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Reassurances for Anxiety from Scripture and the Saints

May 29, AD2014 10 Comments

\"annarose\" Everyone faces anxiety. A child embarks off without you, a difficult exam is next week, you have no idea what to expect at a job interview – we face all of these scenarios and more daily.

By itself, anxiety is just an emotion like any other. There is nothing bad or sinful about it. God gave us emotions to help us relate to other people and the world around us. Anxiety is meant to be a helpful tool, not a burden. When it starts to creep in, we should try to figure out how we are in danger or what is bothering us.

Just as hunger indicates a need for food, anxiety at its core shows a need for security and peace. However, in our fallen world, emotions can be warped which can cause us to act in ways that harm ourselves and others. Thus anxiety can lead to not trusting God.

In  Matthew 6:34, Jesus states that we should trust in Him instead of allowing anxiety to control us:  \”Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. \” (New American Standard Bible)

As someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD, I find trusting in God very difficult. My mental illness is not a sin, but when I willfully choose not to try turning to God, then I am disobeying His word. In doing so, I not only hurt myself and those around me but also my relationship with Him.

Thankfully, there are many Bible verses about managing anxiety and turning to God instead of despair. Numerous saints also left us with words of wisdom regarding this difficult subject. When in a stressful place, remembering the words of others can be extremely comforting. Thus, here are some of the Scriptures and quotes from saints regarding anxiety that touched me.

Scriptures (NASB) on anxiety

  • \”In peace I will both lie down and sleep,/For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.\”Psalm 4:8
  • \”He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me,/ For they are many who strive with me.\” – Psalm 55:18
  • \”Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down,/ But a good word makes it glad.\”– Proverbs 12:25
  • \”Yet those who wait for the Lord/ Will gain new strength;/They will mount up with wings like eagles,/ They will run and not get tired,/ They will walk and not become weary.\” – Isaiah 40:31
  • \”Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.\” – Matthew 6:34
  • \”And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. Sodo not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.\” – Matthew 10:28-31
  • \”The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” – Luke 10:41-42
  • \”Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.\” – 1 Peter 5:7

Saint quotes on anxiety

  • \”If we have any natural defect, either in mind or body, let us not grieve and feel sorry for ourselves. Who can tell whether, if we had been given a larger share of ability or stronger health, or greater wealth, we would have possessed them to the destruction of our soul!\”  – St. Alphonsus Liquori
  • \”Watch, O Lord, with those who wake or watch or weep tonight, and give your angels and saints charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones, shield your joyous ones. And all for love\’s sake.\” – St. Augustine of Hippo
  • \”And of what should we be afraid? Our captain on this battlefield is Christ Jesus. We have discovered what we have to do. Christ has bound our enemies for us and weakened them that they cannot overcome us unless we so choose to let them. So we must fight courageously and mark ourselves with the sign of the most Holy Cross.\” – St. Catherine of Sienna
  • \”Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for he who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother. Blessed be you, my God, for having created me.\” – St. Clare of Assisi
  • \”Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart?\” – St. Gerard Majella
  • “Do not have any anxiety about the future. Leave everything in God’s hands for he will take care of you.” – St. John the Baptist de La Salle
  • \”If certain thoughts bother you, it is devil who causes you to worry, and not God, Who, being the spirit of peace, grants you tranquility.\” – St. Padre Pio

There are many more words of peace and comfort in the Bible and from saints. If you have others to add, please leave them in a comment. I hope that these ones will be calming and reassuring when you struggle with anxiety.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Anna Rose Meeds is a Catholic writer and speaker who wants to spread hope, truth, and awareness. After struggling through many years of depression, eating disorders, anxiety, aspergers, and numerous other illnesses, she has finally begun to to see a light at the end of the tunnel that she wants to share with all those who need encouragement and support. Currently, she is a university student studying professional writing with a minor in literature and Bible. Creativity and imagination play an important role in her life and faith. Other activities that she is involved with include Toastmasters, speech team, theater, web editing and social media marketing for several sites, writing for her university newspaper, a chapter officer of Sigma Tua Delta, and leading of the disability awareness club at her school.

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  • Steven Barrett

    With all her experience with the list of varying mental conditions, depression, aspergers, (c’mon, no ADD or ADHD? … I’m ’64 years old, and one doc said I had “ADHD in spades”… 16 years ago and still managed to remain married to my one and only bride of 32 years and raised four children to adulthood, some of whom have the same conditions mentioned above … but I didn’t do it with just a handful of quotations from the saints, happy phrases and Bible readings … like so many others who’ve had to deal with these conditions, I experienced several bouts of horrible transitions from one regime of meds to another. I noticed the author works at Disney World, a place where I, too, worked on two separate occasions, once in watercraft, the other in the campgrounds. One of the most pervasive parts of the “Disney cast experience” is the constant bombardment of happy Disney movie music, etc.
    Helping people deal with and manage their sometimes crippling disorders requires considerable tact, knowledge of medicine, plain commonsense and the temptation to avoid settling for easy solutions. There are none.
    I’m all with the author concerning the role of faith to help us get past those moments when taking that “one more step” seems to require heaps of inner courage, but I see no sign of any commitment on Ms. Meeds part to discuss the role of meds and how they can work positively to help us overcome some of our more intractable neurological limitations. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and presume she’s discussed the proper role of meds. There’s a reason why the best and most comprehensive outpatient treatment of people with neurological disorders is a one-two regime combining both meds and therapy. We can pray on our own, but try and find any insurance company that’ll pray for a purely prayer-based therapy.

  • Elizabeth Baxter

    I know this is a serious article but seeing the typo of St. Alphonsus Liquori made me laugh. I think that laughter and fun are also great ways to help mitigate the effects of anxiety!

    • Oh that is silly! Sorry about that! Humor can be a great anxiety reducer, you are right.

  • David Peters

    Wow, what a wonderful article! AnnaRose I am so encouraged from these quotes. I think I’ll print out the Scriptures and carry them around with me. And the quotes from the Saints are amazing. I especially love the ones from Saint Catherine of Sienna, and Saint Clare of Assisi. God bless.

    • Thank you! I am glad that you found this inspiring. Looking to the Bible and saints for guidance can be so helpful.

  • GHM_52

    Another of St Padre Pio’s treasures against anxiety: My past, O Lord, to Your mercy; my present, O Lord, to Your love; my future, O Lord, to Your providence.

    • He had many great quotes about anxiety. That is another wonderful one.

  • Paul Wharton

    “There are no difficulties except for those who worry too much about tomorrow.”
    — Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne

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