Fear & Anxiety:

What the 3 Most Popular Bible Verses Say

In a time filled with so much to worry about, it’s not surprising that many are turning to Bible verses offering comfort, assurance, and peace. Check out the top 3.

Eliza Tan

There’s no doubt about it: we live in a frightening world.

There’s no doubt about it: we live in a frightening world.

Everywhere, we see natural disasters devastating homes, wars displacing and separating families, and retrenchments threatening livelihoods. And, today especially, we are facing a possible confluence of all these factors—a “perfect storm” of climate and pandemic crises and a global economic slowdown. It’s a situation that’s likely to raise anxiety levels in many of us.

We’ve had two long years of worrying about Covid-19 infections, losing loved ones to the coronavirus, and fears about food shortages—remember the panic buying at supermarkets in March 2020?

In Singapore, many of us also deal with a different type of fear—a fear of failure, of being left behind, and of missing out the best. Before FOMO (“fear of missing out”) made its dent in our consciousness, we already had kiasu—the fear of losing out.

At times, it’s a very real fear—worrying that we may be overtaken by better performers at work, that our children may not do well in school and therefore not be able to get a good job later, that we are missing out on what everyone else seems to have.

In this world that is increasingly “VUCA”—volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous—we are confronted with fear on many sides:

Can I cope with rising prices from inflation?

Could I lose my job or have my pay cut?

Will I get Covid-19, or lose a family member to the disease?

Can I afford to buy a home and raise a family?

Can my children do well in school and secure a good future?

Finding Our Anchor in God and His Word

Against this backdrop, it’s no surprise that according to one Bible app, the most popular biblical verses in the past four years were all related to dealing with fear and anxiety. In this volatile world, we yearn for what is sure and steadfast.

God knows that we live in a world full of fear, and gives us His Word to address our fears and worries. His Word comforts us by pointing us to the everlasting One who cannot change. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

In fact, this truth lies at the heart of the verses that have topped believers’ lists of favourite verses in the past years:

Matthew 6:33

(most popular verse in 2021)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

(most popular verse in 2021)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:31–34, emphasis added for verse 33)

Our heavenly Father loves to give good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11). He knows the needs of His children—who are far, far more valuable to Him than the birds of the air and lilies of the field (Matthew 6:26). As we give Him first place in our lives, we can rest assured that He will provide for us, in His time and way.

So do not fear,
for I am with you.

Isaiah 41:10

(most popular verse in 2018 and 2020)

Isaiah 41:10

(most popular verse in 2018 and 2020)

So do not fear,
for I am with you.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
   do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
   I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)

In times of fear, anxiety, and discouragement, God’s greatest assurance comes from His Presence—“I am with you”. He promises us His strength, help, and salvation.

Philippians 4:6

(most popular verse in 2019)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Philippians 4:6

(most popular verse in 2019)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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 4:5–7, emphasis added for verse 6)

Again, we are reminded, “the Lord is near”. God’s never-ending presence gives us confidence that we are not alone in our struggles.

Where human explanations and reasoning fail us, the supernatural peace of God covers our hearts and minds in Christ. This peace is something that we will know after we surrender our problems to God in prayer, a peace that inexplicably lifts the fear and dread in our hearts.

Peace in God

Peace in God

When anxiety surfaces within us, what do we really need? Perhaps a sense of peace that would pervade every area of our lives. The Bible describes this as shalom. As Bible teacher Bill Crowder explains it, shalom is “a condition that can refer to either peace between two entities (especially between man and God or between two countries), or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals.”

He adds:

The peace we long for in our hearts is found only when we have peace with the God who loves us, enabling us to be at peace with one another. This makes peace more than just the absence of conflict; it is a quality of life that breathes of the goodness of our God. This is the essence of Paul’s words in Romans 14:17: “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ offers us this peace. When His disciples were weighed down by the prophecy of betrayal and His impending death, He comforted them, promising them that the Father would send them the Holy Spirit and give them peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

Our challenge, then, is to continue trusting in a God who is unchanging and whose promises are sure amid the trials of life. When we are fearful, anxious and troubled, we can turn to Him and His Word for comfort and courage. The volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous trends in this world might intensify, but we know that the God we trust is steadfast; His Word, sure; and our hope, clear.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”
(John 14:1).

“Continue trusting in a God who is unchanging and whose promises are sure amid the trials of life.”

“Continue trusting in a God who is unchanging and whose promises are sure amid the trials of life.”

About Eliza Tan

Eliza Tan is known by many names, but her favourite is ‘My beloved child’. Though she eats to live rather than lives to eat, she still enjoys her food and wholeheartedly agrees with Ecclesiastes 3:13, “That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”

More On

Share this with your friends:

We would love to help you grow in your relationship with God.

Sign up to be notified of our latest print and digital resources

Subscribe

Follow us