Pic-Anxiety-and-StressThose who produce the YouVersion Bible App have posted in recent years the Bible verse that was most often shared, bookmarked, and highlighted in a given year. Not surprisingly, the most sought out verses had themes dealing with fear and anxiety.

In 2017, the most popular verse with YouVersion was Joshua 1:9 which is set in the context of Joshua leading Israel into the Promised Land.  Moses had died, and the Lord said to Joshua, Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Four times in this chapter, God would say to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous!” (vv. 6,7,9, 18) Why the quad-peat? Because Joshua was fearful, intimidated, and anxious about what was before him. In a gracious display of God’s care for His people, the Lord spoke His word into Joshua’s fear.

In 2018, Isaiah 41:10 won the most popular verse for that year. This verse offers an incredible promise to those who quake under their circumstances. The Lord says to His covenant people who are troubled, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:6 came in first place for 2019, and again the theme addressed the symptom of our age: fear and anxiety. This verse comes from the inspired pen of the Apostle Paul, and interestingly, Paul writes this message from a prison cell. Paul offered encouragement for those battered by their times as he urged them (and us), do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

The events of this year have brought worry and fear to many hearts. Maybe the cares and concerns seem overwhelming to you this day?  God’s word offers a place of quiet rest for those who enter in by faith. We find when we talked to God in prayer about the cares of our heart that He gives peace that cannot be purchased with the currency of this world. Paul would describe this peace in Philippians 4:7 as, “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” and that it “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As we watch and pray for the urgent needs before us, whether it is COVID-19 concerns, or loss of job, or racial tensions, or growing violence, or an election that carries with it such impact, there is good reason for you and I to seek the promises of God found in Jesus Christ. He has promised peace through Christ, who is the Prince of Peace.

The national election of 2020 will occur next Tuesday, November 3rd. Already record numbers have cast their ballot through early voting. For many of us, we have never known our country to be so sharply divided, and we stand in the need of prayer. We are in a desperate need for a touch from the God of Heaven who has shown Himself strong in times past. Let’s call on Him together, participate in the process by voting, and be anxious for nothing for He is on the throne. (Psalm 115:3)