The Christian walk is often compared to fighting a battle and running a race. Even if you’re not a Christian, I’m sure you can relate to life feeling like a battle. We battle everyday. We hustle and hustle, striving to get ahead and yet a trial or hardship always rears its’ head. Life is neither perfect nor easy. When facing adversity and hardship it is often accompanied by feelings of stress, fear, worry, doubt, and anxiety.
Fear. Anxiety. Worry. It’s something we ALL face at some point in varying degrees.
For some of us it’s constant, like our head is being pulled underwater. Drowning, unbearable. Others it comes in waves, crashing in when we least expect it. And for some it’s the occasional rain-shower that is sure to clear after a short while.
The Bible repeatedly and consistently tells us to “fear not”. I haven’t counted this out myself, but people say there are 365 “fear nots” in the Bible, one for each day of the year. Do not fear when battles and trials come (a). Do not fear people or what they might do to you (b). Do not be anxious in any situation for any reason (c). In 1 Timothy it even states that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind. Great! Wonderful. So because God’s Word says do not fear, do not be anxious about anything, you just need to stop being anxious, okay?
Is it that easy? Can you just stop? Well… No, probably not.
Is just knowing that God doesn’t want us to fear enough to actually stop us from worrying and becoming anxious? Simply having the head knowledge isn’t enough either… But it’s a step.
Is it something we can choose to fight or must we let it consume us?
I am convinced that we do not have to let anxiety consume us, that we can fight back. It takes action, it takes faith, it takes believing, it takes steadfastness, it takes not giving into your flesh. Honestly, it is nothing you or I can do in our own strength. When I try to fight anxiety in my own strength, it more often than not just leads to more anxiety. Now, I’m not saying that what I’m going to tell you is the cure for anxiety, because as long as we are living on this sin filled sphere, it’s going to be an issue. What I’m going to share with you is a strategy, a battle plan, to help you combat anxiety. There are two key truths I’m going to share with you that I have had to engrave upon my heart.
1. God is Sovereign.
2. My identity in Christ.
The Sovereignty of God
When you are fully believing in the Sovereignty of God there is no room for anxiety, worry, or fear.
God’s Sovereignty means that God is the supreme authority and ALL things are under His control. God is in control in every moment of every situation. Colossians 1:16-17 states that all things were created by God, for God, He is before all things, and it is because of Him that everything consists. God is in control.
Psalm 118:8 tells us “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” This includes all people, even yourself. God’s plans and His timing are always best. You have one piece to the puzzle, God sees the whole picture, and it’s beautiful. He had the puzzle put together before He even gave you that one piece. Sometimes it may seem like I can control a situation, but honestly I can control nothing.
Even through our sufferings God is sovereign, which can be hard to grasp. If God is good, and if God is in control, why does He allow me to suffer? Why does He allow tragedy to happen? Why, why, why? That is the question I have caught myself asking when my trust is in myself rather than in God.
You can find the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis and wowzers… did He endure a lot of straight up bad stuff. His brothers planned to murder him, leave him for dead in a pit. They changed their minds and sold him into slavery instead. He was wrongly accused of rape. He was forgotten about in jail. But God was with Joseph every step of the way. Through it all God had a plan, and it was beautiful.
Joseph eventually became governor of Egypt. When there was a famine in the land he was able to save his family. He told his brothers that what they had intended for evil, God had intended for good (d). God was Sovereign in Jospeh’s suffering and trials, and He is sovereign in the trials and sufferings we endure too.
Luther Bridges — He Keeps Me Singing
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumb’ring chords again.
Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ’neath His shelt’ring wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.
It is said that Luther Bridges penned this hymn shortly after his wife and three children unexpectedly died. When we know God, He leads us, guides us and gives us strength and joy through trials, but we must trust Him and His Sovereignty. Knowing God is knowing that He is Sovereign. Luther had just suffered a great personal loss, but he knew God was in control and beside him through it all.
Anxiety, stress, worry… personally, it all boils down to being a control issue. When things are wildly out of my control I want to fix it. I’m a problem solver. But it is an immense weight off my shoulders and a wave of peace when I remind myself of a simple truth: God is in control, so I don’t need to be.
Your Identity in Christ
When you are fully believing who you are in Christ there is no room for anxiety, worry, or fear.
As a born again believer in Jesus Christ I am a new creation. He has made me new! Christ has a lot to say about who we are as believers and His children.
In this crazy world it is way too easy to let something or someone define you. Attempting to measure up to your own standards or someone else’s can be anxiety inducing. Hiding who you are, molding yourself to fit into the box can be anxiety inducing. Step out of the box of the world’s definition of you and step into Christ’s arms. Let Him define you.
I am a child of God (e).
I am loved by God (f).
I am valued (g).
I am chosen (h).
I have victory (i).
I have direct access to God (j).
I am capable (k).
I am born of God and Satan cannot touch me (l).
The blood of Jesus Christ has washed me clean. Guilt and shame free (m).
This list just barely brushes the surface of your identity in Christ. When I remind myself of who I am in Christ, it frees me. It brings me peace. It no longer matters what others think of me, because I know who I belong to and exactly what He says about me.
I believe that we have choices in this world. When Satan fires the dart of anxiety and fear into our hearts we can choose to let it stay there, impaling us, hurting us, causing us to bleed and lose life. We can focus on the anxiety, we can focus on the problem, and all of the possible what ifs. Sometimes we can experience anxiety and don’t even know why we are feeling it. We can let it cripple us. We can let it pull our focus. We can give in to it. We can choose to let anxiety control us, stop us from living life to the absolute fullest. Anxiety can keep us from reaching our full potential. Anxiety can keep us from serving God.
Or we can stand. We can rip out the arrow of anxiety and choose to fight back. That is a painful sounding analogy, but choosing to fight back can be painful. Will we have a wound that takes time to heal? Yes. Will Satan continue to fire the dart of anxiety at you again and again? Yes. Especially if he knows that it is something you really struggle with, you can bet he is going to try to persistently use it. Choose to trust God. Choose to trust that He is control. Fight back in prayer. Is the fight easy? Nope. Claim the promises in God’s Word, who you are, who He created you to be. Know your Savior and His Sovereignty.
God wants us to give our cares, our worries, our fears, and anxieties to Him. He wants us to lay it all down at His feet and leave it there. Sometimes I have the habit of laying it down… and then picking it right back up. He wants us to rely on Him in our times of struggle and nothing else.
The Battle Plan
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4:8
Instead of focusing on anxiety or the cause of our anxiety, focus on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous, worthy of praise. God. Focus on God. Focus on His sovereignty. Focus on the identity He has given you.
Claim the scripture. Pray it over your life. If you know someone who is struggling, pray it over them. Prayer is power. It’s how we fight our battles. When we humble ourselves and lay it down at the feet of Jesus, He fights our battles for us. We cannot battle our fears, doubts, worries, anxieties, or anything at all in our own strength. It is in Christ where our strength resides.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7
This prayer is my battle plan. When I pray it, it doesn’t always sound or look the same. This is a guide. When I pray this, or anything really, it is so important to pray it from the heart. Pray it like you mean it, don’t let it become a vain repitition in the hopes it’s the “cure.”
You know my struggles, my anxieties, my fears, my doubts. Help me to claim the promises in your Word. Help me to fully believe in your Sovereignty and who I am in Christ. Lord, I’m choosing to fight my battles in prayer because I know that you are Sovereign and that you love me.
How precious also are your thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: (Psalm 139:17-18a)
God, I choose to trust you because you are sovereign. (Psalm 90:2, Hebrews 1:3, Psalm 97:9)
God, I choose to trust you because you are holy. (Revelation 4:8, Isaiah 6:3)
God, I choose to trust you because I am your child and you died for me. (John 3:16, 1:12)
God, I choose to trust you because you have overcome the death, Jesus conquered death and the grave. (John 11:25, Romans 6:9)
God, I choose to trust you because through my faith in Christ I am MORE than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37)
God, I choose to trust you because your faithful love endures forever and nothing can separate me from your love. (Psalm 136, Romans 8:38-39)
God, I choose to trust you because you have said you will never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31: 6,8)
God, I choose to trust you because you say you will bear my burden, that I can cast ALL of my cares upon you. (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 55:22)
God, I choose to trust you because you are gracious, forgiving, merciful, and just. (Joel 2:13, 1 John 1:9, Daniel 9:9, Acts 10:34)
God, I choose to trust you because you say that you have a plan for me and my life. (Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 16:9)
God, I choose to trust you because you know my every thought, you know my every move. (Psalm 139:1-4)
God, I choose to trust you because you are faithful despite my unfaithfulness, despite my worries and my doubts. (2 Timothy 2:13)
God, I choose you. I choose to believe that you are in control of all. I will not worry. You created all things and all things were created for you. (Colossians 1:16-17) You are sovereign over all.
God, I am saying ‘yes’ to your promises. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Lord, help my unbelief. Help me to trust you. Take away any doubt in the depths of my heart. (Mark 9:24)
In Jesus’ Name, (John 14:13-14)
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.Jeremiah 33:3
a. Deuteronomy 20:3-4 And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
b. Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
c. Philippians 1:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:31-32 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
d. Genesis 5:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
e. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
f. 1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins.
g. Matthew 10:31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
h. 1 Peter 2:9-10 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
i. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
j. Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
k. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
l. 1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
m. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
God is Sovereign:
Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Psalm 97:9 For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
God is Holy:
Revelation 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
I am a child of God and He died for me:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus has conquered death and the grave:
John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
Through my faith in Christ I am MORE than a conqueror:
Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
God’s faithful love endures forever and nothing can separate me from it:
Psalm 136 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. He alone does great wonders. His faithful love endures forever. He made the heavens skillfully. His faithful love endures forever. He spread the land on the waters. His faithful love endures forever. He made the great lights: His faithful love endures forever. the sun to rule by day, His faithful love endures forever. the moon and stars to rule by night. His faithful love endures forever. He struck the firstborn of the Egyptians His faithful love endures forever. and brought Israel out from among them His faithful love endures forever. with a strong hand and outstretched arm. His faithful love endures forever. He divided the Red Sea His faithful love endures forever. and led Israel through, His faithful love endures forever. but hurled Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea. His faithful love endures forever. He led his people in the wilderness. His faithful love endures forever. He struck down great kings His faithful love endures forever. and slaughtered famous kings — His faithful love endures forever. Sihon king of the Amorites His faithful love endures forever. and Og king of Bashan — His faithful love endures forever. and gave their land as an inheritance, His faithful love endures forever. an inheritance to Israel his servant. His faithful love endures forever. He remembered us in our humiliation His faithful love endures forever. and rescued us from our foes. His faithful love endures forever. He gives food to every creature. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven! His faithful love endures forever.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God will never leave me nor forsake me:
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Deuteronomy 31:6,8 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
God bears my burden and I can cast all of my cares upon Him:
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
God is gracious, forgiving, merciful, and just:
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
1 John 1:9 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Daniel 9:9 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
God has a plan for me and my life:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
God knows my every thought; my every move:
Psalm 139:1-4 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
God is faithful despite my unfaithfulness, my worries and my doubts:
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
God created all things, He is Sovereign over all:
Colossians 1:16-17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
Yes to the promises of God:
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Take away doubt and unbelief:
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
In Jesus’ Name:
John 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Valerie loves going on adventures, spending time in nature, and getting lost in the wonders of God’s creation. She works in the 6th grade resource room at the local middle school, co-runs a faith-based youth mentoring program, and is actively involved in Bible camp ministry. Valerie loves mentoring other women, teens and children. She has an obsession with pens and stocking up on beautiful journals. Valerie’s greatest joy is sharing Jesus with others. Her greatest desire is to know Him more deeply and make Him known. You can find her on Instagram @valerieeejayyy