There are a lot of passages in Scripture where we are told to not fear. Those passages can be helpful and remind us that we should not fear, but in the midst of an anxiety attack, we don’t have much choice in stopping our fear. It’s like telling someone with the stomach flu to not be nauseous. However well intentioned, ending anxiety often isn’t a straightforward choice. I selected the passages below because they offer me hope that the anxiety will not last, that God is with us in our anxiety and that God will carry us through whatever torment and fear we may have. We must maintain hope and trust God. The anxiety might come, but it will not last. God’s love will endure forever.
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
I sought the LORD, and he answered me, delivered me from all my fears. Look to him and be radiant, and your faces may not blush for shame. This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him. The rich grow poor and go hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
He said to [his] disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.
Psalm 55:2-8, 17-20, 23-24
Listen, God, to my prayer; do not hide from my pleading; hear me and give answer. I rock with grief; I groan at the uproar of the enemy, the clamor of the wicked. They heap trouble upon me, savagely accuse me. My heart pounds within me; death’s terrors fall upon me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me; shuddering sweeps over me. I say, “If only I had wings like a dove that I might fly away and find rest. Far away I would flee; I would stay in the desert.”
But I will call upon God, and the LORD will save me. At dusk, dawn, and noon I will grieve and complain, and my prayer will be heard. He will redeem my soul in peace from those who war against me, though there are many who oppose me. God, who sits enthroned forever, will hear me and afflict them.
Cast your care upon the LORD, who will give you support. He will never allow the righteous to stumble…I put my trust in you.
Have mercy on me, God, for I am treated harshly; attackers press me all the day. My foes treat me harshly all the day; yes, many are my attackers. O Most High, when I am afraid, in you I place my trust. I praise the word of God; I trust in God, I do not fear. What can mere flesh do to me?
For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me.
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.
How many are my foes, LORD! How many rise against me! How many say of me, “There is no salvation for him in God.” But you, LORD, are a shield around me; my glory, you keep my head high. With my own voice I will call out to the LORD, and he will answer me from his holy mountain. I lie down and I fall asleep, [and] I will wake up, for the LORD sustains me. I do not fear, then, thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.
<New American Bible, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM>