Kind Words for an Anxious Heart

Yael Eckstein  |  April 23, 2021

Yael with elderly woman in Ukraine

Anxiety weighs down the heart,
     but a kind word cheers it up.
— Proverbs 12:25

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

Like many people, when the coronavirus crisis first began, I started to worry. Would my family be okay? How would the economic consequences impact The Fellowship? What did the future hold? As I considered all these unknowns, my heart felt heavy and I didn’t feel like myself.

Then I realized that whatever the future held, worrying about it would only make things worse. I decided right then to do everything I could to keep my spirits up and stay hopeful — not just for my own sake, but also for the sake of all those depending on me.

One of my favorite Bible verses about overcoming worry says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” As I can attest, anxiety certainly does weigh down my heart. In fact, my entire being feels heavier when I worry. Once I am in that state, it’s hard to break through the anxiety. But as the verse also states, kind words for an anxious heart can bring me back to feeling myself again.

Kind Words for an Anxious Heart

The Jewish sages explained that there are several ways to understand how kind words can cheer an anxious heart. Firstly, we can turn to God’s Word. One sure way to cheer up is to read the Bible. Personally, I am always encouraged by reading the Psalms King David wrote to cheer up his own anxious heart.

Secondly, we can seek out a kind word from a friend by reaching out when we feel down. I am so thankful to God for giving me amazing family members and friends that I know I can count on to say kind words that help my anxious heart when I feel discouraged.

Finally, instead of speaking to another person when we feel anxious, we can always speak to God. The words we say with our mouth and the words we hear in our soul during prayer can provide us with everything we need to let go of our worries and return joy to our hearts.

It’s human nature to worry, and it’s unlikely that any of us will be able to prevent anxiety from ever penetrating our hearts. However, we don’t have to remain in an anxious state. God has given us multiple ways to leave worry behind, embrace faith, and live in His peace.

Your Turn:

Which verses from the Bible encourage you the most when you feel worried or anxious?

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