How to Cope at the End of Your Rope

What Is God’s Heart on Stress?

Stress can take us down one of two paths. For many, stress leads to unrest. Frustrations at work, responsibilities at home, deadlines at school, unfinished to-do lists, heartbreaking headlines, and troubled relationships all pile up to an overwhelming sense of weariness, exhaustion, pressure, and unrest. And the enemy wants to use the unrest to arrest you—to hold you captive to the pressures and stresses of life.

But God’s plan—His path for stress—leads not to painful unrest but rather peaceful rest. The enemy wants to overwhelm you with unrest, but the Lord wants you to overcome with His rest. Stress is inevitable, but hope is available. If you want to find peace in times of stress, come to the Lord and find the rest you’re looking for in Him.

“Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”


God is with you in times of stress.

“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ISAIAH 41:10).

God sees and knows your stress.

“But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand” (PSALM 10:14).

God wants to give you peace when your heart is troubled, stressed, and afraid.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (JOHN 14:27).

God wants to carry your burden and give you rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (MATTHEW 11:28).

God wants to guide you when you’re too stressed to make decisions.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you” (PSALM 32:8).

God wants to strengthen you when you’re weak and weary.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (ISAIAH 40:29).

God wants to deliver you from your stress.

“They cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress” (PSALM 107:6).

God wants to comfort you in times of stress.

“I, yes I, am the one who comforts you” (ISAIAH 51:12).

God wants to use your stress to increase your dependence on Him.

“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself . . . But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (2 CORINTHIANS 1:8–9).

God wants you to talk to Him about your stress and set you free.

“In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me and set me free” (PSALM 118:5 NLT).

God wants you to trust Him and be a refuge for you in times of stress.

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (PSALM 62:8).

God wants you to worship Him and acknowledge His constant presence even in times of stress.

“I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone” (GENESIS 35:3).


Calming the Fearful Heart

What Is God’s Heart on Anxiety?

Anxiety inaccurately judges reality. It forgets the past and fears the future. It fails to remember how you’ve made it through past difficulties and focuses instead on potential threats in the future. Anxiety leaves you with a fight or flight response in the present, vigilantly preparing for possible outcomes or avoiding fearful situations altogether.

The Lord, however, sees all things clearly. He says, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please’” (Isaiah 46:10). God has brought you through the past and holds your future in His hands. And in your present struggle with anxiety, He is with you. The Lord is at work in your life—your anxiety is not without purpose. God longs to be your refuge and help you walk through your fears and troubles.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (PSALM 46:1)

God wants you to remember that He is good and gracious—and compassionately cares about you.

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made” (PSALM 145:8–9).

God wants you to remember He is with you when you’re fearful.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ISAIAH 41:10).

God wants you to pray and experience His peace when you’re feeling anxious.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (PHILIPPIANS 4:6–7).

God wants you to look to Him and His Word when you’re filled with anxiety.

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (PSALM 94:19).

God wants you to align your thoughts with His truth when you feel anxious.

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (PHILIPPIANS 4:8).

God wants you to trust Him when you’re anxious—to have faith and not fear.

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (PSALM 56:3).

God wants you to talk to Him about all that causes you to feel anxious.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 PETER 5:7).

God wants you to talk to others about your fears and anxieties.

“Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” (PROVERBS 11:14 NASB).

God wants you to take care of yourself physically and spiritually.

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” (1 TIMOTHY 4:8).

God wants you to encourage others who struggle with anxiety.

“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up” (PROVERBS 12:25).


No Longer Afraid

What Is God’s Heart on Fear?

The apostle John, lovingly referred to as “the disciple whom he [Jesus] loved” (John 19:26), writes that “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). He further tells us that, “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Logically, we can then say that fear has no place in God’s heart and no place in ours when we experience the unfathomable depth, breadth, and height of the life-changing love of God—the love He has for us all, the love He has specifically for you!

As you contemplate this love of God that is boundless, limitless, and free of fear, recall the reasons He has given in His Word that make it possible for you to live the fear-free life He provides and desires for you:

He is with you and will never leave you.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (DEUTERONOMY 31:8).

He is your light, salvation, and stronghold.

“The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (PSALM 27:1).

He keeps you safe as you trust in Him.

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe” (PROVERBS 29:25).

He has His hand on you.

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me” (PSALM 139:5).

He guides and holds you.

“Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (PSALM 139:10).

He delivers you.

“I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” (PSALM 34:4).

He cares for you.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 PETER 5:7).

He strengthens, helps, and upholds you.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (ISAIAH 41:10).

He works in all things for your good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (ROMANS 8:28).

He says nothing can separate you from His love.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (ROMANS 8:38–39).

He has plans to give you hope and a future.

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (JEREMIAH 29:11).

He has made you more than a conqueror.

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (ROMANS 8:37).

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New

Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The information in this resource is intended as guidelines for healthy living. Please consult qualified medical, legal, pastoral, and psychological professionals regarding individual concerns.

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