A Small Book for the Anxious Heart: Meditations on Fear, Worry, and Trust

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Fear and anxiety are chronic struggles for many people that are only intensifying and increasing. Best-selling author Edward T. Welch shares the comfort and peace of Jesus in fifty brief readings for those who wrestle with fear.

A Small Book for the Anxious Heart is a small but powerful devotional to remind men and women of the encouraging, beautiful words in Scripture to anxious people.

While many books on fear and anxiety exist—promising to help men and women manage their struggles with methods and formulas—this devotional reaches deeper into Scripture, making the Word of God more accessible. Don’t put a Band-Aid on your fear and anxiety; rather, learn to bring your fear to Jesus, relying on his Word.

Welch has been counseling for over thirty-eight years and is the author of more than a dozen books, including A Small Book about a Big ProblemRunning Scared: Fear, Worry and the God of RestShame InterruptedWhen People Are Big and God Is Small, and many others.

Jesus cares for us, and in these readings, Welch invites readers to trust him for today, knowing he goes before us always.


Edward T. Welch, MDiv, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a PhD in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His biblical counseling books include Shame Interrupted; When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety; Side by Side: Walking with Others in Wisdom and Love; and A Small Book about a Big Problem: Meditations on Anger, Patience, and Peace.


For those of us who often find ourselves simmering in anxious thoughts, we need something more than being told not to worry. We need something else, something better, to fill and shape our thoughts and feelings. Each short entry in this little book provides a dose of Scriptural truth to keep nudging us toward peace and rest in Christ.”
Nancy Guthrie, Author and Bible teacher

“Packed into A Small Book for the Anxious Heart is deep wisdom to help us with a persistent misery—the anxiety that robs us of freedom. And here is why I respect the counsel Ed Welch offers. It isn’t about handy tips for our own crisis management, but the moment-by-moment nearness of the Lord himself.”
Ray Ortlund, Pastor, Immanuel Church, Nashville

“Anxiety is a deep struggle that is rarely removed in one fell swoop. Instead, it requires a steady flow of Scripture to quell its tendency to consume our lives. A Small Book for the Anxious Heart provides readers with a sustaining stream of hope from the Bible.”
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director, Biblical Counseling Coalition

“When anxious, we need gallons of biblical wisdom for our muddled thoughts. But we are exhausted and can muster little emotional energy for books deep enough to help. Ed offers page-and-a-half chapters, thimblefuls of truth we can manage that soothe and steady.”
Steve Estes, Pastor, Brick Lane Community Church; coauthor of When God Weep

“Anxiety, hassle, worry, stress, and bouts of panic are all rogues that harass us as we roam this broken world. Ed Welch gets the problem and knows we need fresh faith for each day’s burdens. A Small Book for the Anxious Heart is offered as an essential weapon in the fight for faith, peace, and joy.”
Dave Harvey, Pastor; blogger; teacher; author of I Still Do! Growing Closer and Stronger through Life’s Defining Moments

“In fifty days of meditations, Dr. Welch pens short, pointed, and crystalline reflections that take hearts captive to fear and frees them to faith in Christ.”
Alfred Poirier, Visiting professor at Westminster Theological Seminary; author of The Peacemaking Pastor

“With clear, intimate writing, this small book addresses burdens carried by so many of us. On each page, truth and love are blended so that real life is the arena and the real God is the center. If we anxious ones will open its pages, we will again find God drawing wondrously near to us.”
Andrew Nicholls, Director of Pastoral Care, Oak Hill College, London; coauthor of Real Change: Becoming More Like Jesus in Everyday Life

“If you struggle with worry and fear, digest these bite-size chunks each day for fifty days, and I promise that your love for Christ will grow. Ed Welch’s A Small Book for the Anxious Heart is a goldmine of biblical truths for the worried soul.”
Deepak Reju, Pastor of Biblical Counseling and Family Ministry, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, DC; author of On Guard and She’s Got the Wrong Guy

“Popular anxiety treatments are generally designed for the isolated individual. Ed refuses to concede isolation as the given, and helps us find God and others nearby when we are afraid. So we get to join him in finding today’s manna, living in today rather than tomorrow, and finding refuge from all that is so understandably scary.”
Michael Gembola, Executive Director, Blue Ridge Christian Counseling

“This is exactly what my anxious heart needed: briefly explained, surgically precise, and accurately applied Scripture to the very site of each metastasis and malignant cause of anxiety, fear, and worry within me. Repentance and renewed faith flourished within me as I savored every line of this welcome tool of grace.”
Joseph Vincent Novenson, Pastor, Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, TN

Additional Details

0.45 LBS
4.30 (in)
6.30 (in)
0.60 (in)
Edward T. Welch
Publication Date:
Page Count:
A Small Book
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9 Reviews

  • 3
    A little book of reflections for those struggling with worries and anxieties

    Published by Wendy on 12 01 2019

    It’s a way for someone facing worries and challenges to come before God regularly for a period of time to consider the promises of God and what it means to work through anxieties and cast our worries on the Lord. As habits are formed by daily repetition, this could help someone to daily stop and consider God’s place in their anxieties. However, this is probably not a book for someone with chronic anxiety, at least not on their own. Each short chapter is 2-3 pages, and so it’s a primer for hearts that worry. It will start to address the issues you face, and where your heart is in it, but it won’t be extensive. Some chapters are to prompt further thought, some are explicit biblical teaching, and some are challenges to your own behaviour. There was no clear order, it meanders through topics and seems to double back to things. Yet this works for many. I strongly prefer a clear structure, but not everyone does. And with the format used, it needs to and does have continual grace, teaching and challenge scattered throughout.

  • 4
    Guidebook for Anxiety

    Published by Bethany on 11 18 2019

    Anxiety is a common issue in our fallen world. Most of us have at least experienced this emotion at one point or another, or maybe even struggle with chronic anxiety. A Small Book for the Anxious Heart by: Edward T. Welch is the perfect companion when you are having one of those rough days. This devotional is broken up into fifty days with 2-3 pages to read per day. After the devotion, there are three reflection questions to go along with the reading. I liked that the readings were short and manageable. A shorter reading is much more meaningful when you are havng a busy day or are. I also enjoyed how much this book was based on scripture and incorporated scripture into every daily reading. There are so many books on anxiety out there, but they do not always put enough focus on the Source of alleviating anxiety, our Lord, and His word. Some of my favorite quotes were: “ ‘I am with you’ is the gift to anxious people. Our worries usually imply that we need someone – the right protector, the right fixer – who is close and is for us. Only those who know Jesus actually have that someone.” “Imagine saying, ‘Enough. Quiet. No further.’ You would need a strategy. ‘Stop’ could be accompanied by faith expressed by praying, breathing slower, cleaning, exercising, calling a friend, or simply focusing on the person in front of you. If panic attacks are the culprits, you could take a stand against a shrinking world that avoids more and more of life. Your trust in Christ could mean going to church, driving a car with a friend who accompanies you, and finding other ways to expand your boundaries. Jesus makes your world bigger.” “The Lord will give us all the grace we need for today. Tomorrow he will give us the grace we need for tomorrow. When you try to think about tomorrow without having yet received power for tomorrow, you will be anxious. “ If anxiety is a struggle for you, or if you know someone who is battling anxiety, this is a helpful little guide to pick up. Even if anxiety is not a daily challenge for you, we all feel anxious at times, and this would be a good resource to pick up (along with your Bible) during those tense times.

  • 3
    Mixed feelings about this book

    Published by Joan Nienhuis on 11 17 2019

    I have very mixed feelings about this book. As I read through it, I was disappointed in the depth of the first part. It seemed shallow. As I read on, the book did get deeper but I ended up with mixed feelings about it. Welch finally coupled fear and faith on Day 16. That just seemed way too far into the book for me. He got to the importance of prayer on Day 20. Again, way too far into the book for me. He cemented fear and faith in Day 40. Finally. Welch must be writing for very new Christians or ones not familiar with the Bible. He has a meditation on confession, for example, that seems to be for those who don't know we are commanded to confess our sins nor know the benefits of doing so. I am a little concerned about the accuracy of the writing. For example, Welch writes, “Anything of values comes through perseverance.” (Loc 195/1710) (Italics in the original.) My goodness. What about grace, mercy, the free gift of salvation? Welch is encouraging, but should also be correct! He updates Psalm 23 “in a way David would certainly have approved.” (Loc 237/1710) Welch knows what David would think about the update? And how about this? “For now, know that there are good reasons to worry.” (Loc 340/1710) I thought for sure Jesus told us not to worry, that there were no good reasons to worry for our heavenly Father takes care of us. (Matt.6:25ff) Welch writes often from a human viewpoint. For example, fears and anxiety are not necessarily sinful nor a result of sin, he writes. “Fears and anxieties reveal that you are a finite human who can control very little.” (Loc 506/1710) I would rather he said fears and anxieties indicate you do not believe God cares for you nor that God is sovereign. I found it interesting Welch again mentioned fears are not necessarily a result of sin but then has a meditation on the relationship of fears and hidden sin. (Loc 659/1710, 1044/1710) In that later meditation, he directly relates anxiety to hiding sin. (Loc 1044/1710) Welch is very compassionate in his writing, almost to the point of glossing over sin. We have plans and dreams, he writes, but we might “forget” that “[the] Father is in control.” (Loc 677/1710) He then encourages us to trust the Father and rest in Him. I was a little shocked at Welch's experience with prayer. He writes that he has spent 30 years on shortening the time between the appearance of anxiety and the onset of prayer, generally getting it down to an hour. (Loc 717/1710) When he prays, the peace of Christ does begin to rule in his heart and mind but it “still takes him by surprise.” (Loc 717/1710) That just made me shake my head. Later he writes about prayer, “confessing my own weaknesses...still feels unnatural.” (Loc 738/1710) This, even though later he writes of the necessity of being transparent before God. (Loc 1059/1710) Perhaps Welch's book structure mirrors the work of dealing with anxiety. He starts off very slowly but eventually gets to ways of dealing with anxiety like confession, prayer, believing God is greater, living in the present, believing God will take care of needs, etc. But then, on Day 40, he writes, “In this world, getting rid of all your worries is not an option.” And, “The absence of all fear...awaits the age to come.” (Loc 1361/1710, 1388/1710) So I am not sure what the purpose of this book is. It puzzles me. Perhaps Welch wants readers to expect to always have fear and anxiety to battle and turn over to the Lord. I'd rather live in victory, truly believing God is sovereign and is working all things to my ultimate good. I can rest there with no fear nor anxiety. I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  • 4
    Meditations to help with anxiety, fear and worry

    Published by Jill Potts Jones on 11 11 2019

    People struggling with anxiety need to learn how to deal with their fear and worry and place their trust in God. Being told not to worry doesn't help. In "A Small Book For the Anxious Heart", Edward T. Welch shares scriptural truth teaching us how to put our trust where it belongs and to put worry and fear aside.  Although the book is written as a 50-day journey, Welch, in his introduction, recommends reading the meditation one day and meditating and journaling the next.  Welch teaches readers to replace anxious thoughts with encouraging Bible verses.  Anxiety can't be dealt with overnight, but for those who put an effort into these meditations, they can be well on their way to a relatively anxiety-free life. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Growth Press through Audra Jennings PR. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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