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Trust.(The Battle against Anxiety)

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Disclaimer: Before we enter into a conversation about anxiety, I want to first acknowledge a couple of things...
I am not an expert in this field. I have not studied a lot of the physiological matters regarding anxiety.
I have taken one 5 month class on counseling, one in which we tackled this subject, but nothing more than that.
I am fully aware of the potential circumstances that sit in this room.
Some of you have battled anxiety at varying degrees your whole life, or maybe are entering into a season of life where this has become a reality for you.
Maybe some of you have seen varying degrees of anxiety and might be questioning whether or not this is a reality for you… I pray this message gives a bit of insight!
There are differing levels or types of anxiety. Tonight, we will be dealing with just one of them.
Joe Carter is an associate pastor at McLean Bible Church in Arlington, VA.
He wrote an article that clearly describes four types of anxiety.
Anxiety being a God-given emotional response for our benefit
This is a biological warning system of impending danger. This is not the same as fear, for fear is alerting us that there is danger in the now.
This is to trigger a natural response for survival.
A disordered physiological response that is not sinful
This is formally known as clinical anxiety.
For some people, anxiety manifests as a physiological malfunction that has become both disordered and debilitating.
Common symptoms would be persistent anxiousness on most days of the weeks. This would be interfering with how you function daily.
We would claim that this is categorized as a medical condition.
This type of anxiety is not sinful.
a natural consequence of sin
This is caused by someone who is living in a particular sin and suffers from anxiety as a result of their sin.
EXAMPLE: someone cheats on their spouse and now they are anxious about their marriage falling a part; one gambles their money away and is anxious about how they will pay their bills.
In this case, this anxiety is a RESULT of sin.
sinful response to God’s providential care
This is anxiety that results because we lack trust in God.
God is a promise keeper, one who has promised to provide all that you need, to comfort you, and protect you. When we become anxious about tomorrow, lacking trust that God is who He says he is, and neglecting to not worry, we are choosing a sinful action and response.

Tonight, we are going to just discuss #4, the type of anxiety that is simply a sinful response to God.

Hear me when I say this, I am in no way degrading or lessening the others. Those are valuable and real conversations that are worthy of time.
However, anxiety that is a sinful response to our lack of faith is something we all confront, something that we all experience that hinders our genuine desire to walk with the Lord.
Separate this from the other three- listen to the truth and call to simply place your faith in the fact that God is sovereign, God will provide for you, and that He is for you!
Tonight, we will be answering three questions… What is anxiety? Why do we battle anxiety, particularly why might be be anxious concerning God’s promise to provide and protect? How do we respond to this anxiety?
Matthew 6:25–34 ESV
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is simply a state of mind in which there is a concern about someone or something.
When we are living life, as you go, our sinful nature insists that we evaluate what we need/want and we do the necessary to obtain that thing.
In that process, as believers and disciples of Jesus, we must recognize God’s promises to provide for us the very things we need...
Before we were saved, we were not recipients of God’s promises...
Ephesians 2:12 ESV
12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
We must remember God is in control of all things...
Ephesians 1:11 ESV
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
He will care for us and protect us.
Psalm 4:8 ESV
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 5:12 ESV
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
In everything, He will work it for our good!
Romans 8:28 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
He will supply every need.
Philippians 4:19 ESV
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
We will discuss this part in more detail later.

Why do we battle with anxiety?

I think it comes down to three different reasons as to why we might fall into a state of anxiety, concern, and worry...
(Warren Wiersbe)
We have no faith.
God has called us to live by faith.
Psalm 119:105 ESV
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
What is faith?
Hebrews 11:1 ESV
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
We must have faith by hoping and believing that what God says He will do will be done!
Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Our faith and trust will allow God to make our paths straight!
We are often hesitant to seek the Lord in faith out of fear that we will not get what we want or need.
If we are seeking Him and His word, trusting that all things work together for the good, then He will give us the desires of our heart!
James 1:6 ESV
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.
Let’s look back at our passage in Matthew 6
Matthew 6:26 ESV
26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
We are the only creatures in this world that depends on other things and not God.
He uses the birds and flowers to use this as an example!
We can go anywhere and get everything. If we are hungry, go to sonic. If we are cold, we turn the heater on. If we are hot, we find a fan.
If we want more popularity, we look for what culture deems as deserving of a worth applause.
We want to look prettier or fashionable? We look around and see what is trending.
We want to be accepted? We begin tolerating the things of this world.
But the birds and the lilies… They are solely dependent upon the Lord’s hand in creation.
Birds want to eat? The Lord is in charge of whether or not worms are available. They can’t go to a wormmart...
Lilies need to grow? Who controls the weather?
This is the faith and posture of dependency we are called to...
Another reason we might confront anxiety is because we fail to see God as our perfect and heavenly Father.
2. We do not see God as our perfect, heavenly Father.
Matthew 6:32 ESV
32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
He is our Father.
1 John 3:1 ESV
1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
We are His children.
He is perfect, lacking in nothing. Full of love, grace, mercy, and perfect/meaningful intentions.
Don’t you think He will provide everything you need to be satisfied and filled with purpose and fulfillment?
3. We do not place Him first in our lives.
Matthew 6:33 ESV
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
At the end of the day, our worry and anxiety concerning the things unseen will be aided by simply keeping our eyes on Jesus and His kingdom.
Colossians 3:1 ESV
1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
We must see Jesus for who He truly is...
King of Kings. Lord of all. Savior. God.

Where do we go with our anxiety?

The obvious answer, which is indeed correct, is Jesus.
But practically speaking, how do we go to Jesus?
Listen to what Paul says...
Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
An escape from anxiety is what we have mentioned before, to set your eyes on Jesus.
Whenever we began to worry, our first response should be to worship God, to see His greatness and Majesty.
Too often we rush into our convos with God and ask Him for everything with adoring Him.
It says in everything...
PRAY: This is a broader word that can mean all communication with God.
SUPPLICATION: Asking God to do something.
*Leave a lifeline
The idea in the passage in Matthew is that “we should not be anxious.”
The greek translation points do the idea of being drawn in different directions.
When we worry, we are pulled apart.
It’s time we trust in the Lord. It’s time we see Him as Father. Let’s set our eyes upon Him.
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