What Does The Bible Say About Anxiety? A Biblical Study

by Derek Hill on March 6, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

Anxiety is a feeling that comes over us all from time to time.  Where does it come from?  Why do we experience it?  The Bible has some clear, truthful insight on this.  Let us dive into scripture.

We are Commanded to not be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” (Luke 12:22-23)

A real, genuine faith requires us to actually believe that God will provide for us.  When we take the focus off of us and what we can do, it makes trusting in God and what He can do much easier.  Anxiety is all about you and nothing about God.  That is why we are commanded to stop being anxious.  God has a plan for every step of your life.  Anxiety is only a stumbling block and a hindrance to walking the path that God has set for you.

Anxiety is a tool of the Devil

Anxiety and worry are tools that the Devil has used throughout history to hinder God’s people from moving.  Here are two examples from the Bible.

Moses

When God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, He asked Moses to go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt. (Exodus 3:10)  First of all, this was God physically speaking to Moses.  You think that would have been enough for Moses to obey.  Moses’ response is, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)  Moses was worried that he was not going to be able to accomplish this task because he was a “nobody”.  Further on in Exodus 3:14-21, God tells His game-plan to Moses about how Moses will come out victorious.  Still Moses was doubtful and anxious about it all.  Moses says, “But behold, they will not believe me or listen to my voice.” (Exodus 4:1)  Then God gives Moses 2 signs to show that He is Almighty God and nothing can stop His will.  He makes Moses’ staff turn into a serpent and then turn back into a staff again. (Exodus 4:3-4)  Then God makes Moses’ hand leprous and then restores his hand to normal. (Exodus 4:6-7)  After these two signs and more explanation from God, Moses says, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” (Exodus 4:10) God then reassures Moses that he will be OK because God will teach him what to speak. (Exodus 4:12)  Moses then speaks his most anxious reply to God, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13)  Moses was focused on himself, instead of focusing on God.  That is why he was so anxious and worried.  Had he enough faith to believe God and move, this whole ordeal would not have happened.  Of course God still accomplished His will and Moses did deliver the Israelites out of the hands of Pharaoh.

Martha

While Jesus was visiting Mary and Martha in their home, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. (Luke 10:39)  While Martha was focusing on herself and what she was doing she says to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone?  Tell her then to help me.” (Luke 10:40)  She was worried about making sure everyone was being taken care of.  All the while she was missing an encounter with Jesus.  Jesus replies to Martha with, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary.  Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”  (Luke 10:41-42)  There are two important elements in what Jesus said.  He said “one thing is necessary” which is implying that worry and anxiety are not necessary.  The second thing is that choosing Jesus is necessary because He is the “good portion”.  Had Martha chosen to spend time with Jesus, she would have made the best choice.

In both cases of Moses and Martha, Satan used fear, anxiety and worry to get the best of them.  This is why so many Christians today aren’t moving where God wants them to go.  Don’t worry about anything if you are feeling God telling you to move.  If God wants you to take a step in any direction, He already has your path set before you.  All you have to do is walk on the path He has set.  He will take care of you.  Give God your worries in prayer and let Him lead you.

Anxiety is not Productive

Anxiety is only a stumbling block and a hindrance to walking the path that God has set for you.

Anxiety is only a stumbling block and a hindrance to walking the path that God has set for you.

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:27; Luke 12:25) Anxiety does not add anything to your life, including longer life.  Actually, anxiety and stress have many negative effects on the body from high blood pressure and heart attacks to migraines and sleeplessness.

“Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress — a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.” (webmd.com)

Conclusion

Anxiety is nothing but trouble.  Try to avoid it whenever possible.  We are commanded to not be anxious, anxiety is a tool of Satan, and your health is in danger when you stay anxious for extended periods of time.  Whatever problems arise, remember that if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Need some Bible verses about anxiety? Take a look at these:

Bible verses about Anxiety

Resource – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”



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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee March 6, 2013 at 8:38 am

Great advice but easier said then done.

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Derek Hill March 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Thank you Renee. I agree that it is easier said then done sometimes. When those times occur, I sit in my room and pray to God about it, telling Him all of my doubts. Granted, the doubts may still be there, but at least I have connected with God. God bless!

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Jack Wellman March 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

I agree with Renee. Great advice my friend and great putting this together. When I’m not so together I need to get altogether in the Bible and these Scriptures I truly need my friend. Well done as always.

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Derek Hill March 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Thank you Jack. I always appreciate your comments. You are always encouraging. I learned a lot about myself researching this article. The section on Moses was what I needed to hear from God. God still will accomplish His will no matter how anxious we are. God bless you brother!

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Russell Doherty March 7, 2013 at 1:06 am

This was a great post! I battled anxiety for a long time and occasionally anxiety overcomes me. Being strongly grounded in the Lord I have learned not to dwell or let anxiety take control. In times of anxiety I am reminded of how much we need God in our lives to remain truly content.

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Derek Hill March 7, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Thank you Russell. I appreciate your comment. I too have battled depression and anxiety in some of the trials I have been through. I firmly believe that when we tell depression to go away and focus on Jesus, we can overcome it for sure. Christ is bigger then anxiety and depression. God bless you!

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Robin March 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I am new to your website but I’m glad I found it,anxiety has crippled me throughout my life. The what ifs, can’ts and maybes are always there. God is my foundation but to often I fail in trust. Thank you for your knowledge and insight!

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Derek Hill March 8, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Robin, I know what you mean. We all have times of doubt for sure when it comes to going where God leads. Praise be to God that He is always willing to forgive us too! God bless you!

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Robin March 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

What’s moderstion

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Derek Hill March 8, 2013 at 8:51 pm

I am not sure what you are referring to, Robin. If you can tell me where you saw it in the article, I may be able to help you. God bless!

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Robert Miller March 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Derek,

It’s been a while! This article is definitely for me. Anxiety (or perhaps more accurately, worry) is the dragon I can never seem to slay. Even when I get to a point where I feel like I’ve prayed it out and I’m happy, something always comes along to take that away. All too often it seems like I’ll read something, and although what I read may be intended to build up the writer’s brothers and sisters in Christ, it ultimately causes me to feel inadequate, or that I’m not enough. The irony, of course, is that I already know I’m not “enough”–otherwise, Christ wouldn’t have had to die for me! It starts this crazy cycle that never seems to end. I’m hoping to meet with a prayer counselor sometime soon, but in the mean time will you please pray for me? The thought of walking away assaults my mind, and although I will never give in to it (where will I walk away to? Walking away from Jesus means walking into hell), it has a way of beating me down. Please pray for me, brother. I need to rip the roots of worry, fear, doubt, depression, and every other negative emotion out from inside of me. I’m tired of feeling this way. I want what God has for me–the life, the plans, the good works–everything!

Sorry if it’s a hassle for me to dump this on you. Sometimes I feel like I just need to express my feelings to other people. Too often I try to go it alone, instead of relying on the Godly counsel that is readily available to me.

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Derek Hill March 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Robert, it HAS been a long time LOL! It is great to hear from you again brother! I will definitely pray for you. I really encourage you to meet with the prayer counselor you mentioned. I have met with counselors in 2 different times in my life and it was a huge help to me. Don’t ever feel bad about venting. Lay it on thick and get it out. Satan wants you quiet. When you talk about your sins and trials with others, you are basically saying, “Satan get behind me!” Seriously, though, since it has been a while, I can’t get enough of Theocracy and I am grateful to you for showing me them. I think the song “I AM” would be a great motivator for you because it has definitely motivated me to focus on how incredible God is. God bless you brother! It was great to hear from you!

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Ping March 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

I like your post very much, Derek! I am anxious sometime, though not too much. Anxiety is not productive but is bad to our health. If we really believe that God will provide for us, we will be never anxious! So the key problem is that our faith is not strong enough, right?
“A heart at peace gives life to the body”–Proverbs 14:30

Shalom
Ping

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Derek Hill March 10, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Thank you Ping. You are absolutely right! If we don’t trust God, we will worry and be anxious. If we give our burdens to Him and trust His will, we don’t need to worry because God has it under control. Thank you for the verse you mentioned. It is perfect for this topic! God bless!

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Ping March 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Thank you very much for your reply, Derek.
I like your statement of “A real, genuine faith requires us to actually believe that God will provide for us”. My question is:
We sometime are anxious about our health. For example, if a young person has cancer and he may die soon. So he worried very much and prayed to God to save him. However, no matter how he pray, he has to die. In this case, how shall we understand that “God will provide for us”?

Shalom
Ping

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Derek Hill March 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Hello again! That is a great question. If this person is praying, then they are already a believer in Christ, so I would say that God will definitely provide by welcoming them to their real home in heaven after they pass. Can you imagine that first step into glory? It will be amazing! You don’t need to be anxious about eternity if you have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior! God bless you!

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Ping March 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

Thank you very much, Derek!
So I will have eternal life, not eternal death!

Derek Hill March 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm

Yes sir! Do you mind me asking if you are the person that you mentioned in your last message about having cancer? If so, my heart goes out to your family and loved ones. I am praying for you regardless. God bless!

Derek Hill March 24, 2013 at 7:13 pm

My heart goes out to you too Ping.

Ping March 28, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Dear Derek,

Thank you for your comments. I do not have cancer for the time being.
In my friend’s church, there are four brothers/sisters who have cancers. We prayed for their health earthly and one of them recovered.
At first, I thought God blessed the one who is alive, but now I know that God blessed all four, no matter they died or alive?

Shalom
Ping

Derek Hill March 28, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Amen Ping! As Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” God bless!

Nicholas March 12, 2013 at 4:33 am

I hate to say that Prozac sure helps me , but I feel GOD gave those who invented such the knowledge to do so , I can’t help but feel at times my lack of faith to be healed by GOD of this anxiety problem , but then again I am able to think more clearly and be blessed by the Bible , and by such articles as yours . I don’t have any more to add right now , perhaps someone else will spark me to relate to what they think about what I have said .

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Derek Hill March 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm

Hello Nicholas. Medications can definitely help with any disease. God gave us the mind to learn and develop medicines that help people. I know where you are coming from with a lack of faith because we all lack faith in different areas of life. I encourage you to really dig down deep in scripture and in prayer. Tell God how you feel. Be completely honest with Him. God will answer you in His timing. God bless you!

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Jack Wellman March 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

I am with you on your lack of faith Nicholas. I know that even a small amount of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, is great when the Object of our Faith, Jesus Christ, is involved. I believe you are doing the right thing…being in the Word of God gets the Word of God into you. I will pray for you my friend as Robert, Derek, and others will be.

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Nicholas March 13, 2013 at 12:33 am

I think about the word Pharmakeia which pharmacy came from , and it can be considered a deceiver of the devil , but I also see in Revelations in 22:2 where the leaves of trees for healing , it is impossible for me to say what is right and what is wrong , other than to just pray for GOD’s guidance .

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Derek Hill March 13, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Hello Nicholas. You said it perfectly when you said, “just pray for God’s guidance.” When we pray for answers to specific issues, God will answer in His timing. God bless!

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Jack Wellman March 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

Nicholas, you are right…the word “pharmakeia” is in the Bible but this mention of it I believe is about the misuse of drugs like illegal drugs because knowing Jesus said that “the sick need a physician” and one of the 12 Disciples was a doctor (Luke). I would trust what doctors prescribe because these have been thoroughly tested and there is every reason to believe that they know what they are doing. I too will pray for God’s guidance for you Nicholas. We have many writers and readers that are prayer warriors and care very much.

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Jo-Anne March 14, 2013 at 3:16 am

Wow, I have been very anxiouse the past month and yes it has made me ill to the point where I had to see a Dr as I am developing an ulcer and chest pains. So after reading this article I have realised to I neet to “LET GO AND LET GOD” do what needs to be done and to stay focused on His will and not mine. Thank you very much Derek

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Derek Hill March 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

That is wonderful news Jo-Anne!! I know where you are coming from. I went through a big trial recently that lasted 15 months long and I also developed chest pains through it. I went to the doctor as well. After a while, i gave up on me and gave it to God and I haven’t had any pains since. God bless you and thank you for commenting!

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Nicholas March 18, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I must ask that our family needs your prayers , my mother-in-law has seen doctors and she has problems with her liver , and fluid that has made her swell at her adomine , my wife is so distraught , doctors have called in Hospice , thank-you for prayers so very much !!

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Derek Hill March 18, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Nicholas, as soon as I send this message you can be assured that I am praying for your mother-in-law. Please let me know more later if you can and I will continue to pray. I am praying specifically for you as a husband to be able to be strong for your wife. I am praying for your wife that she may find peace that passes all understanding through this. I am praying that God will heal your mother-in-law to the fullest!

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Nicholas March 19, 2013 at 12:19 am

Derek , Thank-you , I am going to forward this too , to my wife , I want her to know many will be praying , thank-you so very much for your part and the other’s part in making this site available , even with my mispellings and all , we know that GOD knows all and HE knows our requests and HE has a plan to bless us ……….. if you could answer to let her know somewhat the many who will be praying for her mother , and our family , thanks Nicholas

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Derek Hill March 19, 2013 at 5:32 am

Nicholas, I will continue to pray for your family. I have sent an email out to all of the writers involved on this site to pray for your family. When people pray together, God always listens!! Keep us posted on what happens. God bless you and your family!

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Pamela Rose Williams March 19, 2013 at 8:28 am

Dear Nicholas, please know that I am sending prayers to our Heavenly Father for you and your family. The Bible tells us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. I will offer prayers continually, that God will work His perfect will and give y’all everything you need to get through this storm.

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Robert March 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

Nicholas,
Many prayer warriors will be lifting you, your wife, your mother-in-law, and your entire situation up to God. God is good, He never fails us. Sometimes we do not understand His workings or His ways, but He is a trustworthy God. God bless you Nicholas.
Yours in Christ,
Robert

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Josh March 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Count me as one praying for you and your family Nicholas!

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David Peach March 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Nicholas, I too will be praying for you and your wife. I pray that you will both have a peace from God that you carries you through this. Also that there will be a grace and graciousness that you can share with others so that they too will be drawn to God through your testimony.

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Nicholas March 19, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Unbelievable Thank-you’s to you all for the prayers , this is so wonderful !!!!!!!!!!!

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Nicholas March 27, 2013 at 3:36 am

To my surprise my mother-in-law is worried she has sinned too much/ too badly and may not be forgiven , also feels she explains it as a plex-a-glass shield between her prayers and GOD , I would like some words to give her soon , please . I have expressed verses from the Bible , but some words from you – all would be of such comfort to her , i have told her many are praying for her , that she has never met or asked herself for prayer , those who care because they are loving Christians , thanks !!!

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Derek Hill March 27, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Hello again Nicholas! Being a Christian isn’t about how much we sin, its about our belief in Christ that saves us. If your mother-in-law believes “For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), then she can be assured she is saved. Our works don’t get us into heaven because we could never do enough works to to make it into heaven. But, our belief in Christ is what gets us there. “Whoever BELIEVES in Him is NOT condemned.” (John 3:18) If heaven was based on works, we would all go to hell for sure. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Praise Jesus that even though we fall short, His blood covers our sin so that we become righteous in the eyes of God! Does this make sense?

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Nicholas March 28, 2013 at 12:39 am

Derek , Very Much , it makes sense !!! We are on the same page , I have shared this with her , and I know she has asked Jesus , and believes , I think she is mostly sorry for her sins/ choices so much that she wants to punish herself for letting herself do some sins/ make some choices she must think were absolutely not in her nature to have done , she must be ashamed so much of them , and some I believe make her feel she let her daughters down when they were young to not have been with them , and maybe put her happiness ahead of them . I don’t think she doubts GOD’s word or the power of the Lord or that Jesus died for all her sins . I think she is also so overwhelmed with thoughts of having more time to spend with her daughter Bobbi , my wife , and Bobbi’s sister had just died recently , and we found from the coroner that either she did by error perhaps , but we don’t know– take too many drugs and died as a result of that . Cindy , the daughter that passed away had also meant to punish their mother in every way she could think of toward her life’s end , and resented Bobbi for having forgave their mother . My mother-in-law has looked forward to our moving in with her , and this diagnosis has obviously been a let-down along with other things bad happening , and she thinks she is being punished , and has this all on her mind at once . It is fitting that this be under the heading of anxiety after all , we do see that our Creator is indeed able , and is our only hope !!!!!!!!!

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