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10 Bible Verses on Worry and Anxiety

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Matthew 6:34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Commentary from the sermon “Anxiety” by Alistair Begg:

“Anxiety is part of the fabric of contemporary life. A fear tends to focus on specifics; anxiety is just a kind of general thing. … It can come from nowhere at all. Some of us worry about being in crowds, others about being lonely. Some of us are worrying about failing; others of us are worrying about the sense of success. Some of us are worrying about ‘There’s so much change,’ others of us are worrying about ‘Why does everything [seem] so routine?’ … [And] the great anxiety underlying all anxiety is the fear of death. …

“And some of us [are] not paying careful attention to Jesus’ exhortation to take it a day at a time. [We] find ourselves with great difficulty in living with the present because of the implications of our past or because of our apprehensions about the future.

“At the heart of it all, anxiety is rooted in trying to care by myself for that which only God can do. … Worry reigns in our lives when we think or act as if something is ultimately up to me rather than up to God. It actually has to do with the desire to control things.”

1 Peter 5:7“… casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Commentary from the sermon “Casting All Your Cares” by Alistair Begg:

“Anxiety is a strange thing; it creeps up on you and comes like a knife stabbing into your back. It’s as though somebody just all of a sudden produced a blanket and pulled it over your head. Sometimes, in the strangest of circumstances, at times that we least imagine its presence, it creeps up on us and gets us. … Many of us are unable to live in the present, the sixty seconds which come in upon us every minute, which is the speed with which the history of man moves. We’re unable to live the sixty seconds we have now because of our anxiety about our past or our anxiety about our future. …

“I wonder if there aren’t some of you this morning who are just quite literally about to go round the bend, because you have this huge burden on your back; you’re just carrying it all. You’re struggling through today, and you’re hoping you’re gonna make it through tomorrow, and it’s a long time since you knelt down beside your bed in your room and literally cast your burden upon the Lord. God did not give you shoulders broad enough to carry all this stuff through your life. God did not give you shoulders broad enough to come away to school and worry about the relationship between your mom and dad. He did give you the responsibility to pray about it, but He didn’t give you the burden of carrying it; you cannot do that. And the degree to which you endeavor to do so will impinge upon your effectiveness in Christian living. …

“We can refuse to be burdened by the care which weighs us down, which disturbs our peace, and which distracts our minds. Why? Because of the assurance of the Lord’s willingness to help.”

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Commentary from the sermon “Radiant with Hope” by Alistair Begg:

“We find ourselves in an age of comparative hopelessness, discovering that the purpose of God for us is not simply that we might keep our chins up, not simply that we might be able to struggle on and get through it, but in order that we might be enabled to hope in the promises of God despite the circumstances. …

“The Christian is a person of hope because he or she believes in God—believes in a God who brought the world into being, who preserves and sustains it all by His power, who governs the course of human history according to the eternal counsel of His will, a will which surpasses our imagination and goes beyond our own intellectual intuition. …

“I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, that there is a clear distinction between a general notion of hope, whereby people say, ‘Well, I hope that eventually the flowers will come out,’ or ‘I hope it won’t rain, because tomorrow we’re having a picnic’—that hope is just some kind of general, uncertain expectation of a future good that we would like to have. Whereas when we come to hope as it is given to us here in the Scriptures, hope here is the certainty of a reality not yet fully experienced, so that we believe in hope, that we trust in hope; He is the God of hope. In the same way, peace and joy, you will notice, are tied to a sure and certain hope: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace.’ So that it is a hope that is able to stand the test of time. It is a hope that is actually able to deal with the beckoning grave.”

1 Kings 19:4“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’”

Commentary from the sermon “Down in the Valley” by Alistair Begg:

“In [chapter] 18, [Elijah] manifests his bravery before hundreds of prophets who were in allegiance to Baal and who were antagonistic to the servant of God. From the bravery before hundreds, we find him panicking before one—and indeed, panicking before this woman Jezebel. In 18, he is on the mountaintop; in 19, he’s down in the valley. …

“In the same way, as we walk the Christian pathway, we recognize, if we’re prepared to be honest at all, that we do not always experience the highs of spiritual encouragement, but we also encounter the lows of discouragement. … Most of us find it okay to march when the band is playing and the crowd is out and all is going well. It is a little more challenging when the wheels come off our wagon. …

“Well then, let’s just learn here from Elijah, because the reason that he found himself in this condition was largely because his focus changed. He started, as it were, to look at God through his circumstances rather than to look at his circumstances through God. …

“You see, whenever we take matters into our own hands, then faith and hope are no longer exercised. And when faith and hope are no longer exercised, then they will be replaced by something, and usually by discontentedness and a lack of peace. … We need to ask God to reveal Himself afresh to us when we’ve found ourselves in this kind of self-pitying despondency.”

Genesis 39:2 “The LORD was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master.”

Commentary from the sermon “Making the Most of It” by Alistair Begg:

“Those who constantly search for the ideal, for perfection, forgetting that all that is ideal and all that is perfect is saved for heaven, send themselves—send ourselves—on a journey that is marked by frequent disappointment. … So often we make it a sad thing for ourselves by asking God constantly to change the circumstances, or to remove the circumstances, or to remove us from the circumstances, when, in point of fact, most of the time what God seems to do with His children is that He doesn’t change the circumstances for us, but He changes our attitude towards the circumstances in which we find ourselves. …

“In the circumstances that each of us face, known only to us and ultimately to God, we need to ask God to enable us that we might resolve, with His help, no matter how difficult our days, to respond in a way that prevents a bitterness of spirit and produces instead within us soft hearts. … More spiritual progress is made through failure and tears than is made through success and laughter. … Not that we would go out and seek sorrowful circumstances, but that we would recognize that in the progress of life is the inevitable pain of human experience and relationships, and that through it all God is working all things out for good according to His great plan and purpose.

“So do not let us wrestle, then, and try and manipulate the hand of God, or even our circumstances. Do not let us stay awake at night trying to make it all work for our good. Let us take the questions of our hearts and not allow them to overturn our faith, but let us allow our faith, albeit the size of a mustard seed, to overturn the questions of our hearts.”

2 Chronicles 20:3 “Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set his face to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Advantage of Weakness” by Alistair Begg:

“Despite the fact that Jehoshaphat has been effective in the reforming principles of the nation, despite the fact that Jehoshaphat has a profile that many would regard as one of significance in leadership, neither the profile that he enjoys nor the position that he has fulfilled nor the procedures that he has put in place prevent him from responding as he does to the news that he receives. He was not immune to fear. …

“Why is it that some of us limp through life? Why is it that some of us have a ‘thorn in the flesh,’ at least one? Why is it that there is that anxiety of heart and spirit? Why is it that there is that restlessness? …

“All kinds of cares and troubles may come and will come against us, but if they drive us to God in the awareness of our own helplessness, then they’re good. … It’s only when we’re confronted by the facts of our own personal inadequacy that we will then be enabled to call upon God for all the adequacy that He provides.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Commentary from the sermon “‘So Do Not Fear…’” by Alistair Begg:

“Are you spending all your life trying to be strong? ‘I’ve got to be strong for this person. I’ve got to be strong for that person. I’ve got to hold it together for this one and hold it together for that one, and I’m sure I can do this.’ Listen, loved ones: you cannot do it. But if you will acknowledge just how desperately weak you are, you will be amazed at the power of God unleashed within your life. …

“This is the antidote to fear and anxiety. It’s not a little mantra that you say to yourself: ‘So do not fear and do not be dismayed,’ stuff like that. That’s paganism!”

Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!”

Commentary from the sermon “Why Worry? God’s in Charge!” by Alistair Begg:

“Worry is a fact of life—and not just for the pagan world but for the believer also. Jesus is not here addressing a theoretical situation. He’s not giving them extraneous instruction. He’s not telling them about something that they don’t know anything of. … Now, that ought to be an immediate encouragement to some of us who have been tyrannizing ourselves because of the fact that we worry, and we decided that if you were a genuine Christian, you wouldn’t worry at all. Here, Jesus is speaking to those who actually live with Him, sleep with Him, listen to Him, and He says, ‘I’ve got to talk to you about something here. I want to talk to you about the problem of worry’—not something that is unknown to them; something that is experienced by them. …

“But instead of the Bible assuming that Christ’s followers will have no worries, it tells us how to deal with them when they threaten to undo us. … Now, the way in which Jesus does this is very straightforward: He issues a call to His disciples to think. … And so He provides them with facts in order that they might then order their thinking on the basis of what is true. Most of our worries have to do with allowing our minds to be ordered by thinking that is untrue.”

Mark 4:38 “But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’”

Commentary from the sermon “Jesus Calms the Storm” by Alistair Begg:

“God is a God who, for His own purposes, leads His people into storms, leads His people into difficulty, leads His people into experiences that make them wonder whether we have any faith at all. … They found that they were in a circumstance where they had lost control. Actually, they never had control, but the notion that they had control has now been completely taken from them. And so they go to Jesus, who is asleep, as Mark records for us, on the cushion, and they wake Him up. …

“In the midst of the extremities of life, when the waves break over the bow, as it were, of our vessel, when we feel ourselves in danger of being swamped, we’re not always immediately going for verses from the Psalms simply to remind ourselves of truths that we’ve learned long since. But we may find ourselves, like the disciples, inquiring, ‘Don’t You care if we drown?’ … The storm, which was the immediacy of their circumstances, so filled their minds that it came between them and the assurance of Jesus’ care for them. … And it caused them to lose sight, or lose sound, of Jesus’ word. …

“Isn’t that what happens to us? So, the times that we need to, as it were, lay hold of all of His promises, we’re tempted to step back from them. And the times when we most need to turn to His Word and find in it all the succor and strength and help that we require, we’re tempted to give up reading our Bibles! … Don’t let the storm get in between you and the assurance of His love, and don’t allow the circumstances to close down for you the promises of His Word. But rather, may these things, which are inevitable parts of life, drive us again to Him.”

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Commentary from the sermon “Peace — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“Peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ clearly does not guarantee the believer freedom from difficult circumstances, from trying things that would rob us of peace. Jesus says it categorically, doesn’t He? ‘In the world,’ He says to His followers, ‘you are going to have tribulation. You can absolutely bank on that. The second thing you may be confident about is that I, your Lord and Savior, have overcome the world.’ …

“The circumstances of life that both bring us into experiences of joy and tranquility come from our heavenly Father when they are His good for us, but also, the times of difficulty and trial also come from His hand. …

“So, we have within ourselves, then, all of the challenges that come to us on three fronts: the devil himself, his animosity towards those whom he has been unable to stop from being made members of God’s family; the downward drag of our own sinful impulses, which remain the corrupting influence of our flesh; and the appeal which is external to us of a view of the world and of God which is alien to what the Bible teaches. And on those three fronts we are confronted by challenges which sometimes seem almost insurmountable. And on account of that, we can identify numerous hinderances to our own sense—experiential sense—of genuine peace within our hearts. … Unless we have identified the fact that God, our heavenly Father, is sovereign over all of these things, we will find that we are virtually, inevitably robbed of our peace.”


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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.