- Sermon Notes
God’s Grip Conquers Anxiety
May 2, 2021 (PM)
We are living in a day filled with anxiety & worry all around us. It is my prayer, that burdens of worry you may be carrying, will be lifted off your shoul-ders this evening as you apply the truth of the scriptures to this very common area of your life.
Like a thief, anxiety steals our joy –
The Apostle Paul comes to our rescue on this topic with a few simple words and a most challenging action for us.
I suppose many of you have heard the story about the woman who for years dreams about a burglar entering the house –
Anxiety has stolen us away from God’s grip for decades – Americans worry about all kinds of things, but Covid, politics, civil unrest, education and more has dominated the past year.
Yet old lifestyle risks still put a great % population in grave danger; 20% smoke, 15% do not wear seat belts & an estimated 45% text while driving –
2020 & 2021 have been a long span of time filled with stress and worry. If you are one of the folks who struggles with stress and worry, the Apostle Paul is speaking directly to you tonight.
Jesus said in Luke chapter 10, Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things…
Paul wrote this personal letter to the Philippians while in a Roman prison – about strength in Christ, particularly a call to rejoice in spite of suffering.
Don’t you think the environment he found himself in warranted stress? But listen to Paul as he speaks directly to us.
I. Be Anxious For Nothing
How many times are we surrounded by worriers, doubters, those stressed by virtually every topic?
Our world offers much to be stressed about?
The usual topics lead the way; economy, national security and unfortunately, untruthful leaders.
Closer to home are more common uncertainties; employment security, “the” virus and debate over the viability of an experimental vaccine.
Matthew 6:34; “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
My sister continues her battle with Lung Cancer – she’s winning at the moment – my dad’s 90 and was rushed to the hospital Friday morning.
Our Lord Jesus hasn’t changed has He? – – The Bible hasn’t changed?
Yet I believe there is more pressure on the church to help meet the needs of folks struggling with anxiety today. The bible’s answers haven’t changed!
I was always struck by the number of folks I encountered in the business world who didn’t like their jobs. Contentment simply wasn’t there.
Many of you know I am a volunteer Chaplain for Hillsboro Police and Fire…
A. Resting in God is available to all
Dr. Robert Leahey, one of the leading minds & authors in Cognitive Behavior Therapy, wrote – to-day’s high school student’s average anxiety is = the average Psych patient of the 1950’s…and the Covid years weren’t even known yet in his study.
Anxiety, Worry, whatever you want to call it risks choking out the faith of many Christians.
This poses a dilemma for Christians – A choice –
• Worry – allow it to fight against and consume the faith you have been building.
John 14:27; Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.
The peace of God passes all understanding – He’s given us access to peace – our choice to embrace it – walk in it!
B. Anxiety is never from the Lord
Ruth Graham Bell once said, “Worship and worry can’t live together in the same heart.”
Proverbs 12:25; Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
The monster of worry – our text of Philippians tack-les it – What are Common problems that face Christians –
1) Drifting off course
2) Division among the saints
4) Hard Heart or a Root of bitterness
II. Have The Mind of Christ
Do you hear Paul exhorting you in vs 6-9 in chapter 4; he has an exhortation tone…?
John 14:1; “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
• Don’t be consumed by stress of life….believe also in Me…
John 14:3; If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
• Eternity is here tonight for Christians all over the world – we don’t know the time or place – only that 100% of us have end of life in common.
“I will come again and receive you to myself…”
• The words of the Holy Spirit to you – Gentle and loving leader and friend…trust Me…….trust Me, hang on to Me.
• Many will trust Him for salvation – but the mo-ment stress comes into our lives we often can’t trust Him for our daily needs.
• These times we are living in, this culture, this state, this country, speaks to us more than ever before.
A. Our solutions remain in the scriptures
2 Timothy 3:16; All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
Isaiah 40:8; The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.
My story, many years in the business, different kinds of stress…the enemy wants us to believe these verses are naïve, that you can’t escape the enemy of anxiety.
These four verses are so powerful; they begin with the topic of anxiety and end with the peace of God…the middle is all about Prayer.
If you don’t live with an anchor of faith you will sink with anxiety…
B. Enemy weakens our faith with doubts
• ”Anxious” comes from 2 greek words;
• to divide
• the mind
• that’s what worry does, it divides our minds, makes us unstable
James 1:6-8; But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive any-thing from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
• If you are a worrier you know exactly what this is…how it affects you…but the solutions often seem impossible to you –
Paul says clearly. don’t worry – Look at what the Lord Himself has to say about worry-
Matthew 6:27-28; And who of you by being wor-ried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,
• How about we remind and encourage each other that His timing is not our timing, His ways not our ways.
Look at what Paul says to a young Timothy in –
2 Timothy 2:13; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
• Worry causes us to be immobilized, paralyzes our productivity – does absolutely nothing good for us – provides no faith progress.
Corrie ten Boom once said, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it only empty’s today of its strength.”
Paul leads us into the solution rather than allowing worry to divide our spirituality –
vs 6 – but (stop) – in everything by prayer and sup-plication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
• …in everything PRAY…invest that time in prayer.
Jesus cares about our cuts and bruises – Just like a loving dad who is attentive to his kids – nothing too small for his care – we can take all those things to our heavenly father.
Illustration – I love the counsel that occurs between my kids and myself.
I believe they always walk away from our discussion encouraged and I always walk away appreciating the role I have in their life.
C. There is power in prayer
Paul’s instructions on prayer:
Praise – willingness to surrender to Him – come to Him – thank Him…
Supplication – a strong crying out – what do I do Lord? This Deep request…
With Thanksgiving – most powerful, appreciate all He has done – do not lean on your own understanding – sometimes things are just too big for us – we can’t control it…
Requests made known to God – we need to come to a place to release them to God – and worry no more!
Psalm 6:2; Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away; Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed.
• Like salve to an open wound
• There is peace when Jesus is our savior – we are serving His kingdom – the peace of God in any circumstance – rest in His Will for our lives –
Attack of doubt creates emotions, how we feel often matters most to us, instead of having the peace of mind through Christ Jesus.
“Be anxious for nothing, but pray about every-thing…
God’s peace will do what your mind cannot at-tempt…it guards, it cleanses.
Isaiah 26:3; “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
Vs 8; then meditate (think) on these truths…fear of worry will bring them right back again – always chewing on the Word of God…
Proverbs 23:7; For as he thinks within himself, so he is –
• Our brains are powerful…
• What is your mind lingering on, mulling over, where is your attention?
• Maybe it’s not praiseworthy or honorable?
Vs 9; things learned…the God of peace be with you…ask yourself are you meditating on things that are good…God told Joshua to do this “day and night”.
• Be doers, not hearers…
Our National discourse is filled with conflict
• I encourage you to start your day any number of ways to be with the Lord.
I said in the introduction, grasping this teaching to-night will lift anxiety off your shoulders.
• As your faith in the Lord grows, you will experience less anxiety, less worry, more peace, more victory.
1 Samuel 7:1-10:7 NASB
7 And the men of Kiriath-jearim came and took the ark of the Lord and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and they [a]consecrated his son Eleazar to watch over the ark of the Lord. 2 From the day that the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, the [b]time was long, for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel [c]mourned after the Lord.
3 Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, then remove the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts to the Lord and serve Him alone; and He will save you from the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the sons of Israel removed the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served the Lord alone.
5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah and I will pray to the Lord for you.” 6 So they gathered to Mizpah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord, and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the sons of Israel at Mizpah.
7 Now when the Philistines heard that the sons of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the governors of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the sons of Israel heard about it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 So the sons of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines!” 9 Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord; and Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him. 10 Now Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, and the Philistines advanced to battle Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great [d]thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so that they were struck down before Israel. 11 And the men of Israel came out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and killed them as far as below Beth-car.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and placed it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it [e]Ebenezer, saying, “[f]So far the Lord has helped us.” 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore within the border of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and Israel [g]recovered their territory from the hand of the Philistines. So there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
15 Now Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. 16 And he used to go annually on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places. 17 Then he would make his return to Ramah, because his house was there, and there he also judged Israel; and there he built an altar to the Lord.
1 Now it came about, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3 His sons, however, did not walk in his ways but turned aside after dishonest gain, and they took bribes and perverted justice.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5 and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint us a king to judge us like all the nations.” 6 But the matter was [h]displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people regarding all that they say to you, because they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being King over them. 8 Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have abandoned Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you as well. 9 Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall warn them strongly and tell them of the [i]practice of the king who will reign over them.”
10 So Samuel spoke all the words of the Lord to the people who had asked him for a king. 11 And he said, “This will be the [j]practice of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and put them in his chariots for himself and among his horsemen, and they will run before his chariots. 12 He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to [k]do his plowing and to gather in his harvest, and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will also take your daughters and use them as perfumers, cooks, and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. 15 And he will take a tenth of your seed and your vineyards and give it to his high officials and his servants. 16 He will also take your male servants and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and [l]use them for his work. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18 Then you will cry out on that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you on that day.”
19 Yet the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like all the nations, and our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21 Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he [m]repeated them in the Lord’s hearing. 22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint a king for them.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go, every man to his city.”
1 Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite, a [n]valiant mighty man. 2 He had a son whose name was Saul, a young and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome man than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.
3 Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, had wandered off. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Now take with you one of the servants and arise, go search for the donkeys.” 4 So he passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjaminites, but they did not find them.
5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let’s return, or else my father will stop being concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious about us.” 6 But he said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor; everything that he says definitely comes true. Now let’s go there, perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out.” 7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But look, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sacks and there is no gift to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” 8 The servant answered Saul again and said, “Look, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way.” 9 (Previously in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let’s go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was previously called a seer.) 10 Then Saul said to his servant, “[o]Good idea; come, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.
11 As they went up the slope to the city, they found young women going out to draw water, and they said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12 They answered them and said, “He is; [p]see, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come into the city today, because the people have a sacrifice on the high place today. 13 As soon as you enter the city you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now then, go up, for you will find him about this time.” 14 So they went up to the city. As they came into the city, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place.
15 Now a day before Saul’s coming, the Lord had [q]revealed this to Samuel, saying, 16 “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him as ruler over My people Israel; and he will save My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have considered My people, because their outcry has come to Me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord [r]said to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.” 18 Then Saul approached Samuel at the gateway and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.” 19 And Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up ahead of me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you everything that is on your mind. 20 And as for your donkeys that wandered off three days ago, do not be concerned about them, for they have been found. And for whom is everything that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” 21 Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjaminite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the [s]tribe of Benjamin? Why then have you spoken to me in this way?”
22 Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall, and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men. 23 And Samuel said to the cook, “[t]Serve the portion that I gave you about which I said to you, ‘Set it [u]aside.’” 24 Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and placed it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved! Place it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, [v]since I said I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.
25 When they came down from the high place into the city, [w]Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof. 26 And they got up early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, so that I may send you on your way.” So Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27 As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Speak to the servant and have him go on ahead of us and pass by; but you stand here now, so that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”
1 Then Samuel took the flask of oil, poured it on [x]Saul’s head, kissed him, and said, “Has the Lord not anointed you as ruler over His inheritance? 2 When you leave me today, then you will find two men close to Rachel’s tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, ‘The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. Now behold, your father has stopped talking about the donkeys and is anxious about you, saying, “What am I to do about my son?”’ 3 Then you will go on further from there, and you will come as far as the [y]oak of Tabor, and there three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you: one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a jug of wine. 4 And they will [z]greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from their hand. 5 Afterward you will come to [aa]the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine, flute, and a lyre in front of them, and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be changed into a different man. 7 And it shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself what [ab]the occasion requires, because God is with you.