- 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 Chris-tians –
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 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,
• 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.
Philippians 4:6-9 NASB
6 Do not [a]be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all [b]comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is [c]lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.