Faithlife Sermons

Your Emotional Upgrade

I want to bring some perspective on what we are presently going through….. imagine for a moment that you were born in 1900. When you are 14, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday with 22 million people killed. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until you are 20. Fifty Million people die from it in just 2 years….YES, 50 Million died.
When you are 29, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts, and you are 41 when the United States is FULLY pulled into WWII by the bombing of Pearl Harbor where almost 2500 were killed that one day. Between your 39th and 45th Birthday, 75 million people perish in the war, and the Holocaust kills 6 million. At 52, the Korean War starts and 5 million perish.
At 64, the Vietnam War begins, and it doesn’t end for many years. 4 million people die in that conflict. Approaching your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the cold war. Life on our planet, as we know it, could well have ended.
As you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.
A kid in 1985 didn’t think their 85 year-old grandparent understood how hard school really was. Yet, those grandparents (and now great grandparents) survived through everything I have listed.
We must keep everything that we are going through in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this. In the history of the world, there has NEVER been a storm that lasted. This too, shall pass.
We are in week 2 of the series titled, “Your next Stage upgrade.
I know many of you are wondering when we will get back to normal. I don’t think normal exists anymore. Some things have changed forever due to the Corona virus and the financial crisis the lock down has caused. But the reality is that NORMAL wasn’t all that great anyway. Many of you were struggling with anxiety, depression, financially, relationally already before the virus hit us.
I believe that God wants us to experience His Next Stage Upgrade. He wants something better than normal for you and for me.
How do we live out our faith in this new reality?
Look at what Paul said…
1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT
23 Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.
Paul is saying that God wants you to be holy in every way. That means you are to be different than everyone else. We are holy or set apart for the Lord. Then he says he wants our bodies, our souls and our spirits to be kept blameless…
That fits in with what we want you to experience here at River Church.
We want you to
Know God
We talked about this last week in the message, Your Spiritual Upgrade and then on Wednesday.
Find Freedom
Discover Purpose
Make a Difference
We make a difference best in crisis. As you live it out daily in your neighborhoods and work you are making a difference.
Last week we learned how to live in the Next Stage spiritually, but today we will look at the area of our souls.
We all know the damage this virus is causing physically… not just to those who are sick, but to the millions who are not going to the doctor for for check ups, to manage their HBP, or their diabetes, etc. However, this virus is impacting people emotionally as much as it is physically.
Emotionally people are gripped with fear. I see people riding in cars with face masks on… there is no need for that. People are afraid to go out. I have run into people who are afraid to go outside their houses. The news media has done a great job in striking fear into everyone’s psyche’s.

What happens when we go through crisis?

1. We experience Shock

You may have been like me… is this really happening? Is this real. You may be here with me. It has been surreal with everything shut down… not traffic for a while.
But listen to me… God is not surprised, but we are.
People keep saying this is an unprecedented time, but it’s really not. I just read you what you would have gone through if you had been born in 1900. There are been worse.
ILL - Pandemic 1854 in London - Cholera - in a few weeks, 23,000 people died… in London. A young pastor, Charles Spurgeon said...
“I became weary in body and sick at heart. My friends seemed falling one by one, and I felt or fancied that I was sickening like those around me… I felt my burden was heavier than I could bear, and I was ready to sink under it.” Charles Spurgeon
At one point he was doing a funeral every day. One day as he was walking home from doing a funeral, he saw on the window of a store
Psalm 91:9–10 NKJV
9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
One Scripture on the window of a store snapped him out of his depression. After he read that, here is what he said...
The effect upon my heart was immediate. Faith appropriated the passage as her own. I felt secure, refreshed, girt with immortality. I went on with my visitation of the dying in a calm peaceful spirit; I felt not fear of evil, and I suffered no harm.” Charles Spurgeon
I know people are saying it will take years for people to get over this… why? God delivered Charles Spurgeon instantly when he unleashed his faith in God.

2. We feel sorrow

Sorrow comes from losing something: friends, family, graduation, jobs, freedom, ability to eat out…
God understands…
Isaiah 53:3 NLT
3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
Jesus was despised and rejected. Jesus lost friends. He cried when Lazarus died.
It’s ok to grieve. It’s not ok to overwhelmed by that sorrow. Your enemy wants to take normal grieving and overwhelm you.
Psalm 61:1–2 NKJV
1 Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
You can’t become overwhelmed. You just need to base your life on the ROCK.
When you are overwhelmed …

3. We begin to struggle

You begin to medicate yourself. You will end up alone and ruminate. You shut others out and you sit and ruminate....
Rumination is the focused attention on symptoms of your distress instead of the solution. You will end up blaming someone else...
When you are by yourself, you are the last person you should be listening to. When you are by yourself you will think some crazy thoughts. Look how Jeremiah felt...
Jeremiah 20:18 GNB
18 Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?
Jesus even struggled…
Matthew 27:46 NLT
46 At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
Jesus struggled but didn’t stay there...
If you are emotionally struggling… Here is how you can take care of your emotions in new normal.
Matthew 7:24–25 NLT
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.
I want you to build your life… your emotional life on the rock of Jesus. When the rains… corona virus… job loss came, the house did not move.
Build your life on

1. The foundation of relationships and connectedness

This has been stripped from us. The phrase social distancing is a horrible idea. We can be connected socially but be physically distant. We need to be connected more than ever right now.
Connect with God and others every day
This is the first step. It’s the foundation of your life. If you don’t do this, you will never find peace and joy.
Begin each day with God. Worship, pray, read God’s word...
Philippians 4:8–9 NLT
8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
If you do this, your emotions will calm down… peace will fill you. We can’t meet together yet… so use the phones, use zoom, use facetime… find some relationships...
Ephesians 4:16 NLT
16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
You have to have people in your life that you can encourage and who can encourage you.
Now that you have the foundation, here is the frame of the house…
Build your life on

2. The structure of purpose and routines

Psy. say that if you want to be healthy, you better have a purpose and put some structure in your day. Your job is not your purpose… I spoke on this at the beginning and I told you to establish a daily routine if you were home from work. That’s why we have kept our church times the same...
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
God has a purpose for each of you and it’s not your work. Each one of you has a purpose that God wants you to fulfill. You have to have a purpose...
Proverbs 29:18 KJV 1900
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18 NIV
18 Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
It’s like of you don’t have a purpose… who cares… Last week, I was excited just to do church and preach from the church building again.
Basically, what I am saying is…
Discover my purpose and make a difference
The foundation is your relationship with Jesus. The frame is living with purpose, having routines and making a difference.
Next, is Putting up the pictures and making it a home is…

3. The beautifying of trust and self-control

Trust - is knowing that God has this.
Don’t give into learned helplessness. That’s when you give up.
Trust is when You give up what you can’t control and let the Lord take care of it. There is a lot I can’t control: vaccine, when everyone can go back to work, if your job will be there… I have to trust that stuff to the Lord.
Make a list of everything you can’t control and pick a time each day to worry over it. When you do, you will realize that there is nothing you can do about it. Then open your hands and give it to God.
Proverbs 3:5–6 NLT
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. 6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
God has it… trust him.
Self Control is when you let God take care of his part and you refuse to try to do his part. It’s when you get involved in the things you can do. serving… attitude… help someone… QT, Witness, Attend online church and invite others…
Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Give me the serenity to accept that I don’t have the solutions to the virus or the job situation.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to your will; so that I might be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen
Salvation Prayer
Prayer for emotional peace.
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