I was raised Christian but it wasn’t until my struggle with intense anxiety that I really learned to cling to and lean on my faith. That’s when it became deeply personal. Though I had been through struggles with anxiety before, it was my junior year of high school when I had my first panic attack. I was sitting in French class and just started feeling really off. It’s difficult to describe what I was feeling exactly, but it scared me. My mouth went dry and my mind and body went on high alert. I thought I would stop breathing or lose control or go crazy.
It wasn’t just a one time thing. Over the next several months, I continued to struggle with debilitating panic attacks that seemed to come out of the blue. It became difficult to sit through class. When it felt truly unbearable I would go to the nurse. Going to school became a source of dread and soon the panic attacks started trickling into other areas of my life as well. I didn’t know what was happening to me.
After running to Dr. Google I found out I was having panic attacks. I was embarrassed. I didn’t tell anyone, but, now at least I knew I wasn’t going insane. The panic attacks didn’t stop but I knew what was going on now. I knew they weren’t going to actually cause me to go insane or harm me in some way.
It was an awful time for me but it made me open my bible a whole lot more. Learning about anxiety and panic disorder helped, but it wasn’t enough. I needed help fighting this battle. I turned to scripture. I underlined, highlighted and memorized anything I could find in my bible pertaining to fear. I would speak God’s promises over my life and, eventually, the panic attacks did become less frequent.
I credit breaking free of these debilitating panic attacks to scripture, the same scripture I’m sharing below.
Now, anxiety fled for a long time, but unfortunately, anxiety and I weren’t finished yet. Fast forward and I’m 24, about to get married and anxiety comes back swinging. It didn’t even creep in quietly. It knocked me flat on my back, and left me gasping for air, this time with a whole new set of thoughts, symptoms, and fears.
I needed help. I turned to those closest to me. I got a therapist. I cut out sugar and alcohol and started meditating.
And, I dug into scripture again. I opened my bible to the verses I underlined all those years ago and I prayed them over my life. I clung to them. They were a lifeline when I felt so lost. They were my hope antidote. They were a weapon. They helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. I ran to God and, slowly, I began to heal.
When it gets dark and fear has you trapped, I hope these verses can help you break free, the way they did for me. They are also a reminder that we are not alone. The Bible is full of broken people. People struggling with depression and anxiety. People with low self esteem. People who are desperate. It’s full of the promises of God, but also full of heartfelt cries of a suffering people. After all, all creation groans. We are not alone. Cry out to God, and, when you don’t have the words, cry the cries of those who cried before you, recorded in the Holy Word. Cry like Job, like David, like Elijah.
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. – Psalm 4:1 NIV
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. – Psalm 25:17 NASB
I am seething within and cannot relax; days of affliction confront me. – Job 30:27 NASB
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do Not forsake the works of Your hands. – Psalms 138:8 NASB
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NASB
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul. – Psalms 94:19
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6 ESV
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? – Matthew 6:27 ESV
For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation. – 2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me – John 14:1 NLT (Jesus talking)
Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. – Luke 1:78-79 NLT
O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone. – Jeremiah 17:14 NLT
As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. – Micah 7:7 NLT
I am worn out waiting for your rescue, but I have put my hope in your word. My eyes are straining to see your promises come true. When will you comfort me? – Psalms 119:81-82
You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. – Psalms 71:20 NLT
The lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me. – Psalms 118:6 NLT
I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. Psalms 130:5 NASB
Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you. – Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6 NASB
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13 NASB
Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all! – Thessalonians 3:16 NASB
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” – Hebrews 13:6 NLT
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. – Romans 5:3 NLT
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. – 2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. – Romans 12:12 NLT
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9 NLT
In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. – 2 Corinthians 1:9 NLT
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9 NIV
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. – Proverbs 3:25-26 NIV
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 1:19-20 NLT
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1 NIV
In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years. – Isaiah 63:9 NLT
I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me. – Philippians 4:13 ESV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV (Favorite verse!)
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. – 2 Corinthians 1:10 ESV
Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord – how long? Psalm 6:2-3 ESV
The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace. – Psalms 29:11 NLT
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. – Psalms 27:13-14 NLT
I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. – John 14:27 NLT
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety. – Proverbs 29:25 NLT
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Romans 8:38 NLT
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. – Ephesians 6:10 NLT
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. – Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT
You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope. – Psalms 119:114 NLT
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19 ESV’
You are form God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. – 1 John 4:4
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! – Luke 12:24 ESV
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. – 2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. – Psalm 46:5 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. – Romans 8:18 ESV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ” – Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. – 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. – Psalm 46:1-2 NIV
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” – Numbers 6:24-26 NIV
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. – Psalm 56:3 ESV