23 Bible Verses to Help You Manage Stress

Stressed man reading Bible

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From a Christian perspective, stress is the natural consequence of living in a damaged and fallen world. Our stress levels can rise from both external pressures and internal demands. Depending on one’s outlook, stress can either be a positive motivator or an overwhelming burden.

God promises in Scripture not to give us burdens beyond what we can bear. Allow these Bible verses about stress to bolster your ability to endure by pressing you toward greater dependence on God and relieve you of loads you were never meant to carry.

What Does the Bible Say About Stress?

In her book, Biblical Counseling Keys on Stress Management, June Hunt writes, “Stress can be a monster, but stress can also be a motivator.”

The Bible has much to say about stress and distress. Ultimately, stress is a spiritual challenge that can affect our mental and physical health, as well as our whole being.

God the Father knows our needs (Matthew 6:8). In his Word, God has given believers tools for managing stress. The Lord promises to sustain us and provide us with everything we need for this life as we learn to cast our cares on him (2 Peter 1:3). If we pay attention to what the Scriptures say, we’ll understand how to react to pressure in a way that pushes us closer to the Lord and strengthens our ability to endure.

These Bible verses about stress are meant to arm us with the resources to change negative stressors into a positive force for growth and to replace a troubled heart with the peace of God.

Jesus Is Our Example

Jesus Christ came to show us how to live in the power, strength, and fullness of intimate fellowship with God the Father. Our Savior dealt with distressing and even excruciating suffering by turning to God in prayer and surrendering to his Father’s will.

Whenever we feel weary and overburdened, Jesus invites us to do the same. In him, we have the perfect model for responding to stress. In his darkest hours, observe what Jesus did and said.

Mark 14:34–36
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (NIV)
Matthew 11:28–30
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (NLT)
Matthew 6:25–26
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (ESV)
Matthew 6:27-33
“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? … Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (ESV)
Matthew 6:34
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (ESV)
Philippians 4:6
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (NLT)
Psalm 34:4
I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. (NLT)

Be Still and Know He Is God

When stress encumbers us, we need to take time to slow down and nourish our inner being. In the noise and clutter of life, we can develop a habit of stillness, focusing our minds and spirits on the truth of God’s Word and listening for his calm and quiet voice.

Exodus 14:14
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)
Psalm 46:10
“Be still, and know that I am God! (NLT)
Psalm 55:22
Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (NLT)
Psalm 62:1
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. (NLT)
Psalm 62:5–8
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. (ESV)
Philippians 4:8–9
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. (NLT)
Proverbs 4:20–22
My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. (NLT)

Let God Be Your Strength

God sometimes allows stress to reveal our weaknesses and force us to depend on him. Learn to be thankful for challenges that press you closer to the Lord and cause Christ to become the strength of your life.

Psalm 119:71
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I could learn your statutes. (CSB)
Psalm 119:143
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. (NIV)
Proverbs 3:5–6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 12:9–10
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (NIV)
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)
James 1:2–4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)

Meditate on God’s Promises

By filling our minds with the uplifting promises in the Bible, we can avoid needless anxiety and stress.

Psalm 23:4
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (NLT)
John 14:27
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)
John 16:33
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (NLT)

Sources

  • The Quick-reference Guide to Addictions and Recovery Counseling (pp. 286–287).
  • Biblical Counseling Keys on Stress Management: Beating Burnout Before It Beats You (p. 1).
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Fairchild, Mary. "23 Bible Verses to Help You Manage Stress." Learn Religions, Sep. 29, 2021, learnreligions.com/bible-verses-about-stress-5199504. Fairchild, Mary. (2021, September 29). 23 Bible Verses to Help You Manage Stress. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/bible-verses-about-stress-5199504 Fairchild, Mary. "23 Bible Verses to Help You Manage Stress." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/bible-verses-about-stress-5199504 (accessed October 16, 2021).