Peace During Panic and Anxiety

God can put supernatural peace in your heart, no matter how bad things appear.

Some things might appear scary because we recognize the darkness in it. If certain things really frighten you, it helps to ask God to show you how HE views it. He can change your perspective so you won’t be overwhelmed by fear.

God is with us, and he's shown us how to have peace! Not temporary relief, but total confidence that we'll be safe with Him for eternity, no matter what happens today. In a moment of panic, He will always rescue us in some way when we cry out to him, if not by removing us from a situation, then he will rescue our hearts from complete devastation by sending supernatural peace to endure it.

Jesus said in John 14:27: “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."

So the next time you feel panic beginning to creep in: "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise... then the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8 NLT.) To me, that verse used to mean thinking about puppies and kittens until the feeling of panic faded. But I realized that verse actually means to trust and focus on His will and His promises when I am panicking about the future, because then He will fill me with his perfect supernatural peace, regardless of what’s going on in the world around me. Redirect your thoughts towards how you can be loving, helping, and forgiving others, as Jesus commanded. Focus less on the chaos you cannot control. Focus more on doing the things that we ought to do.

While we eagerly await Jesus, let's comfort others, too. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.". How do we suffer for Christ? By doing the things he commanded, which go against our human nature.

We can't find lasting comfort from the things of this world because we simply don't belong here! This world is deteriorating, and eventually, we gotta let it go. James 4:4,6-8 AMP says: "You adulteresses [disloyal sinners—flirting with the world and breaking your vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend [that is, loving the things of the world] is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God... But He gives us more and more grace [through the power of the Holy Spirit to defy sin and live an obedient life that reflects both our faith and our gratitude for our salvation]. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud and haughty, but [continually] gives [the gift of] grace to the humble [who turn away from self-righteousness].” So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you. Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you.".

Remember, we already have the victory. Use discernment in how you process the things you see and hear, because if you start fearing man instead of God, you're probably intentionally being deceived. 1 John 4:3-4: "But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here. But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.". Never forget this. Unlearn your fear of evil by asking God for a courageous heart. Jesus commands us in Matthew 10:28: “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.".

In Philippians 1:9-11,21, Paul writes: "I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation - the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ - for this will bring much glory and praise to God... For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better."

Is it possible that part of your fear and anxiety may actually be more deeply rooted in a fear of judgment? Check out 1 John 4:18,20 AMP: "There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]... for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen". Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:14-15: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins." This is hard to do, but thankfully, He gives us the Holy Spirit who can teach us how.

If Jesus didn't abandon us at the cross, then He certainly won't abandon us, EVER. "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus", Philippians 1:6.

No matter what happens, DO NOT STOP TRUSTING THE LORD. He knows the future. He will guide us into all truth.

Try This Prayer:

“Father, I trust your word when it says: "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). Lord, I'm in you, and you're in me, so please help me have more courage because of this fact. Lord, please teach me how to love, and forgive, and turn the other cheek. I need this. It's not humanly impossible and feels backwards, but with your help, all things are possible. Please fill me up with your Holy Spirit to guide me and help me.

It’s hard to make myself not worry. But I trust that you will be there in the moment I need you, to comfort me and help me stay focused. Your perfect love has the power to cast out all fear, so please remove all the fear from my heart. Remind me of specific promises you’ve made in your word. Give me a verse to cling to as I ride the storm out. Show me who I need to forgive. Fill me with your Holy Spirit to guide my prayers. Help me think clearly even when I’m in shock, so that I’ll remember to call on you during the trials and storms. Show me how Jesus would react to this situation. Please guard my heart and mind so that I may experience the peace that you promised. In Jesus name, amen!”

Read: John 10:28 and Romans 8:15

Start: seeing that God is greater, stronger, and more powerful than anything that makes us feel fearful or anxious. We’ve been adopted into His spiritual family with a whole different set of promises, powers, and values. Every spiritual need you have is valid and important to God. Some fear is based on speculation, and we can ask Him to show us whether it's true. Some fears are legit and He will prepare our hearts to endure it, if we ask for courage. Sometimes fear and anxiety are caused by an underlying fear of past events repeating themselves. If you’ve known some cruel men in your life, you may be afraid that God is like them. But God can protect you in ways that others may have failed. If you suffer from panic attacks, talking to a professional can help tremendously. They can help you address the underlying cause, gain closure, and you’ll learn new ways of coping.

Stop: when you go into "fight, flight, or freeze", try as hard as you can to override that instinct, and apply a different response in the midst of fear. DO NOT GO DOWN THE BUNNY TRAIL. Trying to uncover suspected conspiracies will only increase your panic and take your heart farther down the path, away from where God intends you to be. Constantly checking social media for "updates" only causes us to fear man, instead of God. Avoid it if your mental wellness is suffering from the things you see there. Especially because Jesus told us to fear only God! Your body doesn’t know the difference between a real or perceived threat, but will always respond accordingly. Just thinking about certain things can trigger a fight, flight or freeze response. In a moment of panic or anxiety, focus on truth. Go straight to the bible and just start reading like your life depends on it! Avoid using any coping mechanism that involves self-destruction. Out loud or mentally praying and making a list of truths can help, such as “I am still alive, I am safe right now in this moment, I can walk away if I want to, the door is over there, I am sitting in a chair reading, I have the final say over what I will or won’t do here, God is here with me, he has more power than the things or people I fear, thank you God, for all the times you protected me and guided me in the past, please help me through this moment, too…”, and so on. Memorize some comforting verses to focus on during these times. Stay aware of how your body is reacting. If you tend to hold your breath, take control of your breathing. Most of all, trust God, and believe that this crippling fear can be conquered!

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