Anxiety—spiritual, psychological, medical? Is it a problem, or is it the default of humanity? After all, everyone seems worried and stressed out. But for some of us, anxiety is a familiar enemy—stealing our sleep and the rest of our waking life, one worried moment at a time.
But to quote Cinderella, “just because it’s what’s done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.” Cinderella is on to a great secret. The world would tell you that worry is a pet we all own and are free to stroke. But we know from our counselors and statistics that anxiety isn’t a tame beast.
The Bible has a different perspective. It tells us anxiety is a mighty beast that would devour us. It needs to be slain. It tells us anxiety is a problem woven into the fabric of our souls we need deliverance from. The Bible tells us that God wants us to be worry-free.
God is a relational being—self-described as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who existed in a relationship of love before the world was ever made. He sees how anxiety destroys your demeanor, relationships, and steals your life away. He wants your freedom. He’s a loving Father who wants none of his children living in fear.
When we see God as a person, we read the Bible’s “Don’t be anxious” with the heart behind it. “I care for you,” he says. Would you believe it? God has given you evidence that he cares for you, and doesn’t just care, but deeply loves you, and is ready to love you forever if you’ll accept his invitation.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 ESV).
God cared so much for your burdens that he made them his own. He carried your sin on the cross, and if you receive his forgiveness, he wants to carry you for the rest of your life.
listens to me
will live in safety
and be at ease,
without fear of harm.
Luke 10:38-42 ESV
does not involve repressing one’s anxiety in order to appear strong. On the contrary, it means
recognizing one’s weakness,
accepting the inward truth about oneself,
confessing one’s anxiety,
and still to believe, that is to say that
the Christian puts his trust not in his own strength, but in the grace of God.
True peace does not demand a denial of our emotions and concerns. What is the difference between godly concern and sinful anxiety? Actually the same Greek word is used for both, and it is only the context that reveals the difference. The difference can be seen in these mathematical formulas: Concern + unbelief = anxiety; Concern + faith = a biblical virtue (1 Corinthians 7:32-33; 1 Corinthians 12:25; 2 Corinthians 11:28).
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
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
and do not
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
The very essence of anxious care is the
we are wiser than God,
and the thrusting of ourselves into his place, to do for him that which we dream
he either cannot or will not
do; we attempt to think of that which
we fancy he will forget;
or we labor to take upon ourselves that burden which he
either is not able or willing
to carry for us.
In the Bible, God commands us not to worry, and he gives us good reasons for why we need not worry. Anxiety-free living is something we must learn as we walk with God, but it is nevertheless God’s goal for his children. Listen to Pastor John MacArthur explain Jesus’ teaching from Luke 12:22-34 on how to live anxiety-free.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Have no fear
of sudden disaster
or of the
ruin that overtakes
for the Lord
will be at your side
“I need you!” I sobbed. “You can’t die! You can’t!”…
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. “Corrie,” he began gently, “when you and I go to Amsterdam when do I give you your ticket?”
I sniffed a few times, considering this. “Why, just before we get on the train.”
“Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we’re going to need things, too. Don’t run ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need—just in time.”
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
that I am God.