Be Anxious for Nothing

The Art of Casting Your Cares and Resting in God


By Joyce Meyer

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Difficult times, trials, and tribulation are part of living in this world. However, God has provided a way for us to enjoy peace as a part of daily life. We can choose either to allow ourselves to be burdened with worry and anxiety or to live in the peace and joy the Father intended.

In Be Anxious for Nothing, Joyce Meyer teaches how to draw on the peace of God in the midst of negative circumstances instead of responding with restlessness, fear, and apprehension. She reveals the nature of the peace Jesus describes in John 14:27—a peace unlike anything the world knows—and how it can fill every area of your life. Joyce Meyer explains why we should and how we can:

  • Trade our anxiety and worry for peace and joy
  • Develop a childlike attitude of faith
  • Rest in the arms of the Lord.

You will develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your heavenly Father as you understand how He cares for you. By following the leading of the Holy Spirit, your life will be filled with unlimited hope and will overflow with His peace, so you will finally Be Anxious for Nothing!


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Amplified Bible (AMP). The Amplified Bible, Old Testament copyright © 1965, 1987 by The Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament, copyright © 1954, 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, © copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (WORRELL) are taken from The Worrell New Testament © 1904 by A.S. Worrell. Copyright assigned to the Assemblies of God, Springfield, MO. Edition published in 1980 by the Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO 65802.

Faith Words Edition

Copyright © 1998 by Joyce Meyer

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.


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First eBook Edition: October 2002

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ISBN: 978-0-446-54975-2


Battlefield of the Mind *

Battlefield of the Mind Devotional

Approval Addiction

Ending Your Day Right

In Pursuit of Peace

The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word

Seven Things That Steal Your Joy

Starting Your Day Right

Beauty for Ashes Revised Edition

How to Hear from God *

Knowing God Intimately

The Power of Forgiveness

The Power of Determination

The Power of Being Positive

The Secrets of Spiritual Power

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

The Secrets to Exceptional Living

Eight Ways to Keep the Devil Under Your Feet

Teenagers Are People Too!

Filled with the Spirit

Celebration of Simplicity

The Joy of Believing Prayer

Never Lose Heart

Being the Person God Made You to Be

A Leader in the Making

"Good Morning, This Is God!"

Jesus—Name Above All Names

Making Marriage Work (Previously published as Help Me—I'm Married!)

Reduce Me to Love

Be Healed in Jesus' Name

How to Succeed at Being Yourself

Weary Warriors, Fainting Saints

Life in the Word Devotional

Be Anxious for Nothing *

Straight Talk Omnibus

Don't Dread

Managing Your Emotions

Healing the Brokenhearted

Me and My Big Mouth! *

Prepare to Prosper

Do It Afraid!

Expect a Move of God in Your Life … Suddenly!

Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going

The Most Important Decision

You Will Ever Make

When, God, When?

Why, God, Why?

The Word, the Name, the Blood

Tell Them I Love Them


The Root of Rejection

If Not for the Grace of God *


Las Siete Cosas Que Te Roban el Gozo

(Seven Things That Steal Your Joy)

Empezando Tu Día Bien

(Starting Your Day Right)


Life Lines

* Study Guide available for this title



Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.…

JOHN 14:27

Jesus' statement above is worded as though He willed us His peace. Jesus left us His peace. This means that living in turmoil, worry, anxiety, fear, and frustration for a believer is abnormal. God doesn't want us to live that way. The Bible shows us how to receive and live in the peace Jesus left for us.

As believers, we have a tremendous amount of God's protection on and around us. (Psalm 91.) God wants to bless us abundantly and is always looking for ways to bless and reach us with His love so that we will be more open to receiving His blessings. (John 10:10, Ephesians 3:20, 2 Chronicles 16:9.)

But our salvation as Christians doesn't guarantee a trouble-free life. We will still encounter problems. Every one of us at different times in our life go through seasons when things don't work out the way we would like. But Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), has overcome the world.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

JOHN 16:33

In John 14:1 just before His return to His Father in heaven, Jesus left us with these words:

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.

The remaining part of John 14:27, partially quoted previously, says:

…Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

Romans 14:17 tells us that Kingdom living is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Luke 17:21 tells us the kingdom of God is within us. We were made righteous, or made in rightstanding with God, when we entered into a personal relationship with Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:21.) Joy and peace are two of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) and are inside those of us who believe in Jesus. They are ready to be released. We enter into the joy and peace of God's kingdom through believing.


In the passage below we are told the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace as we believe, so that we may abound and be overflowing — bubbling over — with hope.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.

ROMANS 15:13

According to the writer of Hebrews, we who truly believe may enter into the blessed Sabbath rest of the Lord.

So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;

For he who has once entered [God's] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.

Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

HEBREWS 4:9-11

In the Sabbath rest of the Lord we can cease from weariness and the pain of human labor. What is required to enter this rest? A childlike attitude of faith.

We read in Mark 10:15 that Jesus told His disciples: Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive and accept and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] positively shall not enter it at all.

A child's faith is simple. A child doesn't try to figure everything out and make a detailed blueprint plan of exactly how his deliverance will come. He simply believes because the parents said they would take care of the problem.

If members of the church have lost the joy of their salvation, sometimes the reason is the basis of their joy has been misplaced.

When Jesus sent out the seventy to minister to the needs of others in His name, they came back rejoicing in their power over demons. But Jesus said to them, …do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven (Luke 10:20).

Jesus tells us we should rejoice, not because we have power over the demons or circumstances of this life, but because our names are enrolled in heaven. Habakkuk 3:18 KJV says, Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The joy of our salvation comes from the joy of the initial and greatest gift of all — God's love for us as expressed in His Son Christ Jesus.

As believers, our joy and peace are not based in doing and achieving, but in believing. Joy and peace come as a result of building our relationship with the Lord. Psalm 16:11 tells us in His presence is fullness of joy. If we have received Jesus as our Savior and Lord, He, the Prince of Peace lives inside us. (1 John 4:12-15, John 14:23.) We experience peace in the Lord's presence, receiving from Him and acting in response to His direction. Joy and peace come from knowing, believing — trusting in the Lord with simple childlike faith.



Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.


The Bible teaches that anxiety brings a heaviness to a person's life. The dictionary defines anxiety as "…a state of uneasiness: worry… Abnormal fear that lacks a specific cause."1 Sometimes this uneasiness is vague, something that cannot be easily identified. It is fear or dread that has no specific cause or source. I used to be bothered by this kind of anxiety without knowing what it was.


All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances].


I once went through a period in my life when I was plagued by anxiety. I was filled with fear and dread for no particular reason. I kept feeling something terrible was going to happen. Finally I went to the Lord and asked Him what was troubling me. He told me it was "evil forebodings." At the time I didn't even know what that phrase meant or where it came from.

Sometime later I came across Proverbs 15:15 in The Amplified Bible. I immediately recognized the term the Lord had used when He told me what was bothering me — "evil forebodings."

In those days I was like so many other people. I was looking for some "monster problem" that was keeping me from enjoying life. I was so intense about everything, I was creating problems for myself where none really existed.

Once in a meeting, the Lord told me to speak out something. Apparently someone needed to hear this: "Stop making a big deal out of nothing."

I used to be the type of person who needed to hear direction like that. I could make mountains out of molehills. I had to learn to just let some things go — forget them and go on. Some of us become upset over things that just are not worth becoming upset over — those little foxes, that spoil the vines (Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV). If our life consists of becoming upset over one little thing that really doesn't matter after another, we won't have much peace or joy.

As we saw before, Jesus said, Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated) (John 14:1). …Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27).

In other words Jesus was saying, "Stop it!" We can see from this verse that we can control the way we respond to something that might trouble us. We can choose peace or trouble. We can choose to stay calm or to calm down if we start becoming agitated.

Jesus also said, …In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer…For I have overcome the world… (John 16:33).

We will have persecution for the Word's sake (Mark 4:17), and things won't go exactly as we would like in our daily lives as we discussed before. Jesus said in the world there will be tribulation, but He had an answer for it: …be of good cheer. In today's language, we could paraphrase that statement as, "Cheer up!"

Jesus, Who lives inside those of us who believe in Him, has overcome the world. That gives us plenty of reason to calm down and cheer up!

Once I began understanding this principle, when I started to become upset over something that really didn't matter, it seemed to me the Lord was saying: "Calm down and cheer up! Don't be so intense. Lighten up. Enjoy life!" Then I would think, "Oh, that's right. I'm supposed to enjoy life. I have joy in my salvation, and the Prince of Peace, Who has overcome the world, lives inside me!"

Even after walking in these principles for a while, we need an adjustment every so often. I still have to remind myself to lighten up. Or God may say to me, "Now, Joyce, listen to one of your own messages"!

My nature is to be extremely intense, and I come from a background of terrible abuse. If I could lighten up, anyone can!

Some people experience anxiety as a result of deep hurts from the past. Becoming free from emotional bondage is not always easy. But if you will let Him, the Holy Spirit will lead you step-by-step on a path that will take you into freedom!

I found a Scripture which says a woman should enjoy her husband. (See 1 Peter 3:2 AMP.) For years I couldn't enjoy my husband because I was too intense about trying to change him — and my children and myself and everything else in my life.

I had a nice family, but I didn't enjoy them. I was so busy trying to change everyone in it, I never let any of them enjoy life.

I had a nice home, but I didn't enjoy it. I kept it spotlessly clean with everything in its place. But I was so intense about it I didn't enjoy it, and I didn't let anyone else enjoy it either.

My children had some nice toys, but they were never able to enjoy them because I didn't want the toys "strewn out all over the place." I never wanted to get the toys out and play with my children — or let them play with the toys either. I didn't know what fun was. In fact, because of the way I was raised I didn't think anyone was supposed to have fun. All I knew was work.

I would tell my kids, "Get out of here and go play." Then when they went someplace to play, I went along behind them saying, "Pick up this mess! Get this room cleaned up right now! All you ever do around here is make more work for me!"

Yet I wondered why I wasn't happy. I couldn't understand why I was plagued by "evil forebodings." That went on until the Lord brought healing and deliverance into my life.


…a gentle and peaceful spirit…[is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

1 PETER 3:4

According to Peter, the kind of spirit God likes is a peaceful spirit that is not anxious or wrought up. To be wrought up is to be tense, tied in a knot, upset and disturbed. To be anxious is to be worried, disquieted, or distracted.

Why does the devil try to make us tense, get us tied up in knots, upset, disturbed, worried, disquieted, and distracted? He wants to keep us from focusing our attention on the good things God has given us. He wants to keep us from enjoying our relationship with the Lord and the abundant life Jesus died to provide for us.

As a result of the abuse I suffered growing up, I never used to enjoy anything about my life. Because of the way I was treated as a child, I never really got to be a kid, so I didn't know how to be childlike. To me everything was burdensome. Because I was so tense, worried, and wrought up, I blew everything way out of proportion. I made a big deal out of everything. I had to learn to relax, lighten up, and let things go. I had to learn that even if everything did not always work out exactly as I wanted it to, it would not be the end of the world.


This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

PSALM 118:24 KJV

Anxiety also means to take thought or being "…apprehensive, or worried about what may happen; concern about a possible future event."2 The Lord once told me, "Anxiety is caused by trying to mentally and emotionally get into things that are not here yet or things that have already been" — mentally leaving where you are and getting into an area of the past or the future.

Since the Lord gave me that definition I have been trying to learn to lighten up and enjoy life. That doesn't mean I go around acting like an airhead. The Bible says that we believers are to be sober-minded, vigilant, and cautious, on our guard against our enemy, the devil, who is out to devour us. (1 Peter 5:8.)

Many serious things are going on in this world, and we need to be aware of them and prepared for them. But at the same time we need to learn to relax and take things as they come without getting all nervous and upset about them.

We need to learn how to enjoy the good life God has provided for us through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. (See John 10:10.) In spite of all the troubling things going on around us in the world, our daily confession should be, "This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it."

Something we Christians need to do more of is laugh. We tend to be so heavy about everything — our sin, expecting perfection from ourselves, our growth in God, our prayer life, the gifts of the Spirit, and memorizing Bible verses. We carry around such heavy burdens.

If we would just laugh a little more — be of good cheer, "cheer up" — we would find that a little bit of laughter makes that load much lighter. In the world we live in there isn't a great deal to laugh about so we will need to do it on purpose. It is easy to find plenty to worry about. To be happy, we need to work on it a little. We need to laugh and have a good time.

One night my husband and I were in bed and started tickling each other. We were laughing and carrying on like two maniacs, giggling, laughing, tickling. My only problem is that every time I wrestle with Dave, he wins. I've tried ganging up on him with all our kids so that they will hold him down while I tickle him — just having a good time.

Some people are too starchy and religious to tickle anybody. They would rather lie in bed and say, "Hallelujah!" Some wives whose husbands aren't saved lie there praying in their husband's ear. Instead, they ought to roll over and tickle him. It's OK to lighten up!


Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!.…

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God's peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.


Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to God in everything — not after everything is over.

If we wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks, we won't have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way we develop spiritual maturity.

In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul writes:

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another.…

That means there are many stages we must go through in the course of our spiritual growth. We need to learn how to enjoy the glory we are experiencing at each level of our development. It is true we are not yet where we need to be, but, thank God, we are not where we used to be. We are somewhere in the middle, but we are making progress toward our goal — and we ought to be enjoying each stage.

Often young parents delay enjoying their child until he has reached a certain stage of growth. When he is an infant they say, "I'll be glad when he gets out of diapers or quits cutting teeth or learns to walk." Then they say, "I'll be glad when he's in kindergarten." Then it becomes, "I'll be glad when he starts school." Later they say, "I'll be glad when he graduates." On and on it goes until the child is grown and gone, and the parents have never really enjoyed any stage of his life. They were always waiting to be glad when.

We postpone being glad until everything is perfect — which we all know is never going to happen in this life. We need to learn to rejoice and be glad in the Lord this day and every day along the way toward our goal.

When I first started out in my ministry and was holding meetings with only about fifty people in attendance, I was constantly saying, "I'll be so glad when I have hundreds in my meetings." But I learned that none of that kind of thing brings happiness or joy because we always want more. I also discovered that every phase of development comes with its own set of problems.

Eventually I found the doorway to happiness. It is expressed in the words of the song to the Lord, "He has made me glad; He has made me glad; I will rejoice for He has made me glad."


On Sale
Nov 15, 2008
Page Count
208 pages

Joyce Meyer

About the Author

JOYCE MEYER is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. Her broadcast, Enjoying Everyday Life, airs daily on hundreds of television networks and radio stations worldwide. Joyce has written nearly 100 inspirational books. Bestsellers include God Is Not Mad at You; Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits; Living Beyond Your Feelings; Power Thoughts; Battlefield of the Mind; and The Confident Woman. Joyce holds conferences throughout the year, speaking to thousands around the world.

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