Lisa Appelo

20 Verses in Psalms to Help Anxious Thoughts

#fear #anxiety #Psalms

Bible verses anxiety | scripture fight fear | Bible verses for comfort

They say anxiety is on the rise.

That more women are more anxious more often than we were even five years ago.

Goodness knows there’s enough in the news and in our life to crowd our thoughts with fear.

Scripture is the cure for our anxious thoughts. Reading scripture isn’t the same as thinking happy thoughts. I can remember when I was young waking from a recurring nightmare and trying to fight my fear by thinking the happiest thoughts I could.

Those childhood wishes worked well enough then, but they aren’t enough to overcome the anxious thoughts that plague us as women and moms and wives and caretakers. And while positive thinking is helpful, not just any positivity will do.

We need to replace the lies of fear and anxiety with the truth of God’s Word. We need to fix our mind on God’s amazing promises rather than swim in the pit of what if’s. And we need to anchor our thoughts by remembering who God is.

The Psalms are filled with verses that help us fight anxiety. These are great verses to mark in your Bible, to write out and put on your mirror, to screen shot and pull up on your phone when you need them. Today I’m sharing some favorites.

20 Bible verses to overcome anxiety

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. Psalm 3:3

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:9-10

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. Psalm 34:17

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way. Psalm 46:1-2

Even though 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. Psalm 23:4

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fail. Psalm 55:22

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in the darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Psalm 91:5-6

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:19

He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7

The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Psalm 116:5-6

He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber. Psalm 121:3

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121:5

You hem me in – behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5

Even the darkness will not be darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. Psalm 139:12

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

This post first appeared at LisaAppelo.com. If you'd like encouragement delivered right to your inbox, subscribe here and I'd love to send you my free 100 Days with Christ Bible study and journal.

Bible verses anxiety | scripture to fight fear | overcome anxiety Bible verses


10 Ideas to Help You Memorize Scripture with Your Family

#family #Memory Verse #scripture #bible verses

memorize scripture | scripture memory | memorize Bible verses | family | kids

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Whether we intend to or not, we are always teaching our kids.

Oh how I wish I could take back some of those lessons. And now that I've launched my older kids to make their way in the world, I realize what I never taught — either because I didn't know they'd need it or I just never found the time.

Truth is, there isn't enough time to teach all the lessons. Even when we start out with the highest ideals and best intentions, life rushes in fast.

Eighteen summers is all we get. And the seasoned parent will tell you those last few summers? They look altogether different as jobs, sports, clubs, youth group and school pull our kids away from home and family more and more.

“When did you first start feeling how fast time was going with your kids?” a friend asked the other day, both our girls now in college. 

The days of childhood rush past and there are only so many lessons we can teach.

But here’s what I’ve learned: while there may be lessons I regret teaching and things I didn’t even know my kids needed, one thing eclipses all of it: the words of God.

Memorizing scripture is hands-down the best kind of lesson we can give our children and ourselves. Whether you memorize on your own, with your spouse, with children or grandchildren, scripture memory is one of the best ways to deepen and strengthen your faith life. {Read 7 reasons to memorize scripture here.}

And today’s the perfect day to get a plan and push go. Be the woman who gets God’s word down to her very bones. Be the mom who learns with her kids. Be the grandparent who challenges her grandkids.

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But how to memorize scripture?

10 Ways to Help You Memorize Scripture

1. Memorize whole chapters or large chunks. Memorizing large chunks gives you context for scripture and helps the verses stick long term. The lyrical quality of many psalms and passages make them easier to memorize. (I listed some of our favorites at the end.)

2. Start young. We so underestimate our kids! Chances are your child is already memorizing Disney’s latest ballad so why not turn him to scripture? I started memorizing with my kids so even the babies and toddlers were listening to the words and cadence as the olders worked through passages. As they grew, they joined as they were able and by 3 and 4 years old, they were memorizing scripture along with us.

3. Use hand motions. Hand motions are an incredible way to nail down scripture. We’ve used American sign language but also make up hand motions for key words and phrases to prick our memory as we move through a chunk of scripture. This site lets you plug in words and gives a video for the corresponding sign.

4. Sing the scriptures.  If you can still recall songs from a childhood musical, you know music helps store memory work forever. Put words to your own melody like my fun friend and her daughter here.  Or digitally download scripture songs like these from Seeds Family.

5. Use an app. If you love all things tech, an app can help you memorize scripture. One of the most popular is Scripture Typer, a free app that helps you memorize verses through recordings, illustrations and interactive exercises.

6. Write it out. Write verses on index cards and put them where they’ll be seen: on your bathroom mirror, computer screen, above the kitchen sink or carry them with you as you walk or exercise. You can also have children copy the verses (hello, handwriting practice!).

7. Record your words. Record the scriptures you’re memorizing to play back while you’re in the kitchen or while kids are building with legos. Listening to these recordings in the car is a great way to use commute time!

8. Review often. This is key. We usually add one verse a day, and once that’s memorized we recite from the beginning to the point we’ve memorized. Even you finish a chunk or chapter, put the scripture into a rotation where you review it on a monthly basis.

9. Play Round Robin. One of the review games we play is to go around the room and have each person recite one verse. Do it again, starting with a different person so that each person recites a different verse each time.

10. Reward your work. Time to celebrate your hard work! This is a huge incentive and commendation for kids. We had a treat bag with cheap goodies that was a hit for my kids. Your celebration might be an outing for shaved ice or a reward of privileges.

And bonus: If you’re a grandparent, uncle or aunt, coach or mentor, consider this amazing experience a friend shared. A family friend offered to give her children a dollar for each verse they recited by heart. Little by little, her boys learned James, reciting each chapter as it was memorized. Even after the teacher moved, her boys continued to call monthly and recite their learned verses.  By high school graduation, each son had memorized loads of scripture, including the whole book of Proverbs. Even better, each boy had developed a relationship with a godly mentor who’d encouraged and rewarded their hard work.

{Read here to see which chunks and chapters to start memorizing together!}SaveIf you’d like encouragement delivered right to your inbox, 

If you'd like encouragement delivered right to your inbox, subscribe here and I’d love to send you my FREE 100 Days with Christ Bible study and journal.

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Why I'm Optimistic in an Unsafe, Unanchored World

Why I'm Optimistic in an Unsafe, Unanchored World

I hit my limit yesterday of negative news. Scrolling through my feed these days – and probably yours too -- is a land mine of rhetorical blasts, accusation, hate and division.

I’m pretty sure folks in my own congregation unfriended each other over the last election. The constant stream of news can leave me feeling pretty gloomy: Bombings. Unrest. Intolerance. Forced tolerance. Shootings. Bullying. Gender confusion. Scandals. Immigration. Predators.

We have kids we’re raising in this climate and then launching into this landscape.

It’d be easy to take one look around and lose all heart. Just wring our hands over what this world’s coming to and -- now that I’m old enough – wish for what it was like in the old days.

But these are our days. THIS is the exact epoch and precise generation in which God has planted us and our children. And despite the ongoing tumult of this world and the downhill slide of values, I’m optimistic.

1. I’m optimistic because ours is a spiritual kingdom not an earthly kingdom. Okay, admittedly, that can sound like Christian gobblety-gook. But left to myself, here’s the kind of life I’d order:

  • Safety. No bad things ever please.
  • A 401-k with 10% compound annual growth.
  • A nice home in a good neighborhood with great schools.
  • Kids who are happy, married, with children and good jobs.
  • A secure future, long life, and good health.

But that kind of kingdom-building is wobbly in a world of unknowns. It’s veneered Christianity that sees every change and every threat as huge risk. Here’s what God’s ordered for us:

  • To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
  • To become more like Christ.
  • To be content in all things.
  • To be utterly dependent on Him.
  • To make disciples and complete the work He’s prepared for us in advance.

When we let go of our own goals and grab hold of God’s, we not only have peace in a topsy-turvy world, but we find passion for the work God has for us in it.

Why I'm Optimistic in an Unsafe, Unanchored WorldWhy I'm Optimistic in an Unsafe, Unanchored World

2.I’m optimistic because Christianity isn’t a cause. It’s a relationship. God hasn’t called us to a cause but to Himself. We’re not a political interest group that needs a better lobbyist or more fundraising. We’re a body and Jesus is the head; Jehovah our only banner.

The health of Christianity isn’t dependent on elections or judicial decisions or outpacing other philosophies or religions. God is sovereign and His record on making His witness in the world is 100%. The winds of politics and world change cannot stop or slow down God’s calendar.

3. I’m optimistic because a dark world has nothing on the Light of Christ. Believers should stand in sharp relief against a darkening world. God put Abram smack dab in the pagan cultures of Canaan. He moved Joseph to Egypt. He raised Daniel to serve the ruthless kings of Babylon and Assyria and Esther to reign in Persia.

God chose Rome -- a culture of polytheism and emperor worship, temple prostitution, rampant immorality, violence, materialism and the politics of ego-maniacal dictators – to bring forth His perfect and holy Son, to fulfill the gospel and to plant His church.

4. I’m optimistic because we’re not called to popularity. Or even the majority. “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Matthew 7:14 (NLT) Jesus warned that anyone who followed him would be hated by everyone because of his name. When did we ever think popularity was God’s choice method?

5. I’m optimistic because God uses difficulty to grow his church -- and us. It was persecution that caused the early Christians to scatter, taking the gospel from Jerusalem throughout Rome. Great missionary movements from Paul to St. Patrick flourished under adversity. Christianity has grown despite persecution in countries like China, Korea and today in places of the middle east.

Difficulty refines the church, driving away insincerity and lukewarm apathy. Difficulty refines us and causes us to release things that don't matter and cling to Who does.

A broken world needs the hope of Christ like never before. In a world that’s unsafe and unanchored, we’re called to love neighbors. Wash feet. Live holy. Offer compassion. And speak truth not to win arguments but because God so loves the world.

**This post appeared first at www.LisaAppelo.com. To get encouragement delivered right to your inbox, subscribe here and I'd love to send my free 100 Days with Christ Bible study & journal.