Anxiety is a mental health condition, and its exact causes are incredibly complex. But for some, anxiety is a question of faith. Those with a strong religious background often wonder why God would let them suffer from anxiety and what the bible says about how to reduce it.
This article explores anxiety in the bible, along with information about what the bible says about relieving anxiety and information on next steps.
God and Anxiety - Understanding Happiness
It says time and time again in the bible that God is love, and God wants us to find that level of happiness and contentment that allows us to be good people, and contribute to the love that we're supposed to share with God.
Anxiety prevents that. Anxiety prevents happiness, energy, and in some cases it can try to prevent faith.
What God Says About the Causes of Anxiety
The bible does not state what causes anxiety, because God considers anxiety to be a crisis of faith. The belief here is that anxiety shows that the person has not yet been able to put full trust in God, because fear itself is something that is meant to be relinquished as every person is meant to be part of God's plan. As it is said in Matthew 6:27:
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life's span?
In other words, what does being anxious do that helps you? This is a question not just of religion, but also about anxiety itself. There are those that struggle with anxiety and panic attacks every day, worrying that they may be suffering from a dangerous disease or at risk for many dangers. But what does worrying about the disease do to cure it? What does thinking that you may be at risk for danger do to improve your life?
The answer is that worrying about anxiety does nothing to improve one's lifespan, both in longevity and in quality. It's simply the result of uncertainty, and the bible teaches the idea that uncertainty is, essentially, distrust with the plan of God. It's not that anxiety is a sin, but that anxiety is the act of experiencing fears and worries that one wouldn't experience if they truly follow and show commitment to God.
What The Bible Says About Curing Anxiety
There are several bible verses that relate to how to cure anxiety using both God and scripture. The easiest way to understand them is to look at each individual cause of anxiety:
- Coping Issues
- Lack of Control/Abuse
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you." Isaiah, 41:10
Fear is specifically addressed in the bible multiple times. The bible explains that God always has a plan, and those that truly believe that anything that happens is God's will shouldn't experience the same fear, especially when not in danger. Fear is a natural human emotion, but those that experience fear when no fear is present are likely struggling to believe in God's plan, or trusting in the ultimate outcome.
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2
The ability to cope with life stress is a skill. It's something that can be lost. The bible teaches the idea that, while there are many ways to learn to cope with stress, the most powerful is simply believing in God. Belief and faith in the Lord are the only place one needs to turn to learn how to cope with stress, because God delivers that help each and every day.
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11-12
Major life change can also cause anxiety, presumably because it represents a loss of the support and comfort you had from daily life. A move, a lost loved one, and even a lost pet or activity can all be a stressful or problematic event.
But according to the bible, change is also a part of God's plan. Therefore, belief in God and faith in God will help you feel that there is no such thing as a bad change. All change is a part of God's plan, and so all change will be accepted and cause less anxiety.
Lack of Control/Abuse
"A man cannot discover anything about his future" Ecclesiastes 7:14
Toxic workplaces, troubled relationships, abuse, or simply life events not turning out as expected, there are issues that can cause you to feel as though you're losing control. But the bible reminds you that you're not actually in control. God is in control. While you have free will to choose what you please, God is the one that makes the ultimate choice, and that whatever you experience is part of God's plan for you. As it is said in Psalm 55:22: "Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken."
Learning From the Bible About Anxiety
What the bible says about anxiety is that ultimately the more you listen to God, and the more of your heart you give to Him, the less anxiety you will have. Anxiety is about worries, concerns, fears, and the feeling as though you are not adequate to the task of coping with the world around you. Belief in God, according to the bible, is about complete trust and faith - immersing yourself in God's love and dedicating yourself to Him is the path to a content and fear free life. Ultimately, having faith in God is one way of having faith in yourself. If you have faith in yourself and God, you can have faith that you will have the ability to deal successfully with any and everything that happens in your life.