Sunrise - God's Grace for Spiritual Anxiety

How God’s Grace Calms Spiritual Anxiety

Last Updated: February 1, 2022

When we truly understand God’s grace for us, it brings us a deep and lasting peace. This is why I named my website Calming Grace. So why is God’s grace calming? How does it work to calm our hearts, minds, and spirits? In this post, you’ll find out how God’s grace gives us peace by putting an end to our spiritual anxiety.

Spiritual anxiety is a common struggle. Many people have been Christians for years, but still worry about their standing with God. The good news is that it’s possible to be free of spiritual anxiety, to be assured of your salvation, and to know that God loves you no matter what. And God’s grace to us in Jesus is the reason why.

In this article, we’ll start with a discussion on what Christian spiritual anxiety is and how to bring it to God. Then, we’ll dive in to the good news of God’s grace and how it provides spiritual anxiety relief by assuring us that we are loved, accepted, and secure in Christ.

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How God's Grace Calms Our Spiritual Anxiety

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What is Spiritual Anxiety?

Spiritual anxiety is a feeling of worry, uncertainty, or doubt about where we stand with God. Spiritual anxiety deals with our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs about God, who God is, and what God thinks about us. 

For Christians, spiritual anxiety can involve uncertainty about whether we are pleasing to God or whether we are saved. You might be dealing with spiritual anxiety if you’ve asked questions like:

  • Am I doing enough for God?
  • Is God disappointed in me?
  • How can I be sure I’m saved?

A lot of Christians have this kind of anxiety without realizing it. It’s possible to be someone who regularly attends church, reads the Bible, and prays, but to have underlying uncertainty about your standing with God. 

You can recognize spiritual anxiety if you have feelings of worry, fear, or uncertainty when you think about God. Spiritual anxiety might look like wanting to hide from God or being afraid He might punish you. But we’ll see how trusting in God’s grace for you in Christ will put these fears to rest.

Is Anxiety a Spiritual Problem?

No, anxiety is not necessarily a spiritual problem. Anxiety in general is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome” (Source). It’s completely normal to have anxious thoughts or feelings from time to time. Feelings of anxiety have many different roots. While spiritual questions can be one of those causes, anxiety does not always have a spiritual cause.

It’s important to understand that anxiety doesn’t always have spiritual roots. Sometimes, well-meaning Christians may say things like, “If you just pray and give your worries to God, you won’t feel anxious anymore.” The problem with this is that it attributes the reason for anxiety to a lack of faith or trust in God, which is not always the case. Of course, you should pray and “cast your cares on the Lord” (Psalm 55:22), knowing that He loves you and cares for you. But being anxious doesn’t mean you are failing in your faith. 

God created us as complex, holistic beings. There are mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual roots to anxiety, so we shouldn’t reduce the causes for things to only the spiritual. If you struggle with anxiety as a Christian, you should seek support through counseling/therapy or medical treatment. If you have any concerns about your mental health, do not hesitate to seek professional help. (Further Resources: Here, Here, Here) (Full Disclaimer)

While spiritual anxiety can contribute to general anxiety, my purpose in this article is not to address anxiety in general. Instead, I hope to offer a biblical answer to “Christian spiritual anxiety,” which usually comes from questions about God, what He thinks of us, and how we are saved.

How to Bring Your Spiritual Anxiety to God

If you struggle with spiritual anxiety, the first thing to do is to simply accept this, without judging yourself. Realize that it does not define you. While you may be feeling anxious, your anxious thoughts may not be true. Bring an attitude of grace, self-compassion, and acceptance towards yourself and your own thoughts and feelings. Find out more tips on how to practice self-compassion here.

Then, bring your spiritual anxiety to God in prayer. Be open and honest with Him about how you feel. Realize that God is giving you His grace in this moment. Having grace for yourself is simply a reflection of God’s active grace for you. God is more than ready to receive you with open arms and meet you in your anxiety with His love, kindness, and compassion.

Girl reading Bible

The next step would be to ask God to help you identify the primary question or uncertainty that is causing your spiritual anxiety. Explore how you feel when you think about God, for example: stressed, pressured, or afraid. Then think about why you feel that way. If this sounds intimidating, you could try journaling to help you organize your thoughts. Also, you could try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or pastor to help you process how you feel.

Finally, ask God to lead you to the answers and the truth in His Word. A pastor, counselor, or friend can also help guide you to biblical truth. When you find out what Scripture says regarding your specific spiritual anxiety, meditate on these truths and have a conversation with God about them. Allow God to bring you peace as He transforms you through the renewing of your mind (Rom. 12:2). 

Read More: 30 Biblical Affirmations to Calm Anxiety and Fear

In the rest of this article, we’re going to look at specific biblical truths for spiritual anxiety relief. We’ll see what Jesus has done for us and how we are saved by grace through faith in Him. Instead of feeling stressed and pressured to perform, we can accept that Christ’s death on the cross was “enough.” Instead of worrying if He is angry or disappointed in us, we can see that He loves us so much that He gave up His life for us. God’s grace for us through Christ’s finished work on the cross is truly the most complete answer to our spiritual anxieties and uncertainties. Let’s talk about exactly how.

Saved By Grace Through Faith In Christ

To see how God’s grace calms our spiritual anxiety, we need to understand what it means to be saved by grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. ~ Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

The gospel message is simple. Romans 10:9 says that all you need to be saved is faith—believing that Jesus is who He said He was, the Lord and the Son of God, that He died for your sins on the cross, and that He rose from the dead. If you believe and confess this, then you are saved, forgiven, and made right with God. That is the good news of grace!

Grace is God’s freely-given, undeserved, over-the-top gift of forgiveness, redemption, holiness—and every other spiritual blessing—for all who believe in Jesus (Eph. 1:3-8). That is why we are saved by grace, through faith. We are not justified before God by our works, but by believing in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16). In other words, we’re “okay” with God when we trust in Jesus—not because of what we’ve done, but because of what Jesus has done for us.

God gives us the extravagant gift of His grace because He loves us! He doesn’t save us because of anything we do, but because of who He is and how much He loves us (Titus 3:4-5). We can’t do anything to earn or deserve God’s grace—it’s simply a gift that we receive when we put our faith and trust in Jesus.

Read More: Give Yourself Grace: What the Bible Says About Being Kind to Yourself

Trusting In Christ Alone

So how does the gospel of God’s grace put our spiritual anxiety to rest? If you worry about what God thinks of you, or you’re not sure of your salvation, the remedy is simple: Look to Jesus Christ and to what He has done for you—His death and resurrection.

If you look to yourself and what you’ve done, it will always leave you wondering if you’re “good enough” for God. The reality is that our own works can never be “enough.” But if you look to the cross, you will see that Jesus’ death was enough (Heb. 10:10-14). He accomplished all that was needed to make you right with God, saying, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

God didn’t wait for us to clean up our lives first before showing us His grace. Instead, He took the burden upon Himself to take the punishment we deserved for our sin, and to give us redemption through His blood (Eph. 1:7). By giving up His life for us, Jesus proved God’s unconditional love for us (John 15:13).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8 NIV

Do you ever wonder if God is disappointed or angry at you? Then look to the cross, and see Him pouring out His love, compassion, and kindness for you. Do you feel anxious that God might punish you if you make a mistake? Look to the cross, and see Christ being punished in your place. Do you worry about whether you’re saved? If you look to the cross and trust in Jesus, you stand in God’s grace (Rom. 5:1-2).

When we grasp the immensity of God’s love and grace shown to us through Christ’s death on the cross, it transforms our motivations for following Him and seeking to live according to His Word. God doesn’t motivate us to obey Him using fear of punishment, pressure to perform, or anxiety about doing “enough.” Instead, God’s grace compels us to give our lives to Him out of love, awe, and gratitude for what He has done for us (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Set Free from Spiritual Anxiety by God’s Calming Grace

God’s grace is a gift given to us freely, which we receive by putting our faith and trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross. God’s grace brings us spiritual anxiety relief by assuring us of truths like these:

  • Your salvation does not depend on you or what you do for God, but on God and what He has done for you. (Titus 3:4-5)
  • God’s love for you isn’t based on what you do to prove your love for Him, but on what Christ did to prove His love for you. (1 John 4:10)
  • God won’t shake His head in disappointment at you if you stumble and sin; rather, Christ empathizes with you in your weakness, intercedes for you, and gives you His strength and His righteousness to overcome sin. (Rom. 8:34, Heb. 4:15, 1 John 2:1)
  • You no longer have to fear being condemned or punished by God, because Christ was condemned and punished in your place. (John 5:22, Rom. 8:1, 1 John 4:17-18)
  • Your eternal security does not hang on your faithfulness to God, but on God’s faithfulness to you. When you believed in Christ, you crossed over from death to life, and you will not come under God’s judgment. (1 Cor. 1:8-9, 2 Tim. 2:13, John 5:24)

There Is No Fear In Love

When we think about God, we shouldn’t have fear or anxiety, but only praise, gratitude, and love. The Bible assures us that God isn’t angry at us, but loves and accepts us in Christ (Rom. 15:7). He has forgiven our sins and removed them from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). We don’t need to hide from God, because He knows all things and He does not condemn us (1 John 3:19-20). We don’t need to fear punishment or judgment, because we are completely, perfectly loved:

This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:17-19 NIV

In conclusion, God’s grace is a gift that we can’t earn, which we receive through faith in Jesus. When we know we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, it sets us free from spiritual anxiety about where we stand with God. We are set free to live for Him, obeying and serving Him out of love, overflowing with joy and thankfulness for what He has done for us.

Renew Your Mind with the Truth of God’s Grace

It may be easy enough to say we agree with these Bible verses, but one of the best ways to allow God to calm our spiritual anxiety is by filling our minds with His Word. When we spend time meditating on Scripture, we allow the Holy Spirit to work deeply in our hearts and transform how we live.

This is why I’ve written Enter His Rest, a 30-day guided Scripture meditation devotional specifically to help you internalize the reality of God’s grace, look to the cross, and find peace in Christ. The topics of the 30+ passages of Scripture include:

  • Learning from the gentle and humble heart of Jesus
  • Walking in God’s presence in our daily lives
  • Being still and trusting God through the storms of life
  • Drawing near to God with confidence in His grace
  • Resting in Christ’s finished work on the cross

Whether you’re a beginner or more experienced at Christian meditation, Enter His Rest will guide you step-by-step into meditating on God’s Word and understanding the true rest we find in Jesus. Get a free 3-day sample here:

Further recommended resources—Understand the gospel of God’s grace and calm spiritual anxiety:

Free Download: Bible Verse Phone Wallpapers

Did you enjoy this post? Then you’ll love the Calming Grace newsletter. I’ll send you regular encouragement and tips to help you calm your mind and live in God’s grace. When you subscribe you’ll get 30+ free Bible verse phone wallpapers, including the ones from this post:

P.S. Was this article helpful to you? Don’t forget to comment, share the article on social media, or save it on Pinterest! 🙂

How to Recognize Spiritual Anxiety & Bring It to God

How to Recognize Spiritual Anxiety & Bring It to God
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2 thoughts on “How God’s Grace Calms Spiritual Anxiety

  1. Sarah, this article was so helpful! I especially appreciate the Scripture verses you shared, which are such a vivid reminder of God’s grace in Christ. I plan to keep coming back to this article and meditating on the verses. Many thanks and God bless you!

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