The Bible’s Prescription for Anxiety
Life is full of concerns and troubles. Whether health issues, financial pressures, relationship problems, or all three, we all have them—concerns are just a part of life. Jesus understood this and told His followers not to be anxious about their daily cares or the future:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:25–27 ESV)
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34 ESV, emphasis added)
The apostle Paul went further in Philippians 4:6 and said not to be anxious about anything.
The Bible is clear that we should not have anxiety yet increasing numbers of people—including Christians—are experiencing it.
What Is Anxiety?
The Greek word for “anxiety” in the Bible is the same word as “concern,” but “anxiety” means “to be unduly concerned or overly concerned.” What is the difference in being rightly concerned and in being anxious?
To be concerned is more of an intellectual acknowledgment of an issue and perhaps an ongoing analysis of how to handle it. Anxiety is an emotional reaction brought on by fears, worry, and past hurts triggered by the situation. Therefore, anxiety and fear look a lot alike.
The Bible is clear God doesn’t want His children to live in a state of anxiety or fear. Here are four steps you can take to alleviate both.
1. Schedule regular times of rest and reflection.
In a perfect world, we would do this every day, but let’s be honest: life often gets in the way. Therefore, a weekly routine is necessary. Find what schedule works for you. The important thing is that you must make time each week to rest, perhaps read your Bible, and pray. Think of it as your own Sabbath rest and time to focus on your spiritual growth and fellowship with the Lord.
2. Bring your concerns to Him.
During that weekly time, make a list of your cares and concerns and bring them to Him, petitioning Him with your requests. This was Paul’s advice: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
3. Leave your concerns with Him.
Cast your concerns upon Him—and then leave them with Him! Do not pick them up and put them back on your shoulders. Leave them on His. First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV).
How do you know that you have cast your fears and anxieties on Him? When you are no longer carrying them around. Either your concern is on your shoulders, or it is on His! If you are still anxious after praying, you have not yet cast your concerns onto His shoulders.
Your heavenly Father loves you and cares about everything in your life. He wants to carry the fears and concerns that are making you anxious.
4. Receive His peace.
Finally, after you have done all that, receive the peace of the Holy Spirit that will guard your heart and mind against fears and anxieties. To experience true peace, we need to spend more time in the Lord’s presence, opening our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit.
This is the Bible’s prescription for anxiety:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7)
About this episode: Jesus’ Advice About Anxiety
Jesus understood we all have concerns and anxieties. So, He addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount and directed His followers to not be anxious for anything but realize how much the Father loved and cared for them. Join us this week as I share the steps to relieving anxiety found in the Bible and end with the words of Jesus on the matter.
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Don’t Be Anxious About Anything
Life is full of concerns and troubles. We all have them‑whether health issues, financial pressures, or relationship problems. But the Bible says we are not to be anxious about anything. When does our legitimate concern become anxiety and how do we guard against it?
Cast Your Anxieties on Him
The Lord loves you so much that He wants to carry your cares and concerns for you. Therefore, 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “cast” our anxieties upon Him. If you walk away from a time of prayer and you are still anxious then you did not cast your cares upon Him. Either they rest on His shoulders or on yours. Where are your anxieties today?