Bible Verses for Anxiety & Fear from Old Testament Prophets

By Dr. Bob Martin III
Published 1 year ago

Bible verses for anxiety and fear can be found within the writings of the Old Testament prophets.

Most Christians consider the Old Testament prophets as “doom and gloom” relics of Israel’s past. But because they wrote God’s inspired word, they also apply to us today. And that includes the emotional healing of anxiety.

 

Bible Verses for Anxiety & Fear from OT Prophets Deuteronomy 31:6 Isaiah 26:3 Isaiah 41:13 Jeremiah 17:7

 

Nearly twenty percent of Americans suffer from anxiety, including Christians. But Jesus came to leave us a legacy of peace (John 14:27) without anxiety (Mark 5:36; 6:50).

On the one hand, anxiety may be part of your life right now. But on the other hand, it does not have to define you. Therefore, how you “choose” to handle anxiety and fear is up to you.

Anxiety can either be healthy or unhealthy. Unhealthy anxiety can vary from:

  • A mild sense of apprehension, uneasiness, or dread
  • To an overwhelming terror that is emotionally crippling, preventing us from enjoying life

 

Fear is different from anxiety. Fear is a response to a specific and actual danger affecting a person’s safety.

 

Anxiety Spectrum vs. Fear Unhealthy Anxiety Spectrum: • A mild sense of apprehension, uneasiness, or dread • An overwhelming terror that is emotionally crippling, preventing us from enjoying life Fear is a response to a clear & actual danger affecting a person's safety

I.   If Your Anxiety is Interfering with Your Daily Life

If your anxiety is crippling or interfering with your activities of daily life, you need to seek help. Specifically, see a qualified professional if you are experiencing

  • Phobias,
  • Panic attacks, or
  • Compulsive behaviors

 

II.   Source of Anxiety

Anxiety and fear can be caused by the following:

  • Self-focused living (to please ourselves)
  • Satan
  • Sin
  • Modeling from highly anxious parents
  • Past abuse or trauma
  • Fear of man
  • Think God is angry at us
  • Feel we have committed an unforgivable sin

 

III.   What is an Old Testament Prophet?

An Old Testament prophet was a man of God who spoke the word of God to the people of God. At its most basic, a prophet said what God told him to say, no more and no less.

Thus, every author of the Bible’s 66 books is considered a prophet. And while this may be true, there is a “prophetic genre.” In particular, the last 17 books of the Old Testament are prophetic. They are divided into

  • Major Prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel
  • Minor Prophets: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
  • The Major Prophet’s books are longer and considered more important than the Minor Prophets

 

 

Old Testament Prophets An Old Testament prophet was a man of God who: • Spoke the word of God to the people of God • Said what God told him to say, no more & no less The last 17 books of the Old Testament are prophetic. They are divided into: • 5 Major Prophets • 12 Minor Prophets

 

These prophets delivered warnings, judgments, encouragement, instructions, and hope to Israel. Their inspired words touched on every aspect of life, including past, present, future, or all of them simultaneously.

Old Testament prophets obeyed God by proclaiming his word, even when it was unpopular.

The Old Testament prophets spoke messages for the people in their day. But their words, when correctly interpreted, can guide us today. And in particular, several verses are helpful for healing anxiety.

This article will examine Scripture for healing anxiety from three prophets—specifically, Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah.

 

IV.   How to Use Bible verses for Anxiety and Fear

The Bible is God’s special revelation and is filled with everything we need for a godly and informed life (2 Pet. 1:3). This includes how we perceive and respond to anxious thoughts.

But many Christians suffer in silence. Why?

Firstly, because of guilt and shame. Too often, we mistakenly believe that a “real Christian” shouldn’t struggle with anxiety

Secondly, many Christians don’t see how God can use anxiety to strengthen our faith (Rom. 8:28)

Finally, a “disconnect” exists on correctly applying Bible verses for anxiety and fear. In other words:

  • On the one hand, you know that the Bible “should and can” help you resolve your struggles emotionally
  • But on the other hand, you don’t know how to “practically” apply Scripture to overcome anxiety

 

In a previous blog, I outlined 7 ways to use Scripture for emotional healing.

They included

  1. Relying on the illumination of the Holy Spirit
  2. Bible study
  3. Meditation
  4. Memorization
  5. Prayer
  6. Journaling
  7. Living what you’ve learned

 

To help you fully engage the Bible verses for anxiety and fear, I have added extra material under “Comment.” This material is meant to get you started applying the seven ways to use Bible verses for anxiety and fear.

 

7 Ways to Handle Scripture Correctly 1 Illumination 2 Bible Study 3. Meditation 4, Memorization 5. Prayer 6. Journaling 7 A godly lifestyle

 

V.   Prophetic Bible Verses for Anxiety and Fear

 

1.   Deuteronomy 31:6: A Scripture for Anxiety and Fear Calling Us to be Faithful

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” (cf. Josh. 1:9)

 

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"

 

Comment: The context is Moses commissioning Joshua to lead the Israelites.

This verse speaks to the faithfulness, courage, and trust in the Lord to live our Christian lives.

It is a reminder that “God does not call us to be successful; he calls us to be faithful.” In other words:

  • That we don’t have to be successful to feel worthy. If we are faithful and trust in God, he will not fail us
  • God will never leave us nor forsake us
  • We can trust in God’s love, even when times are tough

 

2.   Isaiah 26:3: Scripture for Anxiety and Fear Teaching Growing Intimacy with God

Isaiah 26:3:  “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.

 

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.

 

Comment:

Isaiah’s song of the redeemed (26:1–6) is a hymn of thanksgiving and celebration of trust in God

If we want inner peace, we must draw close to God through Bible verses for anxiety and fear. Intimacy with the Lord comes from spending time with him through:

  • Studying, meditating, and memorizing Bible verses for anxiety and fear
  • Prayer
  • Aligning ourselves with God’s will and being obedient to His commands
  • Living with integrity according to God’s word
  • Relying on God in trials instead of ourselves
  • Remaining faithful in trials
  • Enjoying his strength and protection allows us to experience peace

 

A deepening intimacy with God from following Bible verses for anxiety and fear also leads to peace. The Bible promises the Lord:

  • Gives us strength in every trial
  • Provides wisdom, protection, and support in overcoming anxiety or fear
  • Works all things for good in our lives (Romans 8:28).

 

3.   Isaiah 41:13: God’s Comfort Heals Us from Anxiety and Fear:

Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”

 

Isaiah 41:13 Fort am the LORD yOur God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you

 

Comment: Isaiah prophecies Israel will be restored to her former status. In this case, God is loyal to his chosen people. Israel doesn’t need to fear other nations because of God’s love and might.

We can be sure that God comforts and protects us during difficult times. We can be sure God:

  • Actively works in our lives, providing guidance and direction. Analogous to a father taking his child’s hand to protect them
  • Will be there for us when we need him most
  • Provides an answer or solution in his perfect timing

 

Further, our confidence should be in Jesus. By contrast, worldly ideas or philosophies fall short over time.

Additionally, we can know peace by focusing on our relationship with God and trusting in his infinite power.

Finally, we can triumph over anxiety by remaining faithful despite our feelings!

 

4.   Jeremiah 17:7 Highlights the Way of the Righteous

Jeremiah 17:7 – “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.”

 

Jeremiah 17;7 - "But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD whose confidence is in him

 

Commentary: The prophet Jeremiah is writing during the reign of Jehoiakim. Jeremiah includes a short poem contrasting the way of the wicked with the way of the righteous (Jer. 17:5–8)

Biblically trusting in the Lord is believing he knows what is best even during our suffering.

By choosing to trust in the Lord, we can have the following:

  • Lasting stability and security are found nowhere else
  • Spiritual guidance throughout life’s trials
  • Joy and comfort in our lives
  • Emotional support during times of sorrow
  • Peace of mind knowing he is faithful despite trials
  • Eternal life through Christ for believers, no matter what comes their way

 

VI.   What’s Your Next Step

The Old Testament Prophets provided spiritual guidance to the Israelites.

We looked at five verses from three prophets. Using these verses will help you renew your mind.

Old Testament prophetic Bible verses for anxiety and fear still play a role in guiding us today. And that includes emotional healing of anxiety.

Moreover, you can take comfort in God’s promises.

Without a doubt using the seven ways for using Bible verses for anxiety and fear will help you overcome your anxiety. Overall, you heal your anxiety by knowing God more profoundly.

If you are not a Christian, why not consider taking the critical step in healing your anxiety? Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Then follow the seven steps to engaging God’s word to remove anxiety from your life.

IMPORTANT REMINDER FOR THOSE SUFFERING SEVERE ANXIETY!

If anxiety interferes with your daily life, seek help from a goldy professional immediately!

Especially if you are experiencing

  • Phobias
  • Panic attacks
  • Compulsive behaviors

 

In addition, don’t be ashamed of taking medication prescribed by a qualified physician. Alleviating incapacitating symptoms may be critical to your emotional healing!

Engaging your faith and trust in God can be challenging when you feel emotionally overwhelmed and distracted by anxiety.

Resources

  1. Carpenter, Eugene, E., & Philip W. Comfort. Holman Treasury of Key Bible Words: 200 Greek and 200 Hebrew Words Defined and Explained. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000.
  2. Dyer, Charles H. (1985). “Jeremiah.”In The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Volume Edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.
  3. Geisler, Norman L. (1999) “Bible, Evidence For.” In Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Baker Books, 1999
  4. Got Questions Ministries. Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Logos Bible Software, 2002–2013.
  5. Redditt, Paul L. “Prophets, the.” In The Lexham Bible Dictionary, edited by John D. Barry et al., Lexham Press, 2016.
  6. VanGemeren, Willem A. “Isaiah.” In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible. Volume 3. Edited by Walter A. Elwell. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995.

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