“Do Not Be Anxious About Anything”

Scripture texts for use in helping those struggling with anxiety:

Matthew 8:23-27:

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Most of us don’t very often find ourselves out on open water in boats during stormy weather. The day-to-day problems that we face, however, can make it seem as though we are facing a perpetual storm and are about to be “capsized” at any moment. The point Jesus makes is that He is able to handle whatever comes our way, whether it is a physical storm or an emotional one. The disciples had no need to fear because Jesus was present. Sometimes, in the midst of adversity, it’s easy to forget that Jesus is present with us, too. He can handle everything that we come up against and will bring us through it all safely if we will only give Him our trust.

Matthew 10:29-31

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We tend to cherish the people and things that we consider valuable. Tens of thousands of people every day pass into eternity without an emotional reaction from us, but when someone we are close to dies, the emotional effect can be profound. When a loved one is injured or hurting or in trouble, it affects us greatly. How comforting it is to know that our Father regards each of us personally, that He considers us special. We are His own children, and He loves us. He shares our pains and struggles, and allows only that which will ultimately be to our benefit. We are not just a “number” to God. He cares for the smallest parts of His creation, such as the sparrows; how much more will He take care of us?

Philippians 4:6-13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Like Paul, we “can do everything through him who gives [us] strength.” If we really meditate upon the One with whom our strength originates, we will recognize that there is no need to be anxious over anything. Of course, convincing ourselves of that emotionally is not as easier as accepting it intellectually. But if we consider regularly the things of God -€“ the things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely, He will provide the faith that we need, as He will provide our needs in every way. The key is reliance upon Him as the solution to our problems. Let it rest in His hands, and trust Him to do what is best for us.