If you are anything like me, you are feeling pretty anxious at this point. From the economy, to job changes, to medical concerns, to isolation, to family conflict, to lots of lifestyle change in a short time, we have plenty to be anxious about—and that’s normal. But just because it is normal to be anxious does not mean we want to leave it there. Full disclosure, I am a naturally anxious person. I worry about everything. Luckily, however, I am also a Bible believing Christian and the Bible is chalk full of good insights and perspectives to help with our anxieties especially in times of crisis. So, here are 5 Bible passages that guide me in the anxious moments of my life and especially during this crisis.
1: John 16:33
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
God knows life is complicated and difficult. Notice in this verse he doesn’t promise to suddenly fix the situation, he promises that in HIM we can have peace because he overcame the world. Jesus lived a human life, he endured disease, economic hardship, and pain beyond what most of us will ever experience. If he made it through, we can too. We know that the pain and anxiety of today is temporary but our life with Jesus is forever.
2: Philippians 4:6-7
“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.”
A few days ago, it was 2am and I couldn’t sleep. The worries of Coronavirus and the world were heavy. In my restlessness, I was reminded of this verse because I had just posted it on our student Instagram page the morning before. So, I got out of bed, knelt on my knees and prayed through what I was feeling. I prayed longer than I had prayed in weeks. Although I can’t quite explain it, once I got up, I felt intense peace in my heart. I knew that the loving God of the universe had heard my deepest concerns and that was all I could do. My situation didn’t change, but my heart did. I slept soundly after that.
3: Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The reality is, we don’t have to know what to do in this new quarantine, isolation, homeschooling the kids kind of situation. In fact, it would be weird if we did. This is new for everyone. What I do know is that God knows what to do. So, doing what he wants from me is enough. He wants me to love the people locked in the house with me and trust that he is still on his throne. I don’t have to know the future; I just have to take a God-honoring step today.
4: James 5:16
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
While I honestly do not think it is a sin to feel anxious, the principle in this verse is still true: confess your anxieties and pray for each other. I have a group of friends that know when I am feeling anxious, depressed, or any other significant emotion. We pray for each other all the time. I would not be where I am today if I did not vulnerably share my anxieties with those closest to me.
5: Romans 8:28
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.“
Entire books have been written about what this verse means and what it does not mean. What I take it to mean is that God wastes nothing. He does not necessarily put painful and hard situations in our life; but, when they do come, he will not squander them. Instead, he uses them to grow us and make us better people. One day we will be able to look back and say, “Good came from all that bad.” Personally, despite all the bad around us right now, I am excited to see the good God will bring out of our present situation.