With the problems and worries that people face today, it is common for them to suffer from illnesses such as anxiety.
“The General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a psychiatric condition best characterized by worries that are excessive and interfere with normal social functioning. The worry is intense and pervasive, lasts a long time, and frequently occurs for no reason“.
“People suffering from GAD are likely to perceive everyday life as unmanageable. For adults to be diagnosed with GAD, they will exhibit at least three of the six primary symptoms” according to Anxiety.org.
According to statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about 20% of people in the United States suffers from anxiety-related problems.
What does the Bible say about anxiety?
Christians do not escape suffering from some kind of problem or mental disorder, and nowadays, some referents such as JP Moreland have told their experiences.
In an interview with the BibleGateway website, Moreland spoke about the challenges of mental illness and anxiety for Christians, assuring that people are born broken due to a genetic predisposition that is often inherited from parents to children.
“We’re born fallen and broken people in great need. Part of the fallenness at birth includes genetic predispositions we inherit from our parents. This is a scientific fact and is part of the biblical idea that we’re fallen. My entire mother’s side of the family was plagued with anxiety, and it was passed on to me and I passed it on to one of my two daughters who has more genes from me than my other daughter who has more from my wife’s side”. Said JP Moreland.
For Moreland, becoming a Christian was part of the solution to dealing with his anxiety, taking refuge in God for meaningful progress.
“I had hope to be healed of my anxiety when I became a Christian. And I did make some progress. But due to a lack of knowledge, I didn’t really know how to cooperate with the Spirit to make significant progress until I had my second nervous breakdown in 2013.”
Reading the Bible is a great way to overcome anxiety; knowing that with hope and faith in God, one can overcome difficult times.
Likewise, JP Moreland advises that making each of the Bible verses read daily serves as a solution to express gratitude to God and improve self-destructive habits.
“Let go of your life and all that is troubling you for a while, concentrate on relaxing in the present moment, and experience me as God.” Obviously, reciting and practicing this several times a day is really helpful.
There are several Bible verses that speak of anxiety, such as Psalm 123:1-5, which expresses and demonstrates trust in God, who will work on behalf of His people.
I lift up my eyes to you,
to you who sit enthroned in heaven.
2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us,
for we have endured no end of contempt.
4 We have endured no end
of ridicule from the arrogant,
of contempt from the proud.
JP Moreland also suggests a technique from his book Finding Quiet, in which he advises taking 4-5 Bible passages of preference and memorizing them, while praying asking God to intercede between the verses and their power.
“I suggest that a person pick 4-5 favorites (or favorites not on the list), memorize them, and spend daily a period of quiet (start with 10 minutes), relax, set aside for a moment your problems and responsibilities, and embrace one or two of your favorites by starting with repeating them to yourself, then praying them to and with God, and invite God to move the verse(s) down to your heart and feelings as well as retaining them in your mind”.
Discover 10 powerful Bible verses that offer comfort and peace during times of anxiety
1- Philippians 4:6-7
2 – Psalm 46:1-2
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea
3- Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
4- Deuteronomy 31:8
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
5- John 14:27
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 be troubled and do not be afraid.
6- Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
7- Psalm 73:23-24
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.
8 – Isaiah 40:31
9- Psalm 121:5-8
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
10- 1 Peter 5:7
In addition to spiritual guidance, if you are feeling depressed or anxious remember to visit a mental health expert, you can learn more about anxiety at the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) website.