Depression and anxiety are a lot more common today than they were a few generations ago, especially in young people.
People who seem completely healthy can be unable to get out of the house for a simple shopping trip because their social anxiety is so bad. Others can’t get any kind of job because their depression keeps them from succeeding in the workplace.
No one is exactly sure why, things have gotten so bad, but they do have a few good guesses.
And it’s all wrapped around some kind of fear or stress. (We have some good Bible verses about fear, which we’ll get too next.)
You might think the internet and social media are the biggest problems, but they aren’t, at least not directly. Professionals say the reason so many people struggle with high stress and fear is that they don’t have strong relationships, their expectations are too high, and they’re not focused on the right things.
What does that mean exactly?
No Strong Relationships
This refers to relationships outside the family. Most people don’t even know their neighbors anymore.
Though a person may have good relationships with family members and some friends, their overall relationship with the community is weaker. The isolation of the family makes it harder for people to feel content and relaxed.
Expectations Are Too High
With the world telling us we can be anything we want to be and do anything we want to do, out expectations of ourselves can get way out of line.
A lot of times people can’t reach the level the world tells them they can. But because their expectations are so high, they get frustrated and upset with themselves. People tend to think they should be better at everything and that they aren’t good enough at anything.
Not Focused on the Right Things
Maybe because of our expectations, people are focused on getting fame, money, and their personal image. Constantly focusing on those things has been linked to depression and anxiety.
So What Do We Do About It?
The first place you should turn for any problem is the Bible. Jesus experienced every human emotion during his time on earth, and things like fear and anxiety were some of them.
So there are a lot of encouraging and relatable verses about fear in the Bible. It’s nearly impossible to pick just eight. If any of these verses speak to you, consider writing them down and carrying them with you during your day. Whenever you start feeling stressed or afraid, take a moment to read the verse again.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
1 John 4:18
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
(This passage goes on longer, and is worth the read if you struggle with anxiety.)
“Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Did We Miss One?
What’s your favorite Bible verse about fear? Put it in the comments and explain how it has helped you overcome your stress, depression, and anxiety.
If God’s love seems a little far away right now, you should also read these 10 verses about the power of God’s love.