Stress is an inevitable part of life that can affect us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. As Christians, we can turn to God’s Word for comfort, wisdom, and encouragement in times of stress. Here’s an overview of some of the key things the Bible teaches about dealing with stress and anxiety:
God is our refuge and strength in times of trouble
The Bible encourages us that even when we walk through difficult circumstances that cause stress, God is always with us as a source of strength and protection. Psalms 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Bringing our worries and burdens to God helps release the weight of stress we may be carrying. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Prayer relieves anxiety and brings peace
God invites us to pray about everything that concerns us. Philippians 4:6-7 teaches, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” As we give our stresses to God in prayer, He exchanges them for supernatural peace.
Keep your mind set on eternal things
Much of our stress comes from being consumed by earthly worries. That’s why passages like Colossians 3:2 instruct us, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Keeping an eternal perspective, remembering God is in control, and living to glorify Him takes our focus off temporary worries and reduces stress.
Trust in God’s sovereignty
At times, stress comes from frustrating situations we can’t control. That’s why we need to remember God is ultimately sovereign over everything. Proverbs 19:21 states, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Surrendering control to God and trusting His plans will unfold relieves needless anxiety.
Think on positive, uplifting things
Our thought lives directly impact how we handle stress. Philippians 4:8 advises us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Choosing to fill our minds with positive truths from Scripture counteracts the destructive thinking patterns that feed anxiety.
Give your cares to God
Rather than carrying the weight of stress alone, 1 Peter 5:7 encourages, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” God knows our personal situations and wants us to cast our cares on Him because He loves us. He is ready and able to handle any concerns we surrender to Him.
Trust God’s timing
Waiting on God’s timing is one of the hardest parts of dealing with stress. But Psalm 27:14 reminds us, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” God’s timing is perfect even when we don’t understand the wait. Letting go of our own timelines reduces anxiety that comes from trying to control everything.
Refocus your thoughts on God
Stress often arises when our focus shifts away from God. That’s why Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Intentionally fixing our thoughts on God’s truth keeps us stable and at peace even when circumstances feel out of control.
Believe God works all things for good
In stressful times when disaster strikes, we can still trust God’s promise in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” No matter what difficulties come our way, we can believe God will use even the worst circumstances ultimately for our good.
God renews strength to the weary
Stress often leaves us physically and emotionally drained. But Isaiah 40:29-31 declares, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” God understands we get depleted by stress, and He promises to renew our energy as we look to Him.
Rest in God’s presence
Between hectic schedules, endless demands, and the noise of life, stress accumulates from sheer exhaustion. But Jesus’ invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 offers us soul rest: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” We are restored when we pause to be still in Christ’s presence.
Ask God for wisdom to make right choices
Stress often snowballs when we make poor decisions while under pressure. James 1:5 promises, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Asking God for discernment produces right thinking, even in stressful situations. This prevents stress accumulated from bad choices.
Fill your heart with Scripture
God’s Word was given to renew our minds and encouragement our hearts. In times of anxiety or worry, meditating on verses about God’s peace and strength counteracts destructive thoughts. As Psalm 119:50 says, “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Hiding Scripture in our hearts helps relieve stress.
Ask others to pray for you
Don’t underestimate the power of asking trusted friends to pray for you in seasons of high stress. James 5:16 reminds us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Letting Christian friends intercede for you releases healing and renewal.
Obey God one step at a time
In stressful times, focusing on the next right step rather than the whole overwhelming issue is best. Jesus said in Luke 12:22, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.” God asks us to simply obey His commands one moment at a time without anxious thought for the future.
Trust God’s character and promises
At the root of most stress is failing to believe God is who He says He is. That’s why Proverbs 3:5-6 advises, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” He has proven His trustworthy character time and again. Letting that anchor your heart subdues stress.
Persevere in hope
Enduring through periods of high stress can seem unbearable in the moment. But Romans 5:3-4 says, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” As we lean into God during affliction, He develops His character in us. This hope sustains us.
Ask God for deliverance
It’s right to ask God to rescue us from stressful situations, just as David did frequently in the Psalms. Psalm 34:17 declares, “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God wants us to come to Him boldly in times of need seeking help. He is able to provide a way out.
Let Christ’s words abide in you
When we meditate on God’s Word, it takes root and calms our hearts in times of stress. As John 15:7 promises, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” Scripture has supernatural power to quiet negative thoughts and stabilize our minds.
God is good even in suffering
Because God is completely good, He is able to use even painful circumstances for ultimate good. As Romans 8:28 promises, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Clinging to God’s goodness in suffering reduces stress.
Resist the devil
Sometimes anxiety comes from demonic attacks that whisper lies and magnify our worries. James 4:7 instructs us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We have authority in Christ to command negative thoughts to leave in Jesus’ name. This breaks strongholds.
Focus on serving others
It’s easy to get consumed by our own worries. But Philippians 2:4 tells us, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” God often relieves our stress when we look to relieve and encourage someone else through serving them.
Remember God is always with you
Stress is amplified when we feel all alone. But God promises repeatedly throughout the Bible that He will never leave us. Deuteronomy 31:8 declares, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” He is always by our side.
Seek God’s kingdom first
Much worry comes from focusing on the wrong priorities. That’s why Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Asking God to align our priorities with His liberates us from unnecessary earthly anxiety.
Release your resentment to God
Holding onto bitterness about people or situations fuels anxiety. Hebrews 12:15 warns us to “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Forgiving others and releasing pain to God reduces toxic stress in our hearts.
Set healthy boundaries
Not establishing wise boundaries often subjects us to stress we were never meant to carry. Exodus 18:17-18 teaches that setting reasonable limits is key to effective leadership. Handing off what we should not be carrying to others relieves heavy loads.
Take care of your physical body
Caring for your physical body helps you manage anxiety. Getting enough rest, eating properly, and exercising moderates your stress hormone cortisol. 1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?”
Cry out to God
Many psalms exemplify crying out to God whenever we feel overwhelmed by the weight of stress. Psalm 61:2 says, “When my heart is faint, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” God listens compassionately when we call to Him in brokenness seeking relief.
Trust God is working behind the scenes
When stressful situations seem hopeless, remember that God is at work even when we can’t see it. Isaiah 43:19 declares, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Ask God for eyes of faith to believe His plans will unfold.
Receive God’s comfort
God doesn’t just sympathize with our pain – He comforts us in powerful ways. As 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 expresses, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” Let Him comfort you.
Let the Holy Spirit fill you
The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Counselor and Helper. Ephesians 5:18 exhorts, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Being continually filled and led by the Spirit enables us to walk in supernatural peace.
Exchange fear for love
Fear and dread corrode our hearts when we face stressful situations. But as 1 John 4:18 encourages us, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” Asking Jesus to fill our hearts afresh with His perfect love casts out anxiety’s torment.
Set your heart on Christ alone
The more we set our affections on Jesus, the less earthly worries can trouble us. Colossians 3:1-2 reminds us, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
Don’t be anxious about anything
God commands us over and over not to worry. Philippians 4:6 clearly tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Bringing every concern to God prevents crippling anxiety.
In summary, the Bible offers incredible truths, promises, and practical advice to help believers navigate seasons of stress with God’s peace and hope. Leaning on God’s Word allows His supernatural peace to guard our hearts even in difficult times. The Lord cares deeply about our stresses and invites us to find rest in His capable hands.