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Anxiety and fear are relentless. These are two of the enemy’s most popular weapons that he uses against us. Unchecked fear can keep you in bed for hours past what is healthy or wise. Anxiety can also show us as fiery anger, in unkind speech and hurtful attitudes. The longer you struggle with fear, the more likely it is for you to be overwhelmed by it, allowing it to control your every decision and move. Choosing not to deal with it can leave you with scars. Even still, we have a promise that “God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability” (1 Corinthians 10:13), and this includes the sinful unbelief of an anxious heart. One of the best ways to rid yourself of the fear that is plaguing you is to turn to Scripture. Here are eight Bible verses that remind us God is in control.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two, and let them minister life, healing and comfort to us. Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants some special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” On reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
By definition, a refuge is a safe place. When the Bible describes God as our refuge, it is saying that God is our safe place when we need protection from something. Knowing God is our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether in a physical or spiritual sense. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be, always, is right with Him.
“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.”
According to data released by Amazon on the most highlighted passage in Kindle ebooks, the most popular passage from the Bible is this passage from Philippians. Most biblical scholars agree that the apostle Paul composed Philippians while he was in prison so the fact that Paul was able to reject anxiety even during his own imprisonment makes the passage all the more encouraging. Although it might seem novel to see biblical writers addressing modern worries, the lesson from this passage is timeless and can affect anyone. The life of faith is filled with a constant challenge to risk more to become our true selves.
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The One who fears is not made perfect in love.”
In the previous verse (verse 17), John tells us how to have confidence or boldness on the Day of Judgment. And in verse 18, he tells us how to cast fear out of our lives. These are simply positive and negative ways of saying the same thing: getting rid of fear is the negative way of saying become confident. John wants to help us enjoy confidence before God. He does not want us to be paralyzed or depressed by fear of judgment.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19
What this Psalm tells us is that even in rough or desperate situations, we can be filled with the joy of the Lord. He is our consolation and His Word eases anxiety like nothing else can. God can bring joy to your soul even during times when you’re most anxious by simply knowing that He’s present and trusting in His power.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
Life is more than food and clothing. God has reminded us of that throughout the Scriptures. Jesus reminded us of it when He faced temptation from Satan. So we shouldn’t worry because God will take care of the big stuff and the little stuff. Worrying doesn’t change things, big or small, except to make those problems appear worse than they really are. So why let ourselves get so worked up into a frenzy over “big things”? Cast your cares on God and then trust in His wisdom.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”
Like many psalms, King David wrote this from a season of trouble. Yet, it is a song of confidence and triumph because David was not in darkness or ultimate peril because the Lord was his light and salvation. God Himself brought light to David’s life. He did not despair in darkness and all that it represented. His life was filled with the Lord, and his life was filled with the light.
“Then He placed His right hand on me and said: Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last.”
Jesus said first, “Do not be afraid” This is what we need to hear in these days when many of us are so anxious. Remember, fear doesn’t glorify God. Jesus was always saying “fear not” to his frightened disciples. The Gospels record that every time they were in trouble, they expressed themselves in manifestations of fear, anxiety, worry and panic, but the Lord always came along at the right moment and said, “Fear not.” We are called to do the same.
One of the best ways to combat two of the enemy’s weapon of fear and anxiety is through the power of Scripture. Read God’s Word, and repeatedly immerse yourself in it. The more you read, the better you will understand His Word and the truth found in it. While fear may continue to show up for you, when you acknowledge and truly believe God is in control, fear and anxiety will no longer paralyze you.