If you are an adult living the world today, you have no doubt experienced stress and anxiety at some point. In part, it may be created by the technological age in which we live. We have too much input coming into our lives from sources that can emotionally drain us when instead we need moments of solitude, rest, and contemplation.
Battling Anxiety: A Lesson from Elijah
We live in a stressful world. Most of us are too busy and that often robs us of our time with God while adding guilt to our overly stressed lives. And then for some people, they erroneously feel they are failing God in some way by admitting anxious thoughts and feelings.
This is not so. God is ever-present. He knows how we feel before our fears are even uttered, and He knows the root cause, too. Whatever the cause, it worsens when we are sleep deprived. Fatigue usually raises its head during these times—causing our anxiety to intensify and making us feel weak and defenseless. It is in these vulnerable moments that Satan attacks.
The prophet Elijah is a perfect example of a strong man of God feeling weak and depressed. After the victory on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18), it appears Elijah lost his confidence in God’s ability to protect him because he ran from Jezebel instead of standing firm as he did when he confronted the 850 false prophets of Baal.
This is what happened: “Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, ‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.’ Elijah was afraid and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:1-3, NIV).
Anxiety Is Not a Sin, It Is a Symptom
Talk about going from victory to defeat! Elijah’s emotions took a complete turn because he was emotionally drained and exhausted. Perhaps you can relate to that. In the book of James we are told that “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours” (James 5:17). Despite his temporary lapse into depression and fear (1 Kings 19:4-5), Elijah went on to accomplish great things for God.
But even he, this wonderful prophet of God, when exhausted and alone, began to experience doubts and fears. So don’t allow fatigue and physical weakness and the accompanying anxious thoughts and feelings to separate you from the One who not only knows your thoughts but also cares for you above all that you can ask or think. Anxiety is not a sin; it is a symptom.
So, whenever you or someone you know feels emotionally drained or trapped by feelings of despair—Scripture and prayer are the place to begin your recovery. Considering this, here are some Scriptures to offer comfort and encouragement in those stressful moments or days. Choose one or two of these Scriptures and write them on a card as a source of help during anxious moments. Then find a prayer partner who will join with you in taking your concerns to God in prayer.
Through them you will learn:
You are not alone.
Bible Verses to Remind You that You are Not Alone
“You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).
“Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24).
“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear, what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
“The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” Psalm 145:18-19).
“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by” (Psalm 57:1).
And, remember with God’s help…
You have the strength you need.
Bible Verses to Remind You that God Will Give You Strength
“God is our refuge and strength” (Psalm 46:1).
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust’” (Psalm 91:2).
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word” (Psalm 119:114).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25).
“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul” (Psalm 138:3).
The Bible is filled with an arsenal of wisdom to help you or someone you know through the trial they may be facing. Take the Scriptures into your heart, and then take your concerns and needs to the Lord in prayer.
A Prayer of Deliverance
Dear God, I am in trouble. I am weary, worried, and worn out. Not knowing how to pray, I turn to the Psalms and repeat their pleas for my own heart: “O Lord, deliver me! O save me for Your mercies’ sake. Deliver me in Your righteousness. Deliver me from the hand of the enemy. Deliver me from all my troubles. Deliver me from my distress. Deliver me from all my transgressions. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me. I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinks on me. You are my help and deliverer.” You have said, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” I claim that promise now. Father, You know what’s happening in my life, in my family, in my church. You know the webs of worry spinning in my mind. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil; For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen!
And then, be patient: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14, ESV)
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