Suffering and worry often go hand in hand. One of the greatest battles I wage on a daily basis is with anxiety over sickness—especially during the cold winter months when it’s nearly impossible to avoid.
After years of dealing with chronic pain and illness, I have become terrified and almost paralyzed with anxiety when someone in my home gets sick. The threat of catching an illness, in addition to the weariness of my daily discomforts, creates panic within my whole being. I often become irritable, overwhelmed and obsessive in my attempts to control my circumstances.
The reality is that being a Christian doesn’t exclude us from facing genuine fears and anxieties. Disease still strikes, friends still betray, bodies still fail, life still hurts. However, God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7). Believers are equipped with the tools we need to fight this battle for peace*.
Time and again I’ve found the greatest antidote to anxiety is to remember the unshakable promises in God’s word.
Time and again I’ve found that the greatest antidote to anxiety is to consistently remind myself of the unshakable promises we have in God’s word. When a circumstance suddenly threatens our peace, we can be ready to push it back and cut it down with truth. So here are seven unshakable promises for anxious souls today:
“I don’t feel capable of accomplishing this task or responsibility. What if I don’t do it right?”
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
“I lost my job and am worried about how I will support my family.”
“The Lord is at hand; 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 minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5-7).
“I feel like I’m failing at being the parent that I know I should be. I’m trying to keep up with the demands, but I’m so weary and worried that I’m not doing enough.”
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
“What if the very thing that I fear the most becomes a reality?”
“We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“If I don’t meet someone soon, I may end up alone for the rest of my life.”
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9).
“I keep slipping back into the same pattern of sin and am worried that I will never be free from this struggle.”
“But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
“I don’t know if this pain is worth enduring and I just want a way out.”
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
“We do not have to live our lives anxiously toiling and striving to control the circumstances around us. Trust Christ, and know that every aspect of our lives is purposefully designed to make us more like him and bring glory to his name. After all, ‘He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?'” (Romans 8:32)
There is, in reality, no need to fear. Not when you have such a Father.
*(There are sometimes physiological aspects involved in worry and these are not necessarily directly related to a spiritual matter in and of themselves. But what I am speaking of is the majority of us who struggle with the day-to-day anxieties of life and suffering—not a medical diagnosis.)
This piece was originally published on The Good Book. Used with permission.
Sarah is married to Jeff and is mother to four young children. She lives in Chicago and blogs at Set Apart: Hope on the Road Less Traveled.