Calm Anxiety with the Truth of God

Calm Anxiety with the Truth of God

It seems that more people are feeling anxious than ever. The truth is, to stop fretting from the uncertainties of today’s world, we can all calm anxiety with the truth of God.

I certainly need wisdom to learn how to give my anxiety to God. Each post in this series points to what God says about anxiety and uses Scripture to help embrace His truth. The Bible allows us to focus on God as the authentic Source of our peace.

Hope for Today—a Bible Verse for Anxiety

Today’s Bible verse for anxiety is one that, at its surface, almost sounds too good to be true.

John 14:1 (HCSB)
Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.

It can seem as if these words of Jesus are oversimplified. How do we gain freedom from a troubled heart by simply believing? God provides a glimpse of His powerful intent for these words. If we desire freedom from a troubled heart, we must believe in God and His Son. That’s what it looks like to calm anxiety with the truth of God.

Before this Bible verse could have it’s powerful, calming impact in my life, I had to analyze what I believed. During past periods of hardship and anxious thinking, I began to believe some incorrect things about the Lord. Those thoughts clouded what the Bible teaches is true. For example, when experiencing past trials:

  • I’ve believed God was no longer for me,
  • Or that He stopped caring about the people I love.
  • In the past, I’ve believed that my sin was too great to be covered by the blood of Jesus,
  • And that I was too disgraceful to receive forgiveness.
  • I believed that the Lord abandoned me
  • Or that I was being punished.

Each statement is completely untrue. If I believe false truths about Jesus, I have no hope to calm or overcoming anxiety.

Calm Anxiety With the Truth of God

To calm my troubled heart, I must believe the truth about God and that truth is found in His Word. When I believe that His love covers a multitude of sins, including my own, then I receive hope for a blessed future walking in the Lord’s favor. By believing that He is a loving Father, I can embrace my identity as His child and know that He is for me. When God allows struggles into my life, they are filtered through His loving kindness.  With the belief that God has a good plan for His children, I know  He is always working for my good and His glory.

It’s not enough to believe in a God about whom I’ve formed my own perception —especially one based on emotion and disappointments. Complete peace comes when I believe in the God of the Bible—when I believe who God says He is in His Word. The more I read His Word, the more I begin to know and understand His character, His nature, and His ways. A deeper connection and relationship with my Heavenly Father emerge out of the time that I spend with Him. There, I find perfect peace that calms anxiety.

How Do I Overcome Anxiety?

Part of the formula I’ve discovered to calm anxiety is to remain mindful of it. I’ve learned that I cannot allow it to run rampant through my heart and mind or my anxious thoughts will continue to multiply within me.  I must tame my thought patterns, and that requires smothering them with the truth of Scripture. When my mind is filled with God’s truth, there’s no room for it to wander off into negative, anxious, and destructive thinking. The Bible is filled with God’s wisdom and instruction that deliver His authentic and unwavering peace. By relying on Him, I can calm anxiety and embrace joy in my jumbled life.   May you discover our holy God through His Word today,

The Journey of Calming Anxiety

If you’re wondering how to calm anxiety fast, I invite you to read more through other posts in this powerful series:

Calm Anxiety with God’s Power2 Timothy 1:7

How to Calm Anxiety and Find SleepPsalm 4:8 and Proverbs 3:24

Finding Peace Through Humility1 Peter 5:6-7

Calming Anxiety Through GratitudePhilippians 4:6-7

Calming Anxiety Through SurrenderIsaiah 41:10

Calm Anxiety with Focus on ChristIsaiah 26:3

 

 

 

 

Calm Anxiety with the Truth of God

Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ

Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ

Anxiety, whether common anxiety over life issues or an anxiety disorder, is something that plagues our minds. It takes root in our thought lives and can disrupt so much more: our energy levels, concentration, eating habits, sleep, communication, relationships, you name it! The real struggle is in what we ponder. That’s how we can calm anxiety with a focus on Christ, and why today’s verse is so powerful.

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You
in perfect peace,
for it is trusting in You (HCSB)

 

The more we focus on God, the more we receive His peace. The HCSB says peace comes when our minds are dependent on God. Other Bible translations use the terms “stayed,” “fixed,” or “steadfast.” Each points us in the same direction. When God is the center of our focus, we trust in Him and He brings peace. Perfect peace. That peace is unwavering and able to withstand anything that comes at us.

 

How to Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ

How do we focus on God? Is there a way to develop a steadfast thought life that holds Christ in the center? It takes practice, first and foremost. And we start one step at a time. Here are some practices that help me when my thoughts threaten to take a dangerous path of worry and anxiety:

 

Read more of God’s Word.

My aim is to read Scripture every day. I don’t give myself a set assignment like reading an entire chapter or three. My days are too sporadic for that. Sometimes I have lots of time to read and other days it feels like my feet are running on a treadmill before I ever even get out of bed. As I read daily Scripture, sometimes it’s one verse. Sometimes it’s an entire book of the Bible. It truly doesn’t matter. If I’m reading His Word, it is an aid to keep my mind fixed on God.

Pray and ask for focus.

As I turn my mind to focus on God, I’m trying to accomplish a spiritual discipline. Accomplishing a spiritual discipline is not possible with fleshly strength. It’s important to ask for the Lord’s help in my endeavor and accept His supernatural and divine help. I am not alone in this task; God is by my side, aiding and equipping me along the way.

Place visual and electronic reminders.

It helps a LOT to have a Bible verse taped to the bathroom mirror, or to my dashboard, or as wallpaper on my phone. Another tool is setting an electronic alarm as a reminder to take a break for 5 minutes and read or re-read a verse or passage each day. Lastly, when making the bed, I sometimes place my Bible on my pillow to remind myself to read the Word once again before I drift off to sleep.

Listen to podcasts or watch videos that pertain to the Bible.

I find this a great way to use my drive time or chore time to help my thought habits. ** If you’d like to listen in, I have a FREE daily video devotion series on YouTube.**

Find accountability.

Often, I’ll ask a friend, mentor, or even my husband to check in with me from time to time and ask if I’ve been in God’s Word each day. If I know I’ll have to answer to someone, even casually, I’m much more diligent in my efforts. Accountability can go a long way in strengthening my thought life and fixing it on God.

 

Which of these tips do you find most helpful? Are there practices that you use that I didn’t share? Please tell me about them in the comments. I’d love to hear!

For additional inspiration about calming anxiety, be sure to read the rest of this 7-part series.

May you find great peace today as you fix your mind on Christ,

 

 

 

 

Calm Anxiety with Focus on Christ

 

 

Calm Anxiety through Focus on Christ

 

 

 

Calm Anxiety Through Surrender

Calm Anxiety Through Surrender

Mamas tend to worry. It’s what we do. We face more anxiety about our children than we ever dreamed possible, but we can calm anxiety through surrender to God.

 

I remember seasons when my kids were off to college, wrestling with feeling utterly out of control. And that’s because I was. We can teach, guide, counsel, and influence our kids until we’re blue in the face. But when it comes right down to it, they’ll make their own decisions. As parents, we have no way of controlling that.

 

I lost a lot of sleep in those college days, wishing I could be with my kiddos to guard and protect them and worrying over them because I couldn’t. There’s not much that’s fun about the early empty nest years, especially the tremendous concern that floods our hearts.

 

I’ll never forget a phone call during one of those heavy seasons. I talked with my son who said, “Mom, look up Isaiah 41:10. My coach showed it to me while we were on the bus to our last game.”

 

Once I looked up the verse it became a staple in our home. I cling to it often when I slip into my fearful, worrisome, and anxious tendencies.

 

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand (HCSB).

 

How to Calm Anxiety Through Surrender

In his own way, my son was reminding me that God was tending to us both. The Lord was watching over me and guarding my troubled heart. He was also holding my son in the palm of His hand, caring for him in ways that I never could. The Lord would also watch over my daughter when it was time for her to move away. This verse reminded me of that and helped me rest in God’s protection.

 

Even when my kids are beyond my reach, I can trust that the Lord is caring for me, loving them like the gracious, protective, and tender-hearted Father that He is.

 

The Holy Spirit calls Isaiah 41:10 to my mind often, reminding me to surrender to God’s shielding care. It helps me release the protective hold I imagine that I have over my family and trust that God will handle all the details. I am not to be afraid because He is God, He is with me, He is with my family, and He helps and strengthens us all.

 

As you work to calm anxiety and worry today, take a moment to intentionally surrender your cares to God. Hold your hands in front of you, palms up, and relaxed, symbolizing that you’re releasing your grip on the things that trouble your heart. Then name them, one by one, and tell the Lord that you surrender each point of concern into His strong and loving care. Ask that He show you, moment by moment, how He holds you and your worries in His righteous right hand.

Be sure to read more of this 7-part blog series about calming anxiety!

May you find comfort in God’s Word,

 

 

 

Calming Anxiety Through Surrender

 

 

Calm Anxiety with God’s Power

Calm Anxiety with God’s Power

For many people, a change of seasons is a time to look back with satisfaction and look forward with eager expectation. But for some, it can bring an onslaught of anxiety. We can calm anxiety with God’s power, even during a time of transition when we cast off comfort and familiarity, trading them for the new and unfamiliar. Sadly, things we look forward to can bring dreadful feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and apprehension—but they don’t have to!

By trusting in God’s power, we can calm anxiety naturally so that we can enjoy—rather than dread— things like new goals, challenges, jobs, upcoming family changes, the anticipation of forthcoming weddings, births, milestone birthdays, and other celebrations.

Focus on God to Calm Anxiety

During any time of year, one significant way to calm anxiety is to fix our focus firmly on the Lord. It’s important to remember that when we feel anxious we’re allowing our circumstance to take a higher priority in our lives than the character God and our relationship and reliance on Him. The solution is to refocus and allow God’s truth to fill our hearts and minds. This allows us to calm anxiety now. 

How to Calm Anxiety Naturally

Today we kick off a short blog series to discover how to calm anxiety naturally by leaning on the truth of God. In each post we’ll examine how the Bible can calm anxiety, providing a daily Bible verse in which the Holy Spirit points to peace and calm in the Lord’s presence.

Today’s Bible Verse About Fear and Worry

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (HCSB).

In different Bible translations, the term fearfulness is expressed as fear, timidity, and even cowardice. It conveys a lack of bravery, courage, and confidence. The Lord did not give us such a disposition. Instead, as this verse teaches, God provides us with a spirit of power, love, and sound judgment.

The verse says that God has given us power. We do not find power in our own strength, but through the power of Jesus Christ that resides in us. This is the same power that raised our Lord from the dead (see Ephesians 1:19-20). Such power is capable of far more than we can imagine, giving us the strength to face all circumstances, and even calm anxiety.

God also gives us love, which is the greatest of Christian qualities. It’s not fleshly, emotion-based love, rather it’s the perfect love of Christ, which as 1 Corinthians 13:7 states, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (HCSB).  This love helps us withstand trails, difficulties, fears, and anxiety.

Lastly, God provides sound judgment, sometimes translated as self-control. This encompasses our thoughts as much as our actions. Although it seems out of reach, we have the divinely-given ability to see ourselves as Jesus does: powerful and able as we walk in His strength.

Overcoming Anxiety with God

As your stay mindful today to calm anxiety with God’s power, work toward memorizing 2 Timothy 1:7.  Write it on a notecard or in your journal, then say it repeatedly until it begins to sink deep into not only your mind but your spirit. As you do, the truth of God will wash over your anxiety and bring you His perfect peace.

This post is part of a series. In invite you to read the next article about calming anxiety before bed.

Have a blessed, calm, and peaceful day as you allow the Word of the Lord to give you strength.

 

 

 

The Power of a Single Word

The Power of a Single Word

Overflow.

 

It was my “one word” for 2018. Not as part of a trendy fad, but as a gift from Jesus, the Living Word. It entered my life through Scripture-soaked encouragement from a friend. The Holy Spirit entwined the word into my heart. He helped it take root in the depths of my soul until it sprouted into anticipation of a generous harvest. I worked it, watered it, and tilled it with prayer, meditation, and expectancy.

 

I believed I was cultivating a lush garden where I could rest in tranquil shade. That’s when the storms arose. When we closed the calendar of 2018, I looked back on a year of overflow that was a sharp contrast to what I expected. I was still numb and slightly nauseous from twelve months of turbulence.

 

The Power of a Single Word

 

Throughout the year, our family enjoyed mountaintop highs. First came the glorious news of our daughter-in-law’s pregnancy. Then my daughter surprised us with victory over a lengthy struggle with infertility. Our first two grandchildren were miraculously born four weeks apart, bringing an overflow of indescribable gifts. We saw the Lord’s astonishing provision and relished in our resulting exhilaration.

 

But there were devastating lows, too. We plummeted when a colleague’s life was taken from him in an instant. Later in the year, my husband faced forced retirement from his job after three decades of faithful service. These events, steeped in loss and grief, brought overflowing confusion, sorrow, and brokenness.

 

It was a blustery season of rejoicing and despairing, of celebrating and mourning. The storm monopolized my focus until it was all I could see. Jesus seemed more distant than I could recall in recent memory. Even worship—when I’m usually most connected to Him—felt superficial at best. While my lips sang lyrics like “Yes, I will sing for joy when my heart is heavy,” my heart expressed fear and doubt to God. Read more. . .


 

I wrote this article for The Joyful Life Magazine where it is featured in its entirety. I invite you to join me there to read the full article and discover how the Lord used a year of turbulence to draw me closer to Him and envelop me in His unshakable joy.

Read the full article here

 

 

 

 

Word of the Year

How Faith Delivers Freedom from Fear

How Faith Delivers Freedom from Fear

I remember receiving the phone call like it was yesterday. The police in our son’s out of state college town wanted to speak with us about some trouble he’d encountered.

 

That moment started a cyclone of emotions and a paralyzing struggle with fear that simply blindsided me. Although I struggled to identify exactly what I was afraid of, over the next many months, the Lord walked me through a painful and gut-wrenching spiritual journey of discovery and surrender.

 

As early as the onset, I trusted the Lord and believed—even through this trial—that He had a good plan for my son and our family. Still, I experienced a gripping level of trepidation that nearly stopped my ministry in its tracks and began to have a crippling impact on my life roles of wife and mom. Every part of my life felt as though it were under attack.

 

The Beginning of Breakthrough

 

One day my pastor suggested I borrow a book called Fearless by Max Lucado. He pulled it from his bookshelf and I placed it inside my handbag to take home. It sat on the desk in my home office for weeks. Every day as I walked by it, I’d think, “I should read that.” But I was unable to muster the strength to take even the smallest step toward freedom. It was as if I were too sick to reach out and grab a cure.

 

At last, I picked up the book and opened it. On the first page was nothing more than a Bible verse. It was Matthew 8:26, when Jesus asked His disciples,

 

“Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”

 

That was all I could take.

 

Tears spontaneously filled my eyes. I slammed the book closed and dropped it on my desk as the words penetrated my heart like a dagger. I couldn’t make myself read another word for quite some time.

 

But as only He can do, the Lord used His living Word to plant a seed of truth and understanding into my life. Matthew 8:26 swirled in my thoughts. It stayed in my mind when I slept, while I showered, and walked through my daily tasks. Slowly, over time, the Lord used that one verse to help me understand the powerful impact of fear and its relationship with faith.  Jesus used His Word to reveal a path of victory over fear that has stayed with me many years later.

 

The Opposition of Fear and Faith

 

 

In Matthew 8:26, Jesus referred to His disciples as “men of little faith” because of the fear they experienced. That unfolds an interesting dynamic. Faith and fear are like opposite platforms on a scale.

 

As our fear increases, it diminishes the manifestation of our faith. Conversely, if our faith increases, it diminishes our fear.

 

Fear and faith are in opposition and have a direct impact on one another.

 

It can sometimes feel difficult to hold fast to our faith, which leaves us vulnerable to the enemy’s fiery darts of fear. Even when we can’t identify that “thing” of which we’re fearful, effects of fear can be paralyzing. Just because we follow Christ doesn’t mean we’re exempt. I can tell you from first-hand experience that fear

 

  • Masks our joy
  • Keeps us from pursuing our calling
  • Causes dissension in relationships
  • Makes us feel separated and discontented
  • Can manifest in physical symptoms
  • Holds us in captivity
  • Makes us forget how big God is

 

Wielding the Shield of Faith

 

During that season in my life, there was little question that I was in bondage to fear. Each time those fiery darts made impact, I felt the sizzle and smelled the scorch. But God, as He always does, provided a way of protection. Ephesians 6 addresses the full armor of God and teaches that our shield of faith will “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (v. 16).

 

The Greek word thureos describes a large, oblong shield that protected every part of a soldier. It was an essential piece of equipment that was covered in leather to help defend against flaming arrows. The thureos was about waist high and at least as wide as an average person. Warriors became so skilled at using their shield that other pieces of armor often escaped any impact at all.

 

The illustration aptly demonstrates the power of faith. As Paul referenced a shield of faith, he selected the word thureos to make his point. Our shield of faith offers such complete protection, other pieces of armor (the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, and shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace) rarely receive impact.

 

“Imagine yourself holding up your shield of faith. All is going well until your eyes see something astonishing. Within your field of vision is something you never imagined and you stand, mouth gaping, feeling your left arm, which holds your shield, begin to slump. What you see with your eyes affects your faith and it begins to falter, ever so slightly. As your faith begins to weaken, your shield moves out of position and you are suddenly vulnerable to the enemy. We may have other pieces of protective armor, but when the enemy fires a flaming arrow, we’re sunk.  In my estimation, fear is a flaming arrow!

 

Think of what was happening to the disciples in Matthew 8. The storm was fierce. It was what the disciples could see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and feel upon their skin. What emotion did they experience? Fear. It can paralyze our brains and make us completely forget (even if just temporarily) how BIG God really is.   

 

I’ll just come out and say it:  Fear seems to make us lose our minds and forget the wonders He has performed in our lives and all the ways that He has proven Himself trustworthy. The disciples had many reasons to put their faith in Jesus. They saw Him work many mighty miracles, and yet were afraid when the storm on the sea arose.” *

Finding Joy in the Journey* this is an excerpt from my book, Finding Joy in the Journey (available on Amazon.com)

 

As believers in Christ, we love the Lord. We have learned to put our trust in Him and He has proved faithful through His work in our lives. We have seen Him perform modern-day wonders and bring us through hardships, trials, and heartaches. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He is incapable of dishonesty, yet at times, fear consumes us.

 

Why are we afraid when Christ has proven Himself so faithful? Why do we fear when the Lord of lords is on our side? What is it that makes us waver in our faith?

 

The Progression

 

Can you see the progression?

 

Our situation becomes frightening and our eyes fix on our situation.

 

We turn our focus to what we see (our situation) as opposed to what we cannot see (God’s activity).

 

Our faith is compromised, which causes our shield to move out of position.

 

We become a vulnerable target for our enemy, which causes deeper fear and a shield that shifts even further.

 

Faith Delivers Freedom from Fear!

 

There is good news! Just as quickly as our fear can cause us to lose faith, our faith can conquer our fear. Remembering to raise our shield of faith and duck behind it, even as we quake and tremble, our faith can overtake our fear. And here’s the thing – it can happen in a split second!

 

Because God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7), the enemy of our souls will not win this battle. With this in mind, take courage. Raise your shield and fight the good fight, knowing God is your defender.

 

Throughout this battle with fear, God impressed five specific fear-fighting strategies that continue to help me to this day. I’ve compiled them into a beautiful, FREE Printable that you can keep close at hand when fear strikes.  Click here to access 5 Fear Fighting Strategies and download the printable instantly!

Faith Delivers Freedom from Fear

 

 

 

 

I pray that you always remember to wield your shield of faith and allow it to offer its vast protection against the schemes of the evil one. God is victorious! And as His children, so too, are we!

 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like this 7-day series on calming anxiety!

Thank you for sharing on social media so other women can find encouragement too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Faith Delivers Freedom from Fear

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