Panic Attacks, Anxiety and Fear
Updated: Aug 22, 2019
A panic attack is a sudden onslaught of fear that causes a fight or flight response in normal and ordinary situations.
Fear that is involved during a panic attack does not come from a place of logic. Modern psychology has done well to recognize that panic attacks are just that – attacks. If anyone has ever experienced the racing heartbeat, the inability to catch your breath, or the desire to run like the wind to escape this fearful moment, then it is not hard at all to convince that person that this is indeed an attack.
If a person is looking down the snout of an eight foot grizzly bear – the fear would produce the adrenaline necessary to run or fly away faster than Superman but when the attack comes because you are standing in a crowd of people, or walking down the aisle at the grocery store - what on earth do you do when your body is pumping enough adrenaline to outrun Big Foot? How can we overcome this?
I suffered from panic attacks for several years and believing the bible is our life handbook for every situation, I began to search the scriptures for wisdom and a strategy for victory.
As I began to study the bible, I realized that I was in good company... the Apostle Paul had attacks from the enemy that made him seek the Lord with all his heart.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Most Christians believe that this was a physical infirmity that Paul experienced but it sure spoke to me about my own battle with panic attacks and fear. A messenger of satan buffeting me... a thorn in the flesh that was impacting and hindering my life on every level... To me, Paul understood what I was going through!
I thought – aha! A messenger of satan? I have every authority over all the works of darkness! My mind recalled many episodes of spiritual warfare that I had previously been involved in and assumed, hmmm easy as 1,2,3... tell it to go! And wah lah.... it was still there. My problem was still there and seemed to be intensifying.
So I took the same path as Paul – I began to plead with the Lord that this attacking, merciless messenger of satan might depart from me. I got the same answer as Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”
Honestly, this might not be the answer everyone gets from the Lord about panic attacks... but it was the answer Paul got with his problem and it was the same answer I got about mine. I knew that God is always for us and He is never against us. So I began to seek the Lord again on how to come to a place of freedom from these tormenting attacks of fear.
I knew that God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) I also knew that perfect love casts out fear. (1 John 4:18) The only one who has perfect love is God and it was through His love and strength I would find victory.
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Here is what this scripture looks like in a practical sense:
Submitting to God –
1) salvation by the blood of Jesus
2) close any doors by repenting of works of darkness that would have opened the door to the spirit of fear: a) fearful games or haunted houses b) horror movies c) generational sins such as witchcraft, occultism, etc.
3) stand on God's promises such as:
Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
1 John 4:4 Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
Resisting the Devil – don't give in during the fearful attacks. Panic attacks cause a fight or flight response from the enemy. Every time you stand on the word of God and you don't give in to the attack, you are becoming stronger against it and it is becoming weaker.
Keep drawing nearer to God and He will keep drawing nearer you.
Although the bible doesn't say how long we must resist the enemy – it promises after we resist, the enemy will flee. That proved to be true for me. Panic attacks are fearful, but it is like a lion who paralyzes his victims with fear by its loud roar but come to find out it has no teeth. It is also like a dog on a chain. It can bark and growl – but it is on a leash and can't touch you. When we belong to the Lord nothing can touch us without going through our Savior. The enemy can't come through the blood of Jesus – but he sure can make a fearful noise.
The reason many people don't receive deliverance through commanding spirits to go with panic attacks is because it is a demonic attack on a person by assignment – it doesn't mean that a person is possessed by a spirit. So telling it to go doesn't always work because it only comes around long enough to wreak havoc and then it is gone again. We have all authority in Christ and no weapon formed against us will prosper but there is not anything in the word that says there will not be any battles.
Many Christians think screaming certain scripted words at the devil is the answer to every situation. Actually, every time I see a person screaming over and over at demonic spirits, I find someone who doesn't have any authority at all. Much like a parent running through Wal-mart screaming at their kids to behave. They have no authority. It is the Lord who gives the authority and through maturing in our walk with the Lord, we can be like Paul and know these situations are opportunities for the Lord to make the wisdom of men foolish so we will trust only in Him.
1 Corinthians 1:1-4 Paul said: I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
2 Corinthians 7:5 Also, for indeed, when we came to Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were troubled on every side. Outside were conflicts, inside were fears.
God allows us to be made weak so we can be vessels of HIS power and we won't put any confidence in our own flesh. It isn't up to us – it's up to HIM!
Thankfully, I've not had any panic attacks in almost ten years. I do understand the feeling of desperation that people have with these attacks. A lot of people choose to go to doctors or receive medication. I don't condemn anyone for trying to help themselves but it is unfortunate because the medication they give that blocks the panic attacks also blocks other emotions as well. Joy, happiness and excitement are not emotions you want to suppress and the medication can't suppress one without suppressing the other. If you have panic attacks and are on medication, please don't let it hinder you from seeking the Lord for His help – as you achieve victory, He will guide you to freedom in that situation.
For some, the panic attacks may stop instantly and for others it could take a period of time and standing on God's word. When I would feel the beginning of a panic attack, I would quote this scripture from Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
As I submitted to God's word and trusted in Him until the attack of fear passed – I began to see that the panic attacks were losing their power over me. They decreased in frequency and intensity until they diminished altogether. What I gained from that struggle would be very difficult to put into words.
These two scriptures “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” and “My grace is sufficient for you because My strength is made perfect in your weakness”... are scriptures I have lived through with my life experience and that is priceless!
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Psalm 27:3 Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
Psalm 34:4-7 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
Psalm 56:3-4 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
Psalm 56:13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?
Psalm 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation; Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Psalm 115:11 You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
Psalm 145:19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.
Psalm 118:5,6 I called on the Lord in distress; The Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Isaiah 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.'
Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.”
Isaiah 43:1,2 ...“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.
Isaiah 44:8 Do not fear, nor be afraid; Have I not told you from that time, and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.’”
Isaiah 51:7,8 “Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, You people in whose heart is My law: Do not fear the reproach of men, Nor be afraid of their insults.
Isaiah 54:4 Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame.
Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Lamentations 3:56,57 You have heard my voice: “Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help.” You drew near on the day I called on You, And said, “Do not fear!”
Zephaniah 3:16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:26-28 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Hebrews 13:5 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
This teaching is by Teresa Kelton. If you would like to invite any Daughters of Zion minister to speak at your church or home group - click on the invite us button above. If you need prayer, just click on the contact us button at the bottom of this website.