moving forward with God by our side.
- “You have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba Father.” For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:15-16 NLT
Similar to the verse above, we were not created to live in fear, but we were created to live as beloved children of God. We can operate out of our worries and fears, or we can operate out of our spiritual identity as beloved children of God with access to His power and victory because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. One of my favorite songs to listen to when I’m feeling anxious is called No Longer Slaves. The song is such an encouraging reminder of our identity and God’s goodness, especially when we’re feeling fearful or anxious.
- “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams.” Psalm 23:1-2 NLT
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious about a situation I cannot control, I find myself worrying and googling and getting more overwhelmed with the situation, before thankfully, the Holy Spirit reminds me of our Good Shepherd. According to Psalm 23, we see that God is our Good Shepherd, providing us with everything we need (not always necessarily everything we want). We are the sheep, the ones who are supposed to follow, not lead and control the outcome of situations we are worried about. But if we just rest in the fact that we have a Good Shepherd, who loves us so very much that He would die for us and will provide us with everything we need, that kind of perfect love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18).
It requires surrender to let go of our worries and entrust them into the Lord’s hands, but He can handle our burdens and longs for us to experience His rest and His peace.
- “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
I love this verse because it reminds us that life is full of challenges. That may not be encouraging to hear, but when life is hard, it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong or you’re being punished. It’s just part of life and the sin of this world. Our favorite Bible heroes all dealt with their own life challenges and struggles, sometimes for years. But what is encouraging is that they all experienced victory at some point. And what makes them heroes of the faith is that they trusted God despite their trials and challenges and worries.
We may have struggles and challenges now, but we know our story ends in victory. Our victory may happen on earth or we may not experience it until heaven, but we will experience victory because Jesus made it possible with His death and resurrection and that should give us incredible peace and hope.
- “The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:17 NIV
What I have noticed is that it is easy to pick up on other peoples’ anxiety. When I’m feeling anxious, my kids and my husband experience it and can begin to feel anxious too. And when my husband is feeling anxious, I find myself entering into it as well. This verse reminds me of the kind of life and home God wants us to have. He wants us to have peace and confidence in our hearts. And He wants us to have peace in our family and home where we can experience His presence and rest.
Easier said than done, especially when you’re struggling with anxiety. But we know that peace is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), and so we can pray that we would grow in peace and pray that we would be able to surrender all the things that are not within our control.
We can also strive to cultivate a peaceful atmosphere in our homes, and pray that God’s peaceful presence would fill our hearts and homes.
As we grow in peace with God’s help, we will see the fruit of it in our lives, in our hearts, in our homes, and within our families.
If you’d like a list of more verses related to peace and anxiety, check out 25 Scriptures to Pray When You’re Struggling with Anxiety.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, there’s lots of things you can do to get the physical, mental, and spiritual rest you need when you’re struggling with anxious thoughts: