- Sermon Notes
Anxious For Nothing
I believe many of you will find this message liberating when you apply it to a very common area of your life…
One of our greatest struggles; anxiety, like a thief, anxiety steals joy & our confidence.
The Apostle Paul deals with worry and anxiety.
Anxiety steals for decades – Americans worry about all kinds of health things like water, filters, the air we breath, etc. – need only look at the many bottled water choices at retail…
YET 20% smoke, 20% do not wear seat belts,& an estimated 75% text while driving – we worry about perceived danger and ignore real…
2019 is upon us – I was thinking about this time of year and the unfortunate part of the Christmas and New Year season – many, some more than others – have STRESS & WORRY.
Psychology studies suggest that 64% of people say anxiety goes up this time of year; in part, 72% people travel between Thanksgiving & New Years…and travel raises stress.
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.
I.Be Anxious For Nothing
How many times are we surrounded by worriers, doubters, those stressed by virtually every topic?
Outwardly! Our world offers much to be stressed about doesn’t it?
What are some of these Global things:
•Value of the dollar
•Untruthful leaders on both sides –
Closer to home & more common uncertainties like a difficult employment or no employment, sickness, diseases, college bills.
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 is battling Lung Cancer, my dad’s health fragile at best…
The Bible hasn’t changed? – – Our Lord Jesus hasn’t changed has He? – – yet I believe there is more pressure on the church to know more about counseling Anxiety today.The bible’s answers haven’t changed!
I’ve worked with many folks in the business world who go to work on Monday & can’t wait until Friday?Anxiety!
As a Fire Department Chaplain, I learned that my radio’s call for a CODE 99 – a Cardiac Arrest – was often 1st thing in the morning, mostly men, when they were getting ready for work…
A.God’s peace available to all
Dr. Robert Leahey, one of the leading minds & authors in Cognitive Behavior Therapy…
•Income or lack of…
•Social Security System
Anxiety, Worry, whatever you want to call it risks choking out the faith of many Christians.
This poses a dilemma for the average Christian – A choice – Worry – allow it to fight against and disintegrate the faith you have been building up?
Outwardly there is much to be stressed about in all these areas of life…
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.
Inwardly the peace of God passes all understanding – He’s given us access to peace – we must chose to embrace it!
B. Anxiety is not 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.
Text of Philippians tackles this Monster of Worry – Common problems that face Christians –
1)Drifting off course
2)Division among the saints
4)Hard Heart/Root of bitterness
I.Have The Mind of Christ
Do you hear Paul exhorting 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 – I will come again and receive you to myself…
•Gentle and loving leader and friend…trust Me…the words of the Holy Spirit to you….trust Me, hang on to Me.
•We trust Him for our salvation, our eternal souls, etc. – but the moment stress comes into our lives we often can’t trust for daily needs.
•The time we live in today, this culture, this country, this speaks to us more than ever.
A.The scriptures unlock our solutions
•We see the Solution from Paul in our text–
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.
•A Warning – natural man says that’s too easy…working world, haven’t walked in my shoes, etc. Dismiss that thought today…
Word of God is between you and your heart – mystory, many years in the business, one stress after another,..don’t listen to the enemy that these verses are naïve, that you can’t fight this.
See the big picture in our text; it begins with anxiety and ends 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. Doubts weaken our faith
•Very things wrestling with you can be overcome…”Anxious” comes from 2 greek words;1) to divide 2) the mind – that’s what worry does, divides us, 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 anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
•Anxiety divides our mind, our loyalties, it confuses us, overwhelms us, consumes us…
•If you are a worrier you know exactly what this is…how it affects you…but the solutions seem impossible to you –
Paul says clearly don’t worry about a single thing
Look at what the Lord Himself has to say about worry-
Matthew 6:27,28; And who of you by being worried 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,
•We simply fail to trust Him because His ways are not our ways, His timing is not our timing.
•Worry divides our identify – who we are in Christ. We are children of the living God…
Look at what Paul says to a young Timothy in –
2 Tim 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 progress for our faith.
•And the Lord Jesus through His apostle Paul tells us to stop, do not do it!
Corrie ten Boom; once said, “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it only empty’s today of its strength”
Worry will divide our spirituality – don’t worry says Paul – and he leads us into the solution –
vs 6 – but – in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
•Seek His favor…in everything PRAY…invest that time in praying…
Jesus – Just like a Loving dad who is attentive to his kids…
Illustration – my kids…
C.Embrace the power of prayer
Paul mentions 4 types of prayer here:
Praise – willingness to surrender to Him – come to Him
Supplication – strong crying out – what do I do?Deep request…
With Thanksgiving – most powerful, appreciate all He has done, be thankful during anxious thoughts – ask Him for what He wants to teach you – 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 –
Psalm 6:2; Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am pining away; Heal me, O Lord, for my bones are dismayed.
vs 7; and the peace of God…Stay there: Stop, Seek, Pray…
•Like salve to an open wound
•There is peace when Jesus is our savior – we are serving His kingdom – peace of God in any circumstance – rest in His Will for our lives – Paul is bringing us back to the truth, the peace “will” guard your hearts…and your minds…
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 everything…
God’s peace will do what your mind cannot attempt…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 –
Illustration – Daily in our country we see an average of 2000 advertisements…
Prov 23:7; For as he thinks within himself, so he is –
•Our brains are powerful…
•What is your mind lingering on, mulling over, what has your attention?
•Maybe it’s not praiseworthy, noble, 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…
2019 – I encourage you first thing in the morning to open Word of God – get a verse of the day App to review during the day.
•God’s love letters to you…
How can we be so anxious when our faith is strong in the Lord?
85% of things we worry about never happen and the balance doesn’t happen the way we worry.
Philippians 4:6-9 NASB