Book Review: Anxious for Nothing

Anxious for Nothing by Max Lucado is an excellent read for anyone who is dealing with anxiety or who will deal with anxiety or who knows someone wrestling with anxiety (so everyone). In his gentle and pastoral way, Lucado points straight to the truth and comfort of Scripture to encourage people to find their hope and peace in the Lord. I’m grateful for this book for a number of reasons, but most specifically because of the amount of Scripture that Lucado used that I can now easily reference to encourage others.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • Anxiety is a meteor shower of what-ifs. Location: 385
  • Anxiety and fear are cousins but not twins. Fear sees a threat. Anxiety imagines one. Location: 391
  • The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. Location: 458
  • The Bible is Kindle’s most highlighted book. And Philippians 4:6–7 is the most highlighted passage. Location: 492
  • Anxiety is not a sin; it is an emotion. (So don’t be anxious about feeling anxious.) Location: 501
  • This verse (Phil 4:4) is a call, not to a feeling, but to a decision and a deeply rooted confidence that God exists, that he is in control, and that he is good. Location: 573
  • Belief always precedes behavior. Location: 584
  • In the treatment of anxiety, a proper understanding of sovereignty is huge. Anxiety is often the consequence of perceived chaos. If we sense we are victims of unseen, turbulent, random forces, we are troubled. Location: 590
  • Stabilize your soul with the sovereignty of God. He reigns supreme over every detail of the universe. 
    • “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD” (Prov. 21:30 NIV). 
    • “[God] does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?’” (Dan. 4:35 NIV). 
    • He “sustains all things” (Heb. 1:3 NRSV). 
    • He can “whistle for the fly that is in the farthest part of the rivers of Egypt” (Isa. 7:18). Location: 631
  • “Who can act against you without the Lord’s permission? It is the Lord who helps one and harms another” (Lam. 3:37–38 TLB). Location: 636
  • Your anxiety decreases as your understanding of your father increases. Location: 683
  • We have a choice. We can wear our hurt or wear our hope. We can outfit ourselves in our misfortune, or we can clothe ourselves in God’s providence. We can cave in to the pandemonium of life, or we can lean into the perfect plan of God. And we can believe this promise: “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 NIV). Location: 1,029
  • The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control.” Location: 1,126
  • Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret. Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands. “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Ps. 118:6 NIV). Location: 1,144
  • I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Phil. 4:11–13 NIV) Location: 1,397
  • Contingent contentment turns us into wounded, worried people. Location: 1,418
  • What you have in Christ is greater than anything you don’t have in life. Location: 1,440
  • “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 NIV). Location: 1,470
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:4–8) Location: 1,938
  • I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. (Ps. 121:1–2) Location: 1,958
  • When anxiety knocks on the door, say, “Jesus, would you mind answering that?” Reduce your request to one statement. Imitate Jesus, who taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matt. 6:11). Engage in specific prayer. And engage in promise-based prayer. Stand on the firm foundation of God’s covenant. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (Heb. 4:16 NIV). Location: 1,985

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