Feeling unsettled?

In Philippians 4:6–7, the apostle Paul instructs the church: “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.”1

We live in a world with an increasingly rapid pace of change, and change brings uncertainty. Uncertainty tends to bring worry, stress, and a general feeling of being unsettled. Feeling unsettled, uneasy, and anxious tends to sap your joy and faith, and can leave you feeling frazzled, nervous, distracted, and emotionally exhausted.

There are several wonderful promises in the Bible on this topic which give both spiritual and practical advice.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”2

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”3

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”4

Learning to “cast all our cares on Him” and be “anxious about nothing” is easier said than applied, and learning to not give in to anxiety can be a process that requires practical steps on our part. We need to make a conscious effort to give our burdens to the Lord. We need to learn to surrender our fears and worries to Him. We need to meditate on God’s Word and become practiced in the art of focusing our thoughts on things that are praiseworthy, noble, good, true, honorable, and right.5 We have to replace bad habits with good ones that lead us to a healthy lifestyle.

Some people assume that once you become a Christian and put your trust in the Lord, He automatically protects you from bad things. That’s not how trust works. Trust doesn’t eliminate problems, stress, or difficulties that might arise, but it does provide us a firm foundation for our confidence: God. Trust gives us an outlet for our anxiety: God.

I find it helpful to review God’s promises to remind myself of His unconditional love for me. He loves me. He loves you. He cares. He wants to help us. He has promised to take care of us. When we put ourselves and our loved ones in His faithful care, we can know that is the best place possible.

There are also some helpful practical tips, such as writing down your concerns and anxieties. This is especially helpful if you have a lot on your mind. Just listing it all can bring some relief. Write down your worries and then give them to Jesus. Pray daily over your list. Find a promise from the Bible to claim for each item, or for the list overall.

If we can keep a more heavenly perspective, we’ll enjoy life’s journey more. Granted, the problems we face in life are not “easy.” But Jesus promises to give us strength to enable us to carry those problems. He says, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”6 When we draw on His strength, we can have peace in the midst of a storm and deep joy even in trying circumstances.

Jesus is our source of peace. His name “is a strong tower,” which we can “run into and be safe.”7

  1. NIV
  2. Psalm 55:22 ESV
  3. 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
  4. John 14:27 ESV
  5. Philippians 4:8
  6. Matthew 11:30
  7. Proverbs 18:10

Peter Amsterdam

Peter Amsterdam has been active in Christian service since 1971. In 1995 he became co-director (together with his wife, Maria Fontaine) of the Christian community of faith known as the Family International. He has authored a variety of articles on Christian faith and theology. (Articles by Peter Amsterdam used in Activated are adapted.)