Anxious? Stressed? Soak in Scripture!

stress anxiety scripture


The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? Ps.27:1


As a Christian, I would love to walk around enveloped in a big cloud of peace—no anxiety, no stress!  But I don’t.  Instead, I have to seek peace by peeling away at what’s troubling me, talk to God about my fears, and change my inner messages and beliefs.  How about you?

Whether our need for peace is due to global and national turmoil, a dysfunctional relationship, or other circumstances, life regularly presents anxiety-inducing situations.

God knows this.  Jesus addressed it. And so did the writers of Scripture because they were human beings who faced tough stuff, just as we do.  One of the Bible writers I soak in when I recognize I’m anxious, tense, and upset is David the Psalmist. He has so much to teach me and all of us.

Here are eight faith-based affirmations from David’s heart that re-orient my thinking and calm my emotions—but only if they become words from my heart that I act on:

  • Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will yet praise Him. 42:5
  • The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? Ps.27: 1
  • My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face Lord I will seek. 27: 8
  • I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Ps. 27: 13
  • The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. Ps.28: 7
  • Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me. Ps.25:4
  • I love you, O Lord, my strength. Ps. 18:1
  • I will praise you as long as I live… I remember you… you are my help… my soul clings to you. Ps.63: 4-7

To go from anxiety and stress to calm and confidence in God:

SOAK in Scripture. Slowly re-read these or other words and phrases three or four times.

SEARCH for deeper insight. Ask: Lord, how does this relate to me? Take time to question your heart in light of the Scripture you’re reading.  Is it having God’s intended impact on your thinking and emotions—right now, in the situation that is troubling you?

SEEK out the application.  David constantly takes himself by the scruff of the neck and says, “Apply what you know!”  Notice in the phrases above how often he turns in faith to God. What phrases can you use to affirm your confidence in God today? Increase the power of these words by looking up other translations and soaking in them. Then put them into practice!

Read Scripture in this way and it won’t be dry, irrelevant words with no application to your struggles. Instead:

  • Your heart will be calmed by soaking in the wonder of God’s unconditional love.
  • Your mind will be calmed by soaking in the truth God is in control and working for your good.
  • Your soul will be calmed by soaking in the assurance that God will never leave you to face life alone.


Want to talk? Our world has many simplistic ideas for finding peace, but they usually give temporary relief and are often harmful in the end.  How do you handle your anxiety and stress? Let me know so you can help others.





Photo credit: GraphicStock

Talker, Fixer, Listener?

listening skills

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19

For some of us, listening with sensitivity and without interrupting is a spiritual discipline we haven’t yet mastered! I have a long way to go. Do you?

Jesus was a master listener. He stopped, paid attention to the needs of people in front of Him, and asked heart-opening questions.

  • When the desperate woman with bleeding issues managed to get so close she touched his cloak, Jesus stopped. Aware that someone in the jostling crowds intentionally touched Him, he wanted to connect with them. And, even though he was on a serious mission with Jairus, He gave his full attention to an unimportant yet needy woman. (Luke 8:40-48)
  • When Bartimaeus, a blind beggar sitting by the roadside in the blazing sun heard that Jesus was coming, he cried out for help. And everyone told him to be quiet! He had no status, he was just a nuisance. Still, his need and his despair were so great, he kept shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” And Jesus stopped, told those around to call him, and immediately asked a heart-opening question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

I almost weep as I picture this man in rags, poverty stricken, without any means to change his life, uttering such heart longings, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:46-52.

There are so many people who long for someone to listen to them. Perhaps you’re one of them?

When I was in seminary all students were required to meet monthly with a Spiritual Director. I wasn’t sure what it would be like or what I was supposed to do—or if I was “spiritual enough” to meet with this super-being! It turned out to be a one-on-one listening time. I talked. My Director listened. She asked some perceptive questions and I talked some more! It was wonderful—and today I love being that listener to others.

But what if you’re the listener? What do you need to know and practice to build deeper relationships? Here are 3 questions to honestly ask yourself (or someone who knows you well and is kind!).

  1. AM I A TALKER? Do I tend to dominate, interrupt, and must have the last word on a topic? If the answer is YES, YES, YES, then ask God to remind you of Proverbs 18:13, He who answers before listening—that is his/her folly and shame.
  2. AM I A FIXER? Some people say you should never give advice, but I have mixed feelings on this! I’ve been influenced a great deal by people sharing stories, books, or advice that helped them. But we are all different, so before offering input, ask if they’d like some!
  3. AM I A LISTENER? Do I notice people, listen without interrupting, pay attention to their emotions seen in their eyes, faces, voice, and body language? Do I show empathy, understanding, and ask appropriate heart-opening questions?

Need some help improving your listening skills? Check out my friend Becky Harling’s latest book, How to Listen so People Will Talk. It’s full of real-life stories, practical tips, and wisdom for handling those pesky situations where it’s so easy to put your foot in it. It’s on my reading list!

Qu. Got some comments about your listening skills, or lack of them? We’d love to hear them.





Photo credit: DollarPhotoClub/Graphic Stock