Anxiety seems to be a part of one’s life, and probably has always been so since the beginning of time. The Bible views anxiety as something that is to be avoided, and suggests ways in which it can be overcome.
Jesus had some good thoughts on the subject, which are narrated to us in Luke 12:22–31:
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12:22–31
If we had no one to help us in this life, then it would be understandable that we might get burdened down with the cares of life and this world’s problems and strife. But fortunately there is someone to help each of us, and that person is the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, presents your request to God.” Philippians 4:6
This prayer to God must be addressed through Jesus, who is the mediator between God and ourselves, 1 and he had experienced similar anxieties as us.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14–16
The apostle Peter wrote similarly:
“Cast all your anxiety on him [Jesus Christ] because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
If we find that we are suffering over-much anxiety, we should stop and ask ourselves whether we are living our lives in a spiritual environment, or whether we are seeking rather the things of this world which are perhaps more pleasurable, but are also capable of raising anxiety levels. Jesus related a parable about a farmer who went out to sow seed. The seed fell on all sorts of ground—some fruitful, some not.
“Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.… What was sown among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” Matthew 13:7, 22
It is essential that we make God and his Son Jesus Christ our priority in life. The less association we have with the needs of the world around us, the less anxiety will trouble us. Jesus warned his followers,
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day [of Jesus’ return and judgment] will close on you unexpectedly like a trap.” Luke 21:34
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30
The Bible is a book that has been written by a number of men inspired by the Spirit of God over a period of about 1500 years. It is a book that deals with the practical things of life, as well as our more spiritual needs. Two of the books of the Bible stand out in this respect—the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament, and the letter of James in the New Testament. You would be well advised to carefully read through these two books, and I am sure that you will find both books to be of great help.
Take, for instance, a few of the passages available from the books of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs.
“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
For anger resides in the lap of fools” Ecclesiastes 7:9
- 1 Timothy 2:5 ↩