Title: We Ask 5 Readers…What’s Their Go-To Verse for Anxious Days
Artwork by: YMI
Description: When we find ourselves hit by the waves of anxiety or depression, it can be difficult to know what to hold on to. Perhaps our minds are racing in 100 different directions, or we find a deep fog wedged itself inside our brains, and we’re unable to see the woods for the trees.
We might feel incredibly alone and misunderstood during this time. But it’s in these moments that we’re reminded how important it is for us to draw strength from God and also from others who have been down the same path.
We invited five young adults to share with us their go-to verses when they find themselves struggling with their mental health, and we hope you’d be able to find a gem to keep you anchored when you’re struggling too.
Above all, we hope that these verses will help you see, experience, and feel God being right there with you, knowing He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Psalm 139:1-4; 13-14
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely
For you created my inmost being you; you knit me together in my mother’s womb
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Madeleine’s full story:
Psalm 139 brings me so much peace when I’m feeling anxious or depressed.
Often, when I’m struggling with my mental health, I feel alone or misunderstood. Reading Psalm 139 is a reminder that I’m not alone. I can’t run from God’s presence. And more than that, God knows my thoughts before I even think them. He knows what’s going on in my head; even when I don’t.
This psalm also encourages me to declare that God made me wonderfully. He didn’t make a mistake on me. He knew what He was doing.
And knowing that? It’s such a comforting thought.
Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all His benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Hayley’s full story:
This beautiful psalm has comforted me through the roughest seasons as it points me to God’s lovingkindness and mercy. These verses in particular remind me of the many reasons why I can still bless the Lord when my soul is downcast. It refocuses my perspective on gratitude—helping me recall how much I have to be grateful for because of what Christ has done: forgiving all my sins, redeeming me for Himself, and satisfying me with His goodness.
As Corrie ten Boom puts it, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” No matter how anxious or depressed we may feel, God understands, and invites us to rest and be restored in Him.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Grace’s full story:
Whenever anxiety or depression hits me, my mind would go through an unending cycle of negative thoughts.
Most of the time, I can’t make sense of these thoughts, which are mostly driven by the worries of my current situation or fears of the future.
I recite Philippians 4:8-9 whenever negative thoughts start coming, especially on sleepless nights. They remind me that the things of God’s mind are “true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable”, and anything else outside of it is not of Christ. Moreover, it gives me the courage to be able to hold on to the promises that the God of peace is with me and in Him I can find my rest.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Jordan’s full story:
During my darkest years I had one verse that I would always come back to. It was a verse that when my mind was racing, it centred me. When I felt overwhelmed, it grounded me. When I was overcome with negative emotion, it gave me hope. It was Psalm 73:26 which says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
God would remind me that in my failure, in my weakness and when I could not hold on to Him any longer, He was holding on to me.
Psalm 42:11 and 43:5
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
Rosie’s full story:
The word ‘yet’ is a powerful word. I hear a desperation in the voice of the author of these psalms that I relate to when anxiety hits. It is that word ‘yet’ that shines like a beacon of light in complete darkness. Although nothing makes sense in the moment, even if all I see before me is darkness, ‘I will yet praise Him…”.
I’d cling onto that thought like my life depends on it, allowing the word of God to pull me into a warm cocoon of safety and love. As my soul begins to look upwards and choose praise, I find relief from my exhaustion and comfort in the Lord.
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