Peace for the Anxious

Written by Kayla Barthels / February 2018

In this world, it’s very easy to feel anxious about the future. In fact, it’s impossible not to because of our sinful flesh. We’re often faced with life-altering choices that can weigh heavily on our minds. Uncertainty regarding school, careers, finances, and relationships are present in everyone’s lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to cope with the stress of not knowing which road to take. We can look to scripture for guidance and help in these times of anxiety.

Psalm 4:8 says, “I will both lay down in peace, and sleep; for you alone O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” This passage is a great reminder that our safety in the Lord is guaranteed. We can pray and trust that every earthly decision in this life will bring us no harm because God will use it for our good.

Another passage to consider is John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This is such a great verse. In those days, it was a custom of the Jews to depart from each other by saying Shalom, which is translated peace. Here, the Lord is granting peace, but not the same kind of peace that was most often used. It is HIS peace. Peace that calms the troubled mind. Peace that we can have, knowing that God is guiding us through every circumstance.

Even Christ Himself in His human form faced one of the most prominent stressors of this earth. He faced His death. One account of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane is given in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 26:36-39:

“Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, ‘Sit here while I go and pray over there.’ And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.’ He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’

Illustration by Kayla Barthels

This is another great reminder of what we should do when we fear the future. Jesus Christ, sinless and perfect, also felt anxious of the pain and suffering He was about to endure. However, He sets an example for us when He prays for faith and strength to trust in the Father’s will. We, too, can come to God in times of trouble. The Lord encourages us to lay our fears at His feet because He has conquered fear and death by sending His only Son to die for our sins. We have nothing to be afraid of.

When we come to a fork in the road regarding college, money, relationships, or any other earthly choice, it’s important to remember that those decisions are merely temporal. In terms of eternal matters, the Lord has given His life on the cross. Because of God’s gracious love, we have the assurance of eternal life. There is nothing left undone. There is no need for anxiety. It is not a promise that nothing bad will happen to us, though. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” He reassures us that the trials of this world will be difficult, but God will always give us a way of escape. All temporal anxiety is diminished in the certainty of our eternal life. If God gave His life for us, He certainly will take care of any temporal troubles we encounter in this life until we reach the gates of Heaven.