Tuesday October 22 2019

Exchanging Anxiety and Fear for Peace

Listen to even one televised news report, look at a newspaper headline, follow the latest on your WhatsApp chat and fear or anxiety may capture your thoughts and grip your heart. We do not overcome the effects of ‘the news’ by denying or ignoring the evil in our world that causes such intense emotions, but rather by applying scriptural truth to circumstances and responding biblically.

But it doesn’t take a newscast to stir up fear. The enemy, Satan, wants God’s children to live in constant fear and anxiety as they stockpile worries and are burdened by cares. The Bible says such temptation is “common” to mankind (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even the strongest Christ-followers can experience the temptation to fear and worry.

What does the Bible say about fear and anxiety; and what might we pray to the Lord based on those Scriptures that can help us exchange toxic emotions for God’s wondrous peace? Let’s begin to pray these prayers for anxiety over our thoughts and exchange fear for peace. 

Remember God is not the Source  of Anxiety and Fear.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7) See also Philippians 4:7.

Father God,

I know you are not the source of fear and anxiety. That is Satan’s realm, and he delights in causing your children pain. You do not torment us with worrisome thoughts or burden our hearts with fretfulness. You are the God of peace. You desire to give me power over my worries as I count on your love and trust in your sovereign care.

Help me remember, when fears and anxiety come knocking at my heart’s door, to answer with powerful Scripture—to remember you are a good God and faithful, and you will help me challenge my worries with life-building truth instead of destructive thoughts. Your peace will guard my heart and mind in Jesus’ name.

Don’t borrow future worries.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34) See also Matthew 6:25.

Lord,

Sometimes I’m such a ‘worry wart.’ I fuss about all sorts of things—what I will eat and wear today, and the many choices I can make. But worse, I stew over things on tomorrow’s calendar—concerns that aren’t even here yet! That is so foolish.

Your words were clear, Jesus. I am never to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, because you haven’t given me the grace to bear up under tomorrow’s concerns until I get there. So I will not borrow worries from the future, Lord. Rather, I will invest in faith. I will choose to look for your hand working on my behalf today—and trust you, in simple faith, for my future.