Biblical Encouragement

3 Steps to Quiet Anxiety From Philippians

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I can talk endlessly about the Bible, but public speaking really isn’t my thing. So much so, I would rather have all my wisdom teeth pulled at once than give a little “talk” at church, or anywhere else. I bring this up for no other reason than to illustrate how these 3 Steps to Quiet Anxiety from Philippians that I’m sharing today really do work.

SOME ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOUR ANXIETY

Of course, life brings us many reasons to be anxious. Often, the reasons are much more serious than, say, giving a talk. However, these steps have worked for me during the more serious moments in life, like while I waited for biopsy results for a loved one or myself, before leaving my home country for a new job and during job interviews. I believe they can be a big benefit to you, too, no matter what you’re facing.

As always, I also want to encourage you, friend, that if you’re dealing with anxiety that interferes with your life on a regular basis, there’s no shame or blame in seeking professional help, and I’m praying you’ll do that. I believe the three steps will still be of great help to you.

The 3 steps for quieting anxiety I want to share are based on a passage in Philippians 4 that has been called a prescription for good mental health. While this passage is good for our spiritual and mental health in general, it can be especially helpful for anxiety. Let’s break it down as it relates to anxiety, one step at a time:

STEP 1: SAY A PRAYER TO QUIET ANXIETY

The first thing I try to do when faced with any type of anxiety is to pray. This step is based on Philippians 4:6.

Let me just stress here that while it’s good and right to set aside some time to talk to God each day, I usually pray my prayers for anxiety on the run. And they sure wouldn’t sound good to anybody who happened to hear.

That’s more than okay with God. He makes it clear that fancy prayers don’t impress him. When our hearts are racing, or we feel worry begin to overtake our minds and hearts, God wants us to cry out to Him right in the middle of it all.

I might say:

Lord, help!

or:

Father, please calm my anxious heart!

At some point, it’s good to talk in more depth with God about what we’re anxious about, but a prayer for anxiety doesn’t have to be complicated.

STEP 2: THINK ABOUT SOMETHING GOOD

The second thing I do when faced with anxiety is to grab onto a good thought and think about it. Notice I didn’t say I try to stop thinking anxious thoughts.

When we try to stop thinking about something, we tend to think about it all the more. This is no doubt why God’s Word places such an emphasis on what we DO think about.

Step 2 is based on this verse:

I want to emphasize here that the good thoughts we think in this step don’t necessarily have to be spiritual thoughts.

It sounds weird coming from me, I know. Of course, think spiritual thoughts if you can when you feel anxious. This is where our ultimate peace comes from! Yet thoughts that are more grounded in the here and now can be good, too, as long as they don’t violate God’s definition of good. Sometimes, it’s easier to think about more practical things when our minds are headed down the path of anxiety.

STEP 3: DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING TO QUIET ANXIETY

Step 3 is based on this verse from Philippians:

So Paul is saying here that we’re going to have peace when we do the things he does because he imitates the life Jesus lived.

Have you found this as true as I have, friend? When we do things God’s way, then we experience peace. When we go our own way, all we tend to get for it is a big mess that causes stress and anxiety.

The next step for quieting anxiety then, is to simply do the next right thing.

What might that look like? Well, in the case of, say, getting ready for a talk that typically makes people so nervous, it means picking up your notecards and spending some more time practicing.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, what is the next right thing in your life?

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER TO QUIET ANXIETY

I know how difficult it can be to manage anxiety! Yet one of the many reasons I can’t stop talking about God’s Word is that it’s so chock full of practical guidance for how to better live our lives.

Are you smack in the middle of an anxious situation? Try saying a quick prayer, grabbing on to a good thought and then picking the next right thing to get busy with. You may have to repeat this process over and over, especially for stubborn anxiety.

I can’t promise you that these three steps will banish your anxiety completely, but I’m betting they’ll help.

Meanwhile, can I pray for you as I pray for myself today?

Lord, thank you so much for your love and kindness to each of us. Father, if we could truly grasp your love, we probably wouldn’t ever be anxious again. Meanwhile, we struggle with fear and anxiety. Would you help us Father? Would you help us to bring our worry and fear to you in prayer and to think about good things? Please grant us strength to move past our fears and to live the life you want us to.

In the name of Jesus, amen.

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Susan is a mother of four beautiful babies and a born-again Christian. She took over Hope No Matter What in 2024 and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Her passion is to bring hope and encouragement to others, and she prays that by sharing her knowledge and personal story, she can inspire others to find enlightenment in God's word.