Imagine living in a near-constant state of agitation. Consider trying to get through the day with feelings of fear and hopelessness weighing you down, clouding your thoughts, affecting your judgment. Think about how difficult it would be to take joy in life’s small moments, or even find the rhythm for your daily routine. This is a small sample of what anxiety can do to a person, and unfortunately, there’s a good chance someone reading this doesn’t have to imagine it.
With so much crazy stuff happening in our world today, it’s no surprise many Christians struggle with feelings of fear and worry. Those with serious cases of anxiety should even seek treatment from medical professionals. However, for the individual simply looking for a small victory over fear, there are a number of methods which help us let go of worry and turn our hearts toward God. We may still feel afraid, but we can take courage knowing the Lord is with us.
Here are 5 small ways you can overcome worry:
1. Ask For Help
Being a Christian means learning to share one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), yet many believers still choose to suffer alone. Perhaps we think our anxiety is too small of an issue. Maybe we’ve been taught to deal with it ourselves, or that bringing it up in conversation will make us appear weak. Regardless of our motivations, no one should have to fight through anxiety alone. Sometimes merely talking about our personal struggles is enough to lighten the load. If you’re feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Whether its Audrey Assad’s stirring rendition of “Abide with Me”, Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You”, or MercyMe’s wonder-struck anthem, “I Can Only Imagine”, Christian music offers listeners a plethora of ways to calm their soul and rest in God’s assurance. It’s been said that the perfect recipe for failure is to look at our problems and subtract God from the equation, but listening to faith-based music helps put Jesus at the forefront of our minds. So, the next time worry tries to drag you down, turn on your favorite gospel song and remember that God is in control.
3. Study the Psalms
Speaking of music, the psalms can be a great source of encouragement for those struggling with depression and anxiety. They demonstrate how even the best disciples have often battled the same emotions you’re feeling now. Despite all his works of praise, David composed plenty of psalms where he called on God in grief (Psalm 51) or fear (Psalm 59). Take a moment to study these words. Remember that other believers have walked the same path as you before, and with God’s help, they overcame their despair.
4. Be Still
Science tells us that humans respond to fear in two ways: Fight or Flight. Some people choose to fight their anxiety by staying busy with work or hobbies. Others retreat by avoiding the problem, or worse, using substances to dull their emotions. God offers us a third choice: Be still. Psalm 46:10 instructs its readers to, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Fear has a way of clawing at our minds, infesting our every thought until we feel as though our brains will crack under the pressure. At times like this, God calls us to take a breath, be still, and know that he is God over all things, even our fear.
5. Remember His Command
The most common command found in all the Bible is, “Fear not”. God understands the workings of the human heart better than we do, and he has left this command in scripture to bolster our spirit in times of uncertainty. Just consider the following verses,
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
God is with us in every storm and every trial. Even when we feel most alone he is right beside us, comforting, strengthening, and at times, even mourning with us. Whatever today has in store, God will still be present tomorrow, and that is a very encouraging thought.