Anxiety is a term that’s being increasingly mentioned on the continent. With the rise of the global mental wellness discourse, Africans are coming to terms with the state of their own mental health and are more often asking questions such as “how am I really feeling today?” More importantly, there’s growing acceptance of the fact that we don’t always feel our best all the time and this is okay.
Most of us have experienced anxiety in our lifetime no matter how old or young we are. After all, anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress and there exist many causes of stress on the continent such as the rush hour traffic in Lagos or a seamstress botching your kente the day before a Ghanaian engagement.
Our spiralling thoughts during anxious moment can leave us feeling overwhelmed however one solution that has helped me overcome anxiety has been in reading key Bible verses specifically relating to the topic. Of course, reading these scriptures alone has not removed anxiety from my life completely but they have brought me a lot of peace in the moments and have stopped anxiety before it attacks.
I recognise that not everyone reading this post may be Christian but if you are I hope you can find some peace and comfort from these verses. In no particular order, here’s my top 10:
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”
“”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.”
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”
“Trust in the Lord your God and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make you paths straight.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, give your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Luke 12: 24-32
“Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“Even though I may 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.”
“For the Lord your god has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your walking in this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing.”
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Let me know which Bible Verses have helped to calm your anxiety! Share in the comments section below.