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With the fear and uncertainty generated by the current COVID-19 pandemic, we consider this series by John MacArthur to be even more timely now than when it was first run eight years ago. The following blog post was originally published on November 6, 2012. —ed.

It should be clear by now that unchecked anxiety isn’t good for you. It’s a sin expressly forbidden by the Lord, so there is the spiritual cost to consider. But it’s also harmful to your health, your productivity, and your relationships. It wreaks havoc throughout your life, and as we saw yesterday, it strangles your mind.

Why then do we find it so easy to worry? It’s a sin that ensnares most believers from time to time—shouldn’t we know better? Moreover, shouldn’t we be able to find the tools in Scripture to conquer our anxiety and guard ourselves from slipping back into worry?

When John Macarthur was recently in studio, we asked him about the nature of anxiety, where it comes from, and what solutions God’s Word has to offer people struggling with worry. Here’s what he had to say:

That emphasis on God’s sovereignty is where we’re headed with this series. Later this week, we’ll look at the sure promises of the Lord’s loving care and provision for His people and how His guarantees in Scripture should dispel our inclination toward anxiety.

Is that a trend you’ve seen in your own life? What calms your heart when you’re tempted to give in to anxiety and worry?

GTY Staff

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#1 Mae Ella Jones Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 6:58 AM

When I stop and realize that God is in control of everything, that He allows and disallows everything that comes into my life, I then have peace.

#2 Daniel Wilson Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Reminding myself that let tomorrow worry itself.. Amen, Lord that He is in charge…

#4 Greg Tegman Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Well, this has been a lifelong problem. It easy to blame my upbringing,now I know I cannot blame any longer. Can a fifty five year old man, who has lived with fear and anxiety almost every day of his life become free from that. I even fear the fear. I have answered many of the deeds of the flesh in 1 John. Yet,I don’t have assurance. I do want to obey. I want to be bold. I do not want to sin. I grieve with horror over my sin. I do want the fruit of the Spirit. So, I ask myself what is missing?. Do I have fruit. I cry often with the hope that I may have some sort of assurance. Can this old horse come about?. I ask this as a plea.

#5 Jodi Denning Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 6:50 AM

I am so thankful for the teachings of John MacArthur! Deepening my understanding of the sovereignty of God has been one of the biggest blessings of my walk with the Lord. There is no peace anywhere else. I am always thankful for any reminder that redirects my focus back on the perfect sovereignty of God on His throne.

#6 Janet McConnell Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

To those suffering “panic/anxiety” attacks and can find no relief even from prayer and study of God’s word, please consider that there may be an underlying physical cause. I was plagued with panic attacks that came out of nowhere with all kinds of frightening symptoms like skipped heartbeats (pvc’s) and tightness in the chest, etc. I would tremble and sweat…it was horrible and I spent several years doubting that God was interested in me or my problems because I could not get relief by “spiritual” means, such as prayer. I spoke with a physician about it (he is a true believer in the Lord) and he recommended thyroid testing. Turned out to be Graves’ Disease (hyperthyroidism). I was treated and those horrible symptoms went away. Women especially are prone to hormone based anxiety symptoms.

I think that medicine is a gift from God and it’s okay to seek help. Jesus told Peter to take care of the physical needs of the flock when He told him to feed His sheep. Couldn’t medical care be included? A famous 19th century evangelist once taught others to tend to the physical needs of the newly converted in order to remove the roadblocks to spiritual growth. Jesus often healed the sick and then told them to repent. I just believe that it’s okay to rule out physical causes when prayer does not seem to provide relief from the suffering.

#7 Chuck Tuthill Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2 ESV)

deal with sin and get your theology right. love it. love it. love it.

straight talk. thank you.

#10 Raul Cruz Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Worry, anxiety and other roadblocks hounded us all in this life. Jesus said “seek first my kingdom and righteousness and all things will follow”. We can do this if we continually read the word of God. If we are well grounded in His word any other road blocks will just stay on the side.

#11 Barry Foster Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Hey Greg,

i have been battling with fear and health anxiety for the last 10 months. i’ve had freedom from it for about 2 out of those 10 months, but i can relate. it’s always a health anxiety and i pray everyday for God’s grace to remove it and help me fully trust in Him and not anything in myself or my health as He provides me everything and i just have to receive and believe that and trust in His goodness to me. the enemy comes at me and says stupid stuff like how much longer can your body continue to function under this load? Would love to chat with you about your struggle. you can feel free to reply to me at

May God continue to bless and encourage you in your walk with Him.


#12 Eugene Mcdonald Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 12:47 PM

This post is a excellent as many Christians, even Born Again “new creatures in Jesus” don’t even look at anxiety as a sin or if they do they think it is not fair, which can be a sin in itself. I did a small article on only one small dynamic of an anxiety causing event which I would like you to look at to see if it would fit in your series on this subject, John. I included the link.

For anyone else reading this blog, if you click on the link please come back to this blog as mine is only a tiny aspect of what John MacArthur is going to share with us. We need his information, not mine. Satan can have a field day manipulating relationships at work, community, church and sadly family. This can cause so much pain and lead to losing Unity. That’s tragic.

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