4 Ways the Gospel Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Your Daily Life

Karen Del Tatto

Contributing Writer
Updated Feb 08, 2024
4 Ways the Gospel Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Your Daily Life

Every day comes with personal challenges, needs, and desires. When those inevitabilities aren’t met, we find ourselves becoming anxious, stressed, and frustrated.  

What if we look at the gospel not just in the context of salvation but to its fullest extent through the life and ministry of Jesus, applying that to our lives every day?

I believe there are four key ways the gospel can reduce stress and anxiety in our daily lives:

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woman hiding in sweater looking afraid and worried, prayers for moments of anxiety

1. How the Gospel Helps the Mind

There is a very healthy trend now where people are not hiding behind shame when it comes to their mental health but, instead, talking about it. Personally, hearing that someone else is struggling in a similar way that I am, reassures me that what I’m going through is not just specific to me. Oftentimes, those who are sharing their struggles are also talking about what has helped them. 

"He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:4

When it comes to mental health, it's important to seek medical help when struggles such as depression, anxiety, and emotional disabilities are hindering your day to day activities.

On the flip side, many of us have events in our lives that trigger stress, anxiety, or depression where it’s not a chronic state, but we may be prone to “go there” when things get tough.

The life and ministry of Jesus, the gospel story, can help reduce those tendencies when we remember what God has done in the past and what He can still very much do today.

There are several accounts where Jesus cast out demons. Just to be abundantly clear, I am not in any way implying that those who struggle with mental illness have demons, but more how tormented we can feel when we are suffering from anxiety or depression or intrusive thoughts, in the same way, that those who suffered with demons in biblical times were tormented.

"And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles to pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you, by God do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”... And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind…" Mark 5:1-8,15

In this account, we see that Jesus had authority over the unclean spirit so much so that it acknowledged Jesus as the Son of the Most High God.  

What if when we are struggling with anxious thoughts or depressive thoughts or intrusive thoughts, we remember that Jesus has authority over those thoughts and that we are (able to destroy) speculations and every lofty thing raised against the knowledge of God (when we) take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5)?

Satan is the father of lies and he wants to have a stronghold over our minds so that when tough situations arise, we default to anxious and depressive thoughts. But we have the gospel that tells us the Truth—Jesus has authority over those things that torment us. He will quiet us with His love. 

The next time a difficult situation arises, call on the authority of Jesus to remove the lies from your mind and replace them with the Truth of the gospel.

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senior woman in exercise clothes taking a break to eat an apple

2. How the Gospel Helps the Body

Throughout the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we see account after account of Jesus' ministry of healing. He gave sight to the blind, restored the dead to life, made the lepers clean, and restored health to those who suffered for years, like the hemorrhagic woman.

“Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Then Jesus asked, 'Who touched me? Luke 8:43-48

We may have found ourselves in a similar situation where we have been to doctor after doctor hoping for a cure, but the doctor may have said there is nothing that can be done for that particular issue.

I have seen firsthand that Jesus is still in the business of doing miraculous healing. Just this past weekend, a friend of mine at church shared the amazing news that her stage 4 stomach cancer may be in full remission by the fall. She has a very rare form of cancer and the doctors were somewhat grave in their outlook for total remission. Our entire church and many others have been praying for her healing. The Lord led me to pray specifically that the doctors would be amazed during surgery and that God would do above and beyond what they hoped or imagined. My friend shared that when the doctor came in to talk to her after the surgery he was laughing and said, “There is no more visible cancer in your body! The surgery went above and beyond what we hoped or imagined!” Just how the Holy Spirit had led me to pray!

Friend, I’m not promising a miraculous healing because not everyone gets that, but we have a compassionate God who will supply miracles in other ways through our illness. When we walk in the knowledge that God can do a new thing despite what doctors or science says, our mindset will shift to one of peace because we are resting in the Truth of the gospel. We can know that no matter how the Lord sees fit to work in our physical health, He will be right there with us administering healing and/or strength above and beyond what we hoped or imagined.

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Woman helping elderly man with groceries; 7 lessons my dad taught me about living generously.

3. How the Gospel Meets Our Needs

The gospel of Jesus highlights several instances where Jesus saw the physical needs of those who were with Him and He had great compassion on them. On two separate occasions, Jesus saw the crowds and was concerned about their physical hunger. As a result, he took a very small amount of bread and fish and multiplied them to feed 5000 in one account and 4000 in another!

Jesus sees our physical needs as well and He is still in the business of providing in amazing ways.

When my husband was unemployed for nine months, we were literally down to counting pennies. Our family was eating pasta every other day as that was the cheapest meal. Our money was literally about to run out as my husband did not qualify for any more unemployment extensions.  

I was a fairly new believer at the time so I set out to pray boldly, somewhat demanding, that God would provide for our family as things were getting desperate. The next morning, we found out his unemployment had been extended. Despite what we were told, we received an anonymous $200 to cover groceries, and my husband was called in for a job interview (which he got)! The Lord saw our desperate situation and He provided!  

If you find yourself worrying about finances, remember the gospel Truth that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He will provide for you.

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man gazing at sunset on mountaintop psalms for comfort

4. How the Gospel Comforts Us

In the Gospels, Jesus had encounters with two separate women. One was caught in adultery and about to be stoned and the other was the Samaritan woman by the well who also was an adulterous woman. In both accounts, Jesus did not condemn, but He spoke to them with the comforting words of the gospel. The adulterous woman was told to sin no more and the Samaritan woman went on to testify that she had seen the Christ. Because of her testimony, many Samaritans believed. Isn’t this the very essence of Jesus?  He came to save the lost! How comforting is that?

When we find ourselves drifting away from Jesus, we may begin a shame spiral which creates frustration and anxiety. Yet, we need not fear that we can’t come back to Him. He is waiting for us! If you find yourself in a state of despair because of your sin, go back and read the Gospels; there, you will once again find the Truth of who Jesus is and how He ministered not only then but continues to now! You will find words of comfort that you are His beloved child and like the prodigal son, He will accept you back with rejoicing.   

The entire gospel message speaks of God’s desire to heal, provide, and comfort. May we look at those accounts not as spectators of a story but as the characters inside those stories for we, too, will be touched in the same way by His gospel ministry of love. The gospel isn’t just a moment in time at our salvation; it is meant to be drawn upon each and every day. When we live with a gospel mindset, we will find our stress and anxiety melt away. Let us all live in the Truth of the gospel for His Glory and our good.

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Karen Del Tatto is a blogger, author, women's ministry leader, pastor's wife, mom, and grandmother who is passionate about the Word of God. Her blog Growing Together in Grace and Knowledge and her books Choosing to Trust God: Breaking the Habit of Worry, A 30-Day Devotional and Choosing to Trust God Companion Journal reveal her heart for providing Biblical insights to encourage women to grow in and through their struggles while equipping them to overcome. Karen and her husband live in Rhode Island and enjoy walks in the woods, owling, and spending time with their grandchildren.

Originally published Thursday, 08 February 2024.