Finding Peace in an Anxious World

By: Anthony DiGenova

“I just don’t know what to do!”

This is a common refrain heard from those who are anxious. Maybe you have said it recently, which makes sense as the world is constantly changing. Therefore, it is impossible to expect what will happen next. The stress from the instability of the world can cause one to feel a sense of uneasiness and dread about what may happen next. When those worries and fears persist, one’s mind becomes anxious.

How then can anyone find peace when our minds become troubled with the uncertainty and stress all around us? As someone who has uttered that aforementioned phrase multiple times this week, here are some tips to help us find peace in an anxious world.


Before we continue, let me address a possible misconception about anxiety.

Having anxiety DOES NOT diminish your faith NOR is it a sin. Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we will have troubles. David frequently discusses his anxiety and he was labeled a man after God’s own heart. The mindset that anxiety is a weakness creates shame and guilt, which compounds the anxiety. The worst thing we could do is push through the emotion without processing it. By hiding the shameful feeling, we let it fester and grow to the point that it will leak out into our decision making and health.

Anxiety, like all emotions, serves a purpose. When we worry, we reveal what matters to us. Rather than trying to minimize or eliminate worry, we should take the time to discover WHY we are experiencing the emotion. Discovering the exact source of fear helps us manage anxiety, find relief, and find resolution quicker.


The Greek word for anxious comes from the idea of being divided. When we are anxious, our attention is divided and our thoughts are scattered. We therefore stop thinking clearly as we are operating from the part of the brain that reacts from instinct rather than responds. Our instinct is to either fight and act out of the fear, ru    n away from the issue and pretend it does not exist, freeze and become paralyzed with fear, or fold and give up hope.

To short-circuit this automatic response, we must intentionally take time to follow the advice of Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” In order to be still, we need to do three things:

Clear your mind of what is temporary. We sometimes worry when we put our hope in things that end. My career, my role as a husband and father, my savings… all of those things exist for a season. If something were to threaten items that I placed my hope, my anxiety would increase as I do not want to experience loss. We are setting ourselves up to always be anxious. We should instead, as Paul encourages in Romans 15:13, put our hope our unchanging, all-knowing, and all-powerful God.

Clear our mind of what we cannot control. Oftentimes our worries are about areas outside our control. We add more anxiety when we try to control something that we have no influence over. As theologian Charles Spurgeon paraphrased, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” Rather than worrying, we should seek to focus on the one thing we can control… how to respond to the stressor.

Focus on God. The future is filled with unknowns that may result in an increase in dread that comes from worrying more about the outcome of the stressor than the stressor itself. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us that God cares for us so much that we can cast our anxiety on to Him. Grounding ourselves in the immutable fact that God loves us helps us weather the changes of this world and helps us stay in the moment. Gratitude is another way to remember God’s goodness. Thanking God in all He has done for us and for all the things He will do in the future will help us get “…the peace of God, which transcends all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7)


God did not call us to live our lives in isolation. When we are anxious, we should reach out to a few safe people who will listen without judgment and offer support. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” If you do not currently have a team around you, join a Life Group or a Community Care Group. If the anxiety is no longer manageable, see a professional as they can help.

Being in community also helps us get out of ourselves. Finding our purpose in how we can serve others can help us better process our anxiety. Viktor Frankl says, “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” Sacrificing our time to assist others helps us fulfil the great commandment: love God and love people.

It is only through community that we can give and receive love. It is this through perfect love that we can drive out the fear and process the anxiety.

Anxiety can make the future seem daunting and our actions insignificant. However, by doing the tips above, you can reset your perspective from how big the stressor is to how big is our God and how much He loves us. And that gives me peace that surpasses all worldly understanding.

Anthony DiGenova is a Preschool Manager on our Kids Team at Shepherd Church.