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Anxiety

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Introduction

Good morning! This morning I want to talk on a subject that I think many if not most of us will be able to identify with. And of all things, Amazon kind of gives us some insight into this topic!

Introduction

In 2007 Amazon released their first e-reader called the Amazon Kindle
5.5 hours after the release it sold out, it was a big hit!
does anybody here have a kindle?
I don’t know if any of you own a kindle or not, but there is this one feature that I love about kindle books
Feature I love: Popular highlights
Feature I love: Popular highlights
Since its release Amazon has kept a database of all the highlights in the ebooks they sell
Since its release Amazon has kept a database of all the highlights in the ebooks they sell
There was an article written in 2014 about kindle highlights
The Bible is the most highlighted book of all time
Within the Bible there was one verse that was highlighted more than anything else that gives us insight into the culture
The Bible is the most highlighted book of all time.
The Bible is the most highlighted book of all time.
What do you think is the most highlighted passage in the Bible?
You might think , or
The most highlighted passage in the Bible is , (Read)
Kindle released in 2007
It sold out in 5 1/2 hours
According to statistics, 40 million adults in the U.S. alone are affected with some sort of anxiety
So many people are looking for peace!
So I want to look at this passage in Philippians and there are a few things that I want to point out to us, because I think that Paul gives us an important key to dealing with anxiety and worry in our lives.
So turn with me to , (Pray)

Clarify

Read ,
Clarify:
Anxiety is such a broad topic, and there are so many different kinds and causes…I’m not speaking to conditions caused by chemical imbalances that may require medication or things like that.
Im talking about anxieties and worries we face as a result of the uncertainties or circumstances in our life.
I’m not speaking to conditions caused by chemical imbalances that may require medication or things like that.
But the reality is that most of our anxieties are circumstantial, or are born of uncertainty.
I’m speaking to the kind of worry and anxiety that are caused by circumstances in our lives that begin to control us.
Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common type of anxiety.

3 Points

Be Anxious for Nothing
Our English word “anxiety” is derived from a Latin word meaning “to choke, or strangle”
He is setting this precedent that:
there is no circumstance/situation in your life that should choke out the peace of God
the peace of God is relevant and can be applied to any situation
Before we even go further in this passage, you have to realize that the cause of your worry or anxiety is not bigger than the peace that God offers!
In theory we believe that, but when we are in the middle of stuff…it just seems so big!
Quarter analogy
there is no circumstance/situation in your life that should choke out the peace of God in your life
You can’t say “well you just don’t know what I’m going through” or “its just too complicated”
Our English word “anxiety” is derived from a Latin word meaning “to choke, or strangle”
the peace of God is relevant and can be applied to any situation
If there is someone who can say this, it’s the apostle Paul
Philippians was simply a letter written to a group of people in Philippi, with the main theme being a letter of encouragement.
Here’s why this is important:
The man (Paul) who is writing this encouraging letter, was in prison at the time he wrote it.
possibility of an execution looming over his head
He was well acquainted with hardships and trials
This is the man who wrote this in
2 Corinthians 11:24–27 ESV
Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
He knew the feeling of uncertainty of future, or sleeplessness, of hunger, of the constant threat of being beaten....in constant danger
If anyone had the excuse to live in anxiety and worry, it was Paul, but it is this man who is writing a letter of encouragement to the Philippians saying, “do not be anxious about anything”
And it’s not just Paul saying this, but it is God speaking through a human vessel a message to us, saying “there is nothing in this life that should choke out the peace of God from your hearts!”
There is no problem or situation too big that my peace can’t cover!!!
Pray about everything
Why does Paul say that we should not be anxious about anything? Because we can bring everything to God in prayer!
God should be the first place you go when worry and anxiety try to take over
before your therapist, before your friends, before your family, before anything!
Article said to exercise, avoid alcohol and drugs, eat healthy, share your experience with someone, try and put things into perspective, etc...
All of that is important....but none of that will give you the peace that only God can give
before your therapist, before your friends, before your family, before anything!
I recently heard a preacher put it this way, “people can give you comfort, but only God can give you peace!”
You are not going to find peace in a method, program, person, item ,etc...
You can pray about anything and everything in your life, and it is not too big or too small for God!
I’ve heard it put this way: ‘There is nothing too great for God’s power; and nothing too small for his fatherly care.’
I’m not saying that these things aren’t important…they are…but none of them will give you the peace that only God can give
The reason we are commanded not to be anxious about anything is because we can pray about everything! Sum Up Points (Be anxious for nothing, pray about everything)
I recently heard a preacher put it this way, “people can give you comfort, but only God can give you peace!”
This leads into the third point and what I believe is the key to unlocking the peace of God in our hearts!
I think that this is something that many times we can fall short of, and in doing so, we miss out on the peace of God in our lives!
Listen to this: we can come to God in prayer about anything and everything....but not every prayer is going to cause us to walk away from the presence of God with a peace in our hearts!
It’s easy to stop at the first 2 points:
“with thanksgiving”
Pray with Thanksgiving
Many of our worries and anxieties are rooted in a lack of trust in God!
We don’t like to hear that because we think we trust God
There is a difference between saying God is in control, and really trusting Him.
We believe in the concept of God being in control, but do we really trust Him?
Thanksgiving is an exercise of trust, and trust is the breeding ground for peace!
How is thanksgiving an exercise of trust?
I love the way that Miriam Webster Dictionary defines thankful:
Thankful: “to be conscious of a benefit received”
It means you are reminding yourself of the faithfulness and promises of God in the midst of your trials
What are the benefits you have received? What are the promises that you have been given that you can be thankful for?
Paul is giving us insight in how we are to pray! You bring your requests, but you bring it with thanksgiving, in doing this we exercise trust in the faithfulness and promises of God!
Example of what this might look like
Health problems, life is falling apart, but you work all things together for good
I’m afraid of relationships because I’ve been betrayed, or hurt, help me with this…but I thank you that you promised you will never leave or forsake me, and my identity and worth is ultimately found in you!
God my future is really shaky and uncertain, but I thank you that you see the bigger picture and have everything under control, and you know what you’re doing!
All of a sudden when our requests are met with thanksgiving, our prayers are taken to a whole new level because with our thanksgiving we are exercising trust!
This point of thanksgiving is helpful because it brings it down to earth. it gives us something practical and tangible that we can do!
Its so easy to miss this part
Unhelpful advice:
“just don’t worry” (now I’m worried that I won’t be able to stop worrying)
What happens when we try to stop thinking of something?
We are not just ridding ourselves of something, we are replacing
many of our worries and anxieties are rooted in a lack of trust in God!
The goal is not to rid yourself of anxiety or worry, it has to be replaced with trust!
“You just have to pray more” and you think, “I already pray about everything”
Listen to this: we can come to God in prayer about anything and everything....but not every prayer is going to cause us to walk away from the presence of God with a peace in our hearts!
“just don’t worry” (now I’m worried that I won’t be able to stop worrying)
We can come to God in prayer about anything and everything....but listen to this : not every prayer is going to cause us to walk away from the presence of God with a peace in our hearts!
What happens when we try to stop thinking of something?
We are not just ridding ourselves of something, we are replacing
Did you know you can spend time in prayer and take your burdens to God, and then walk away still not trusting, still holding on to your worries?
many of our worries and anxieties are rooted in a lack of trust in God!
The goal is not to rid yourself of anxiety or worry, it has to be replaced with trust!
maybe praying “more” is not the answer…take it a step further!
Then some people skip over the thanksgiving part and go straight to the trust part
“you just have to trust God” and you think “well how do I do that?”
its this abstract concept or principle that I don’t know how to apply to my life
How do I exercise trust? Because at the end of the day many of our worries and anxieties are rooted in a lack of trust in God!
Thanksgiving is an exercise of trust, and trust is the breeding ground for peace!
The Promise (read vs 7)
How is thanksgiving an exercise of trust?
I love the way that Miriam Webster Dictionary defines thankful:
Thankful: “to be conscious of a benefit received”
Thankful: “to be conscious of a benefit received”
It means you are reminding yourself of the faithfulness and promises of God?
What are the benefits you have received? What are the promises that you have been given that you can be thankful for?
Health problems, life is falling apart, but you work all things together for good
Salvation
Forgiveness
I’m afraid of relationships because I’ve been betrayed, or hurt, help me with this…but I thank you that you promised you will never leave or forsake me, and my identity and worth is ultimately found in you!
Freedom
God my future is really shaky and uncertain, but I thank you that you see the bigger picture and have everything under control, and you know what you’re doing!
A
All of a sudden when our requests and met with thanksgiving, our prayers are taken to a whole new level!
The Promise
“That does not mean that the peace of God is such a mystery that the human mind cannot understand it, although this also is true. It means that the peace of God is so precious that the human mind, with all its skill and all its knowledge, can never produce it.” - Commentator
This peace that we have been seeking so hard for in our life, and tried and tried to produce, is found in God alone!
And it is available to us!!!

Advice that’s well meaning, but not Helpful

The goal is not to rid, but to replace

Story (Invite worship team up)

Man that lived in the 1800’s whose name was Horatio Spafford
Has someone ever said to you, “just don’t worry!”…not helpful
Successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago
successful lawyer and businessman
Had a wife named Anna, and five beautiful kids (4 daughters and 1 son)
In 1871 his 2 year old son died of Pneumonia, and then later that year the Great Chicago Fire happened, and really hurt his business and investments.
the greatest hit came 2 years later in 1873
Mr. Spafford planned a trip to Europe with his wife and 4 daughters, but due to unexpected business problems he had to stay back in Chicago, so he sent his wife and daughters ahead of him with the intention of meeting up with them later.
During voyage the ship collided with another ship, and all four of his daughters drowned. His wife who was rescued sent him a telegram saying “Saved alone”
Mr. Spafford left on the next vessel to reunite with his wife, and when he came near the place where his daughters had drowned, the skipper of the ship pointed out where the other ship had gone down.
Now listen to this: It was on the deck of that ship, passing by the location where his daughters had tragically drowned where he wrote these stirring words:
“When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”
If we could all just stand up....asked Christina to sing this song

Salvation

You won’t find the peace of God until you have made peace with God!
but now I’m worried that I won’t be able to stop worrying, so thank you for adding another worry to my life! lol
A - Admit you are a sinner, there is an issue in me that I can’t fix on my own…so how do I fix it?
B - Believe that when Jesus died on the cross he paid my sin debt, someone has the pay the penalty of sin, you can pay for it yourself or you can believe that Christ has paid it for you
C - Confess him as Lord that is in charge of your life from this point on. You let him lead your life
You don’t have to be perfect, just be honest.
Anxiety is not a thing in and of itself

New Every Morning

It is rooted in a lack of trust
Have you ever spiritually diagnosed yourself?
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” Corrie Ten Boom
Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22–23 ESV
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
The Bible never said that we will never have more than we can bare
Story of my depression rooted in fear
Thankful - Conscious of a benefit received (Miriam Webster)
Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Anytime you try not to think of something, what are you going to think about?
If God’s mercies are new every morning, and our struggles and temptations are new every day, and our requests are new everyday…then our thanks has to be new everyday as well. This is not just a moment that is here and now, but it is a daily lifestyle!
Your requests, should always be accompanied by thanks!
Thankfulness is not just a moment that is here and now, but it is an attitude and lifestyle that we carry and live out on a daily basis
If you are seeking peace, without thankfulness…yo will end up disappointed!
Thankfulness is the breeding ground for trust/peace.

Sources:

Colossians 3:15 ESV
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Worry is tension between the mind and heart

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thess
The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The Peace of Believing Prayer (Philippians 4:6–7)

(1) Paul stresses that we can take everything to God in prayer. As it has been beautifully put, ‘There is nothing too great for God’s power; and nothing too small for his fatherly care.

The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The Peace of Believing Prayer (Philippians 4:6–7)

We can bring our prayers, our petitions and our requests to God; we can pray for ourselves.

The Letters to Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians The Peace of Believing Prayer (Philippians 4:6–7)

That does not mean that the peace of God is such a mystery that the human mind cannot understand it, although this also is true. It means that the peace of God is so precious that the human mind, with all its skill and all its knowledge, can never produce it.

1 Peter 5:7 ESV
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
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