Borrowing Trouble

Bible Verses About Anxiety

We do tend to borrow trouble. Our imaginations get away from us. We wallow in the what-ifs, certain that if the what-ifs really happen, we will shatter. Usually, they don’t happen, and the stomach knots, chewed fingernails, sleepless nights, and short tempers were for nothing. Worrying about things can actually make our blood pressure rise!


When I was first married, I was so afraid that something would happen to my husband. If he was twenty minutes late home from work, I was certain that the next phone call would be from the hospital. When he arrived home, I was so angry that he hadn’t called to say he would be late. I couldn’t even be thankful that God had indeed brought him home safely once more.

There are basically three root words
for fear in the New Testament.

1.     The first one is panic and dread, putting us to flight. It was this kind of fear that the disciples experienced when Jesus was crucified. Real dangers, real threats, real reasons to be afraid.

2.     The second is fearfulness. This is timidity and cowardice, from someone who has lost their gumption. Interestingly enough, this is how Jesus labels the disciples’ fears when they were in the boat with him on the stormy Sea of Galilee.

3.     The third is worries, cares, and concerns. These the Bible calls anxiety. I’ll deal with the other two in future blogs, but as I told my husband after studying these verses, “I’m not afraid or cowardly; I just worry.”

Now, I know you don’t want to be told that your worries are for nothing. These are the things that keep you awake at night. And in all the Bible verses on anxiety, God never minimizes what you are feeling. He does, however, try to bring things into perspective.

What’s Your Security?

Woman calculating cost

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, tells the people: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth not rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:20-21).

“For this reason, I say to you do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; not for your body, as to what you will put on.

  • Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, not reap nor gather into barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
  • Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).

Jesus is doing a mini-Bible study. Go back and answer His questions before I prompt your thoughts more. I’ll wait . . ..


Looking at the verse about the birds, what was the acquisition of food and clothing like for people back in Jesus’ day?

When Jesus was teaching, life was hard. If you didn’t plant, have a good crop and a good harvest and a way to preserve your food, you would, indeed, starve. Or you would join the beggars on the side of the road. Yet, He still told them not to worry. Why? Because God values them much higher than the birds, and God feeds all of the birds.

There are a lot of ads on social media lately about storing food for the next 20 years. Do we really need to do that?

  • “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
  • And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these” (verses 27-29)

Answer Jesus’ questions . . ..

Acquiring clothing back then was a tedious process, with shearing sheep, spinning thread, weaving it into cloth, and sewing it in to garments – all without the aid of machines and electricity.

A glance into your closet probably reveals that you have more than you need.


“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!” (verse 30).

Okay. Food and clothing. Perhaps shelter. What else do you worry about?

  • World War 3? You can do nothing about that.
  • What your grown children are doing at university? You aren’t there to mother – I mean, monitor – them.
  • Losing your job? Well, that’s getting closer to reality.
  • Whether it rains enough this summer to prevent fires? Whether it rains too much? Can’t control the weather.
Aerial Flood
  • The wrong candidate getting elected? It happens.
  • Electricity black-outs? What was life like before electricity?

These are, however, what-ifs. They may not happen, and many what-ifs never happen. But you have seen how what-ifs are very destructive to your life, if you allow them to control you.

Because sometimes they do happen.


“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will be drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (verses 31-32)

The thing that sets apart believers from unbelievers is their faith. Did you notice back up in verse 30, how Jesus chastises the people for having little faith? They have some, but it’s too little. Their lives often look no different from those who have no faith at all. But they do have faith.


In another event (Mark 9:17-27), a man brings his young son to Jesus to be healed from violent convulsions.  The father begs Jesus for help. Jesus says, “All things are possible to him who believes.”

I mean, how did that help the father? Are we saying that the healing of this poor child rests on the ability of the father to muster enough faith to see a cure? The boy’s father feels this same way and cries, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” Those who have little faith, still have faith.

When believers express worry about things they cannot control, they have forgotten that God is in control. Things don’t always go right.


Although Jesus initially did not tell the people what treasure they were to seek, at the end of the Matthew 6 paragraph, He does: “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (verses 33-34).

We live in a very uncertain world. We have always lived in an uncertain world, but the last five to ten years, have increased our worries.

When my anxious thoughts

multiply within me,

Your consolations

delight my soul

(Psalm 94:19)

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (First Peter 5:6-7). This verse is so interesting because the words for anxiety and care are the same word. It could read: “Dumping all your worries on Him because He worries for you.”

Wouldn’t you prefer that Jesus worry for you? Let Him lie awake all night thinking, and you get a good night’s rest. All it takes is a bit of humbling because we want to solve our own problems. Sometimes, I think, we even pride ourselves on how many sleepless nights we have put into fretting about a situation.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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” (Philippians 4:6-7)


It’s supernatural. This says, don’t worry about anything – ANYTHING! For EVERY worry, peace is possible. When you pray and ask God to take your worries, and your attitude is one of thanksgiving, somehow the peace of God sets up a barrier to guard your heart and mind from the worries. We can’t understand it; it just happens, and Jesus Christ makes this peace possible. We just need to belong to Him because He takes care of His own.

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