Fighting Anxiety With Scripture
There is a war raging within you; a battle for your mind. The enemy longs to take your thoughts captive, the question is, will you let him? He has many tactics for doing this and the one with the highest success rate seems to be fear. So many people live in fear of the unknown, fear of loneliness, fear of abandonment, rejection, of never measuring up, the list can go on and on. Does this sound familiar to you? If not, maybe you know it as another name.
The enemy is sneaky like that. When he sees that people are starting to notice his attacks and call out his plans he changes them just enough to make it seem like he’s given up when, in reality, he just gave that same plan a new name. This new name that we have become all too familiar with over the last few years is Anxiety.
Fear and anxiety have been one of the greatest battles of my life. And I have also seen the most spiritual victory in these areas as well. Fighting anxiety is one of the most difficult things that I have ever done but it is also where I have found the Love and faithfulness of God most. So, my hope is that in the next 500 words I can give you a glimpse of what freedom looks like along with inspiration and some applicable ways that you can fight for freedom in your own mind as well.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older.”1 40 million, not including children and teenagers.
Anxiety is one of the greatest struggles of our generation, our nation, and our culture and one of the most powerful and effective weapons in the enemy’s arsenal.
So, what do we do? How can we fight this epidemic that seems to worsen with every passing year?
I can’t say that I have the perfect answer to solve this problem for our nation, but I know what has worked for me and many others and my prayer and hope is that it will work for you too.
First, Confess your struggle to God and Find Community.
The immediate instinct of anxiety is isolation. We often feel that we should hide when we begin to feel anxious and that is exactly what the enemy wants. When you isolate yourself, your fears seem bigger and more realistic because there is no one to tell you any different. There is no one to speak Truth over you and fight the battle with you. You become a prisoner in your own mind and the enemy has you exactly where he wants you.
So one of the first ways to fight is to confess your fears to God. There is no reason to be ashamed of fear and anxiety, that’s just another tactic of the enemy. Because he knows that confession is good for the soul and bringing his attacks into the light of God’s Word is one of the first steps in defeating him. So confess your fears to God, tell Him exactly what you’re afraid of or worried about, He already knows anyway. Search for scriptures about fear and let them sweep over you. Then talk to someone you trust. Whether it’s a friend, family member, counselor, or pastor, tell someone else what you’re going through. Again, you have no reason to be ashamed. There is power in numbers and there is power in prayer. That’s why the enemy tries to convince you that you shouldn’t tell anyone what is happening in your mind, He knows that two people fighting him with prayer is much more dangerous than one.
The Bible supports the power of confession and community repeatedly and I know from personal experience that it is a game changer when you’re fighting fear and anxiety.
“Bear one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2, English Standard Version).2
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow… And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, ESV).
Second, Saturate Yourself in Scripture.
I already mentioned this in the first point but I’m saying it again because this is where I find my sanity and freedom when fighting anxiety. I once heard Bible teacher Beth Moore say in a sermon, “Jesus saved my life; Scripture saved my mind,” and I have found that to be so true in my own life as well.
When the enemy is shouting his lies at you and they begin to feel real, you can run to Scripture and find the actual Truth. Bible teacher Priscilla Shirer says that the Truth is God’s opinion. So when Satan is saying you’re worthless and no one will ever love you, you can trust God’s opinion that says, “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14, ESV).
When the enemy says your life is hopeless and without purpose, God says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV, my emphasis added) and He says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
No matter what lies the enemy may shouting at you, you can find the rememedy and the Truth in God’s Word.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).
“For the word of God is living and active”
And Finally, Spend Time with Jesus.
I know this one may seem obvious and you may think that spending time in Scripture is the same thing, but there is a difference. Spending time with Jesus means talking to Him and hearing back. It means taking time to get to know Him, not just facts about Him. It’s building and deepening a relationship with Him, learning about who He is and what He desires. And it’s discovering that He is trustworthy, He is faithful, He upholds His Word, He fights for you and beside you, and He Loves you more than you will ever comprehend. The more you know Jesus the more you believe His promises and the more you trust that He holds the key to your freedom and He is simply waiting for you to present the lock.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1, ESV).
Wherever you find yourself in the battle for your mind, if it has just begun or you have been suffering for years, I pray that you can find hope in peace in knowing that the God of the universe Loves you and I fighting this battle with you. You are not alone. You have no need to fear. His peace surpasses understanding and His love never, ever ends.
“…Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
- English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.