100 Best Bible Verses to Overcome Worry and Anxiety is compiled from writings of several authors and published with Bethany House.
Each two- to three-page spread begins with a Bible verse. The author then adds a brief paragraph about the context the verse was set in. Then several paragraphs about the meaning of the verse and one or two of application are included. Then a few references are listed for additional reading.
When I first saw this book reviewed at Joanne’s, I thought it was a great idea. I’ve mentioned before that anxiety is probably not something that can be conquered by answering an altar call or sitting down for one massive Bible study. Rather, battling anxiety is a matter of continually feeding our souls truth. This book is a wonderful way to keep God’s provision, protection, and promises continually before us in small but substantial doses.
I very much appreciated that the writers delved into the context of the verses before explaining the meaning and applying them. The context enriches our understanding of the passage and keeps us from spinning our own take on a single sentence.
I’ve repeatedly heard that there are 365 Bible verses that say, “Fear not.” That declaration is often followed by the quip, “One for every day of the year.” I had thought this would be a collection of those verses. It’s not (though such a collection would be a great idea for a devotional book). I was surprised at some of the verses used, as they didn’t seem to directly relate to anxiety or worry. But I came to understand they were foundational verses about God’s character or promises. The more we know Him, the less reason we have to be anxious about anything.
Here are just a few of the quotes I marked in this book:
[On John 16:33] It’s a strange way to promise peace—Jesus starts by telling his disciples that they are about to go through a time of sorrow and fear. How is that peaceful? they might have wondered, especially after Good Friday, when their teacher was killed, and it seemed like the world had won.
Still, Jesus’ words, “Take heart!” are a command in the original language, not just an inspirational phrase but something God wanted them—and us—to actively do. It could be phrased “Choose hope!” or “Be encouraged!” (p. 39).
Some seasons, taking heart might be among the hardest of God’s commands to follow. Until we remember the rest of the verse: “I have overcome the world” (p. 40).
[On 2 Timothy 1:7] Fear is a tool of the enemy that exists to keep us from advancing the kingdom of God. It distracts us from trusting him, and instead tempts us to protect ourselves and rely on our own abilities” (p. 51).
In verses 7 and 8 [of Joshua 1], God connects being strong and courageous to faithfully following his Word. Not believing in God’s Word nor taking it seriously had been the sin that forced the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for forty years (p. 62).
[On Lamentations 3:57] His response will always be, “Do not fear.” Not condemnation for being afraid, but telling us there is no need for it. He is holding on to us tightly, a good Father whose perfect love casts out fear . . . if we just ask (p. 65).
[On Genesis 50:20] [Joseph] endured some of the most difficult circumstances and betrayals and still honored the Lord in the midst of them. He refused to see his journey as one setback after another, but instead chose to believe that God was writing a much bigger story (p. 78).
Allow your confidence to be informed by your faith, not your circumstance (p. 79).
[On Psalm 61:2] We don’t need to strive so hard to be self-sufficient when the chaos threatens to overwhelm us, but we can rest in the truth that God is infinitely more capable than we are (p. 121).
[On Psalm 23:4] Dark valleys don’t stay dark. The beauty of a valley is that it dips down but then rises back up. Valleys aren’t endless stretches of defeat, but stretches we walk through and rise from. What a beautiful promise. We are not alone in our valleys. Even as we “walk through,” we don’t need to sprint through in a panic; we will walk through our valley with Jesus by our side and emerge safely, made stronger by the experience (p. 125).
This book doesn’t just try to make readers feel better. It continually points the reader back to God’s character and His Word. Thus, it is an excellent resource when worries or fears try to pull our gaze away from Him.