Many of us struggle with understanding the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is an emotion triggered by real danger. Anxiety is an emotion triggered by things that may or may not happen. Fear can save your life and anxiety can cause it to end prematurely. They elicit a similar feeling inside, but fear goes away after you’re out of danger. Anxiety continues to eat away at your energy, your mind, and your life if you don’t put a stop to it.
At work, I do an exercise with people to get them to stop assuming. I get them to admit that they don’t know the outcome. From then on, when they assume something, I ask. “But do you know?” Assumptions of the future are what cause anxiety. The truth is, we don’t know the future, but as Corrie Ten Boon says, “We can trust an unknown future to a known God.” When we allow assumption and anxiety to take over, we in essence are not trusting our future to God. The key to losing anxiety is to admit you don’t know and to trust God to take care of you.
The Bible says a lot about anxiety and worry. Here are some verses about it.
1. Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing?
MATTHEW 6:25 AMP
2. Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Proverbs 12:25 NLT
3. Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].
1 PETER 5:7 AMP
4. Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble.
Psalm 37:8 GNT
5. Whenever I am anxious and worried, you comfort me and make me glad.
Psalm 94:19 GNT
6. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG
7. So refuse to worry, and keep your body healthy.
Ecclesiastes 11:10a NLT
8. I am filled with trouble and anxiety, but your commandments bring me joy.
Psalm 119:143 GNT
9. To worry yourself to death with resentment would be a foolish, senseless thing to do.
Job 5:2 GNT
10. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
PHILIPPIANS 4:7 AMP