What does the Bible say about anxiety?
As someone who struggles with this emotion on a regular basis, I’ve turned to God’s Word to find Bible verses for anxiety and fear more than once.
And while I certainly have found some comfort when reading various Bible verses about anxiety, worry, and fear, it can be easy to get stuck.
Unfortunately, simply reading a few Bible verses for anxiety can do more harm than good if the verses are taken out of context.
Take Philippians 4:6, for example. One of the most popular Bible verses for anxiety sufferers and chronic worriers, it says:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
When taken out of context, you might think that the Bible says anxiety is a sin or that you’re a sinner if you don’t trust God perfectly for everything.
And, if you’re like me, you might beg God to take away your worries… But then you start obsessing and worrying more, cueing even more intense anxiety.
Anxiety can be a vicious cycle! But it doesn’t have to be.
You truly can break free from the grip of constant, chronic anxiety, and these Bible verses about anxiety can help.
Disclaimer: I am not a trained mental health professional. If you suffer from severe anxiety or other mental health issues, please speak to a licensed, qualified counselor or therapist who can find the right diagnosis and treatment plan for you. This post is not medical advice, but practical, biblical tips to help those currently suffering from low-grade anxiety.
Related Reading: High-Functioning Anxiety & How I Approach It as a Christian
What Does the Bible Say About Anxiety?
While the Bible doesn’t specifically address chronic anxiety as a medical condition, the Bible portrays common anxiety, fear, and worry as normal human emotions that offer us an opportunity to rely on God.
The Bible does not say that anxiety is a sin, nor does the Bible say that we are sinful for experiencing anxiety, worry, fear, or depression.
Instead, when we study the Bible, we find that God’s Word contains several examples of famous Bible characters who struggled with fear, worry, and anxiety as well as several encouraging Bible verses for anxiety that we can use to strengthen, encourage, and uplift us today.
15 Encouraging Bible Verses About Anxiety and Fear
If you’re wondering, “What does the Bible say about anxiety?” look no further.
Here are the 15 best Bible verses about anxiety and fear.
1. Psalm 94:19
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
This Bible verse doesn’t speak of anxiety as something rare or shameful, but rather a normal fact of life. It also demonstrates that God can help us with our anxiety, trading our fear with peace and joy.
2. Psalm 139:23
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Even the famous King David (who was called a man after God’s own heart) had anxious thoughts. And rather than hiding them from God, he brought them TO God for help.
3. Philippians 4:4–7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
These Bible verses about anxiety instruct us to bring our fears and worries to God for help. God isn’t surprised or upset by our anxiety, worry, or fear. He wants us to come to Him!
4. 1 Peter 5:8
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Probably the most popular (and comforting!) Bible verses for anxiety, this Scripture verse reminds us that God loves us, He cares for us, and we can take all of our anxiety, worry, and fear to Him, knowing He cares about everything we’re going through.
5. Matthew 6:25–34
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
While this Scripture passage doesn’t mention anxiety specifically, if you’re wondering what Jesus says about worrying, this famous passage (from the Sermon on the Mount) definitely applies as well. In the kingdom of God, we can trust in the Lord to provide each day.
See also Luke 12:22–25.
6. Proverbs 3:5–6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
This Bible verse reminds us that we can trust in God with our fears, rather than trying to solve, fix, or figure everything out ourselves.
7. Matthew 11:28–30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
In this famous Scripture passage, Jesus invites his listeners to find their rest in Him when they are “weary and burdened”—which sounds a lot like anxiety to me!
8. 1 Timothy 1:7
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
This passage speaks directly to fear and how it can make us shrink back. Paul writes this reminder to Timothy that the power of the Holy Spirit is with him and he does not have to give in to a spirit of fear.
9. Deuteronomy 31:6
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.
This verse, an encouragement from Moses as he speaks to the Israelites about facing their enemies, is helpful for anxiety because it is a reminder that God goes with us wherever we go and whatever we face.
10. Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a pattern in these Bible verses for anxiety: God will be with you.
11. 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
Paul closes his encouraging letter about standing firm under trials with a reminder that peace comes from God and can be accessed through prayer.
12. Hebrews 13:5–6
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?”
In these Bible verses for anxiety, the Hebrew writer reminds people to be content and not to worry, with references to Deuteronomy 31:5 and Psalm 118:6–7.
13. Romans 8:37–39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In this powerful section concluding Paul’s words about living freely and confidently in the Holy Spirit, Jews and Gentiles alike are reminded that nothing separates us from God’s love, and we all, therefore, have nothing to fear or be anxious about.
14. Psalm 23:1–4
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
These famous words are some of my favorite Bible verses for anxiety because of the imagery they provide of God as a shepherd, who we know lays down his life for the sheep.
15. Psalm 62:1–3
Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Fortress, refuge, and shield imagery in the Psalms are powerful when addressing fear and anxiety because it reminds us that we have shelter in a force so much stronger than anything the world can throw at us.
Related reading: How to Trust God’s Plan – When You Don’t Know What It Is
How These Bible Verses for Anxiety and Fear Can Help You
It’s one thing to know what the Bible says about anxiety and fear, but how do we translate these Bible verses for anxiety and fear into a practical, meaningful action plan to help us overcome our worry?
Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to use Scripture to overcome anxiety and fear.
1. Identify the Root Cause of Your Anxiety
Anxiety is not one-size-fits-all. Rather, there are many different types of anxiety. Therefore, something that causes someone else anxiety may not bother you at all, and vice versa.
So start by determining what, specifically, causes you fear and anxiety. If you aren’t sure, take a week or two and pay attention. Write down all of the times you feel anxious and look for patterns. Try to be as specific as possible.
Here are a few common anxiety triggers:
- Stress, pressure, or overwhelm
- Uncertainty or major life changes
- Certain foods or medications (including caffeine)
- Health or financial concerns
- Too much screen time
- Relationship problems, particularly with toxic family members
- Negative thought patterns (fear of rejection, failure, etc)
- Past or current trauma
- Feeling isolated, unloved, or unneeded
2. Choose 2-3 Meaningful Bible Verses for Anxiety and Fear
Of the 15 Bible verses for anxiety listed above, some will likely be a better fit for your specific situation than others.
Read through the list of Bible verses about anxiety again, and see if one speaks to your situation.
For example, if you’re usually fearful at night, you might choose Psalm 4:8:
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
3. Place These Bible Verses About Anxiety and Fear Where You’ll See Them Often
You want to get in the habit of thinking about these verses on a regular basis.
Popular places to write these Bible verses for anxiety include:
- On your bathroom mirror
- On a post-it on your car dashboard (don’t cover anything important!)
- On an index card in your purse
- In a small frame on your desk
- On a piece of jewelry or clothing you wear often
4. Replace Your Fear with Your Favorite Bible Verses For Anxiety
In a process called taking every thought captive to Christ, you can purposefully choose to replace your worried, anxious thoughts with specific Bible verses about anxiety that help calm your worries.
No, it isn’t always easy. Yes, it does take some practice. But you truly can learn to substitute your worries for God’s peace.
5. Optional: Seek Professional Help
While these Bible verses for anxiety and fear are perfect for low-grade anxiety, if you’re suffering from chronic or severe anxiety caused by past trauma, current stressors, altered brain chemistry, etc., you will want to speak with a licensed therapist who can help diagnose your condition and help you brainstorm effective strategies to overcome anxiety.
Is Anxiety a Sin?
Anxiety is not a sin, according to the Bible. While Scripture does encourage us not to be anxious, there are no Bible verses that say anxiety is a sin or that we’re sinful if we don’t trust God fully.
Anxiety is a natural human emotion. It’s our response to perceived threats, and it can help us stay safe from danger.
Emotions themselves are not sinful. However, the way we choose to respond to our emotions can be sinful.
Anxiety can lead to sinful, self-protective behavior when we rely on our own strength for safety and security more than God, but it is not a sin in and of itself.
Related reading: The Truth About Worrying (and How to Find Peace)
Famous Bible Characters Who Dealt with Fear, Worry, or Anxiety
Think that “good Christians” don’t struggle with fear, worry, or anxiety? Think again. These famous Bible characters remind us that anxiety, fear, and worry and very normal human emotions — but also that, with God’s help — we don’t have to stay stuck in them.
- Abraham had some serious concerns about how God was going to bless all nations through his family and made some mistakes, but he kept wrestling and in the end became the father of the faithful.
- Moses was afraid to speak the truth to the powerful Pharaoh, but he talked through his fears with God and ultimately led his people out of slavery.
- Esther was afraid of going to the king, but she fasted, prayed, and helped her people escape destruction.
- Jesus broke down in sweat and tears the night before he was executed, but he took his emotions to his Father in prayer so that he would ultimately overcome the power of death for the whole world.
When we read the Bible for ourselves, we find that there are many more examples like this throughout the Scriptures!
The Bible is full of countless examples of very real people who dealt with very real worries and fears, but who ultimately learned to bring those fears and worries to God for help. And God wants us to do the same!
Related reading: 10 Bible Verses About Trusting God in Difficult Times
Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about anxiety? What are your favorite Bible verses for anxiety and fear?