3 Reminders from Scripture for When Life Feels Out of Control

When the pressures of life are overwhelming you, God’s Word offers unshakeable peace

Sometimes, life feels like a whirlwind parade of one bad thing after another.

Your car breaks down. Your basement floods. Your child starts struggling in school. Your flight to visit family in a different state gets canceled. You can’t seem to find a way to plug into your church, leaving you feeling lonely and discouraged. Your best friend receives a life-altering diagnosis.

You might relate to some of these struggles—or you might have a completely different set of challenges. But when life gets overwhelming, it can be difficult to slow down and remember that God is with you.

If you feel like your life is spinning out of control, here are three encouraging reminders to help you experience God’s peace amid the chaos.

Life might feel out of control, but God holds ultimate authority.

As we go about our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to believe that we’re in control of most things. We decide when we wake up in the morning. We decide what we eat, what we wear, and how we spend our time. We select a career path, a spouse, a place to live. But then comes the unexpected car accident; the cancer diagnosis; the child who wanders away from the faith. Moments like these remind us that what Scripture teaches us is true.

The Bible tells us that our lives are like a puff of wind or passing shadow (Psalm 144:4 GNT). While we can make decisions and are called by God to live in accordance with his Word, we can’t direct the outcome of our lives.

This all might sound like bad news. But Scripture also reveals that it is God who holds ultimate authority over everything. His power is eternal (Psalm 90:2 GNT). And as a loving and kind God, his plans are good for everyone who trusts in him (Jeremiah 29:11 GNT). This truth is one of the Bible’s greatest comforts in times when you feel overwhelmed or discouraged. No matter what situation you face, you can trust that your heavenly Father is in control.

Though every living creature tremble
and the earth itself be shaken,
I will keep its foundations firm.

Psalm 75:3 GNT

When we feel overwhelmed, God’s Word offers refuge.

When our lives feel out of control, it can be hard to find a way to anchor ourselves in what is true. We might start to question whether God hears our prayers or whether he cares about our struggles. We could experience emotions like anger, anxiety, depression, or loneliness.

In these turbulent times, God’s Word is a refuge for our hearts. In Scripture, we find a treasure trove of truth that can calm our hearts. We can soothe anxiety and fear with psalms that reflect our own situation and emotions. We can find countless reminders of God’s promises to us in the Old and New Testaments. And can we revisit stories that encourage us to trust the same God who delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, saved Daniel from the pit of lions, and raised Lazarus from the dead. Ultimately, God’s Word is a shelter in times of uncertainty because it points us back to the God who is in control.

This God—how perfect are his deeds!
How dependable his words!
He is like a shield
for all who seek his protection.

Psalm 18:30 GNT

The Bible helps us shift our focus from life’s problems to God’s goodness.

No matter what season of life you’re in today, you face problems that can overwhelm you. Even the smallest struggles and inconveniences can seem enormous if we continue to focus on what is wrong with our lives—the list is far too long! Instead, Scripture helps us shift our focus from life’s problems to God’s goodness.

The Bible doesn’t shy away from describing the troubles we face in our broken world. Scripture passages like Psalm 22 and Psalm 31 contain long lists of sorrows—deep grief, physical pain and danger, friends who forsake us, enemies who plot against us, and even a feeling of God’s abandonment. But these passages—like many of the psalms of lament—end with reflection on God’s goodness and love.

You can copy the psalmist’s pattern by looking at the ways your life feels out of control, and then turning to God’s Word to seek the truth of God’s goodness to you. The more you abide in God’s Word, the more you’ll find yourself bringing your worries and struggles to him. And as you turn to him, you’ll find daily comfort in the God who controls all things!

The LORD is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him.

Nahum 1:7 GNT

Two Ways to Pray

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed today, take a moment and pray through a psalm of lament. Use the words to share your own doubts, fears, and sorrows with the God who loves you deeply and promises to rescue you! Some psalms to use include: Psalm 3, Psalm 4, Psalm 13, Psalm 22, Psalm 31, and Psalm 77.
  • Think of someone in your life who is walking through a difficult season, and who might be feeling overwhelmed and alone. Pray for that person by name. Ask God to draw near and remind them that he is in control. Consider reaching out to them and sharing a psalm or other passage of Scripture that encouraged you when you felt overwhelmed.

We hope your heart was encouraged by these reminders of God’s care for you! To continue exploring God’s Word, check out these other blogs:

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