Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
We have a closet in our kitchen with a 12” door. Every time I reach in the back of that closet to get something, I feel slightly panicky, my breathing speeds up slightly, and I feel like the walls are closing in, classic claustrophobia systems except. In the 25+ years of living in our house, nothing bad has ever happened, yet, I have this unexplainable, irrational anxiety. Admittedly, my unease is pretty insignificant, and I manage it–primarily by avoidance; however, for some, these stresses can be disabling, preventing them from enjoying life.
Adam Hamilton’s book, “Unafraid: Living with Courage and Hope in Uncertain Times,” talks about worry, fear, anxiety, and depression and lists one acronym for FEAR as False, Events, Appearing, Real. To those facing those situations, though, they appear real enough. However, God continually assures us we have no reason to fear, inviting us to cast our anxieties on him. Hamilton offers another acronym as followers of Christ from which we may take comfort:
Face your fears with faith.
Examine your assumptions in light of the facts.
Attack your anxieties with action.
Release your cares to God.
If you find yourself in that place today, here are a few scriptures from which you may find comfort:
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me. Psalms 23:4
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord, and was saved from every trouble. Psalms 34:6
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Do not worry 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. Philippians 4:6
Compassionate God, we confess sometimes our fears and anxieties seem too much to bear. Our worries and burdens become overwhelming, and we don’t know where to turn. In these times, help us remember your care for us. Grant us assurance in our doubt, minds to see clearly, strength to overcome, and humility in handing our anxieties to you. We pray this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior. Amen.