Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety

13
Feb
18

He Cares For You

We worry about a great many things in our lives, don’t we? We worry about our families and our kids. We worry about our bills and our budgets. We worry about our stuff. We worry about our health. We worry about so many things. Many of our worries and fears are future based. Peter said that we can take all of our worries, fears and anxieties to the Lord for a very good reason. He wrote:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

We can cast ALL of our worries on the Lord because He cares for us. We sometimes think that God doesn’t like us very much. We know that He loves us, but we aren’t sure if He likes us. Well, He does. He likes you and He cares for you. He can handle all of tomorrow’s cares as well as providing your daily bread. So don’t worry about tomorrow because God’s got it under control. Focus on loving God and loving people today.
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19
Nov
15

Daily Bread

Give us today our daily bread. — Matthew 6:11 (NIV)

…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. — Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

We spend so much time worrying about tomorrow.  John Powers said, “Worrying is the same thing as banging your head against the wall.  It only feels good when you stop.”  I LOVE THAT!  Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (emphasis added).  In other words, don’t worry about what you are going to eat tomorrow.  Know that God will provide for today’s needs.  While tomorrow will come, we must remember that God is already there.  He knows what tomorrow holds.  He is the same God who is here today.  He will provide for tomorrow’s needs tomorrow.  Let Him worry about tomorrow.  Pray and trust for today.

This is a message that I need to be reminded of constantly.  I need a big ol’ sign on my forehead that says, “Stop banging me against the wall!”  I worry waaaaaaaay too much.  God knows what I need and has promised to be my provider.  God has blessed me in so many ways.  How can I doubt Him yet again?  That’s the root of worry — doubt.  We will doubt God’s willingness and ability to provide and we have no basis for either.  He has promised to provide and of course He has the ability.  Nothing is impossible for God.  I think that it is when we confuse wants for needs that we get into trouble.  We will pursue our wants and then we don’t have enough for our needs.  That’s when we cry, “HELP!” and we start to sink.  Our eyes turn to our circumstances instead of our Savior who is ready, willing and able to catch us when we sink into doubt.  Trust for today, my friends and God will provide our daily bread.

PRAYER:  Father God, I need Your daily provision in my life.  Help me to remember that You are the one who provides for all of my needs.  Help me to know the difference between wants and needs that I may be wise with how I use what You provide.  Thank You for providing for me in the past.  Help me to trust You for today and to remember that You’ve got tomorrow already taken care of.  Thank You for Your love and grace.  In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

11
Mar
15

What Are You Working For?

For what or for whom are you working?  For whom do you commute to and from work each day?  Are you working for your spouse or your children?  Are you working to build a company or to make a better life for your family?  Are you working to make a difference or just to make ends meet?
How do you view work?  Is it a necessary evil?  Is it fun and enjoyable?  Is work stressful and worrisome?  Is it hard and yet yields very little in the way of results?
King Solomon viewed work as meaningless.  Look at verses 22-23:

What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. – Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 (NIV)

We work our fingers to the bone for 30-40 years and why do we toil?  We work hard to provide for our families.  We work long days in order to do a little better than our parents.  We work the midnight shift to make ends meet.  We work 2-3 jobs just to put food on the table.  Never mind getting ahead.  We’re just trying to keep our heads above water.  We’re tired and our backs ache and yet we cannot sleep because of anxiety over our work.
What does all of this work get us?  Solomon describes work with some pretty harsh words:
  • Grief
  • Pain
  • Worrisome
When we come to the end of our lives, we discover that all of our work cannot add an hour to our lives.  The overtime we worked will not have mattered.  As you are surrounded by grieving loved ones, your portfolio will be worthless to you and will eventually be fought over shortly after you pass.  What will have mattered?  Your relationships will be all that concerns you.  Your relationship to God and your relationships with others.  Why are you working?  What sacrifices are you making so that you can make more money?  Which is better to sacrifice, time or work?  Is there an expenditure you could cut in order to work a little less to have more time with those whom you love and who love you?  You cannot buy time or love.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone.  Don’t regret the time you spent working because you missed out on those moments with those whom you love.
Ecclesiastes 2:17-23 (NIV)
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
22
Jan
15

Can’t Get Away

Have you ever had a dream where you are being chased?  You run and run and try to flee, but you just can’t seem to get away from your pursuer.  You try to flee and yet the one chasing you seems to get closer and closer.  No matter where you go and no matter what you do, they won’t give up.  You wake up with your heart racing as though you have literally been running for miles.  I wonder if that is how David felt as he penned Psalm 139.

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence! – Psalm 139:7 (NLT)

The question I have is, “Why?”  Why would you want to escape from God’s Spirit?  Why would you want to get away from the presence of the Lord?  The New Testament tells us that “…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NIV).  Maybe David had done something wrong.  Maybe he was trying to hide something from God.  Whatever the case, David was awed by this awareness that God was inescapable.

Jonah tried to run from God.  He tried to get away.  Even if he had flown Southwest, he would not have been able to get away from God.  God knew right where he was all the time.  From the port at Joppa to the middle of the sea to the belly of a great fish, God knew where Jonah was.

God knows where you are.  If you are trying to run from Him, you can’t get away.  If He is calling you into His service to do something great for Him but you want to run away because you’re scared or you feel inadequate, He knows where you are and will give you the strength and courage to do His will.  If you are hiding in sinfulness and shame, He knows right where you are and has grace enough for you to restore you to intimate fellowship with Him.  If you are angry with Him over situations or circumstances you can’t control, He is big enough to take your anger and wants to deal with it.

Don’t hide from Him.  He knows where you are and what you’re going through.  Give it over to Jesus.  Surrender to God’s Spirit.  Give Him your load of heartache and pain.  Give Him your fear, worry and anxiety.  Give Him your burdens.  Quit trying to get away.  Turn to Him and let Him fill your heart with His presence.

Why are you running from God today?

What would it take for you to stop running and to surrender to His leadership in your life?

01
Dec
13

Don’t Worry! Be Thankful!

The message from Griffith First Christian Church from December 1, 2013.

03
Jun
13

Does Jesus Care?

As we continue looking at the miracles of Jesus, we turn to Matthew’s Gospel for his retelling of Jesus’ ability to bring peace in the midst of a storm.  Storms were common on the Sea of Galilee.  Because of the landscape around the lake, squalls would come up suddenly and would churn up the sea.  That is what happened on this occasion.  The disciples, several of them who were seasoned fishermen, were terrified.  Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples wake Him up and say, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!” (Matthew 8:25, NIV).  Mark records their words a little differently:

Teacher, don’t you care if we drown? – Mark 4:38 (NIV)

This is the question that nearly every follower of Christ asks at some point in their journey of faith.  The metaphoric seas around us are rough.  The lightning is flashing and the thunder is booming.  The waves are crashing and we’re rowing for our lives!  “Where is God?!?!?  Why doesn’t He do something?!?  Can’t He see that I’m going to drown?!?  Doesn’t He care?!?”
The answer is, “Yes, He does.”  Why was Jesus sleeping in the ship?  Didn’t He know about the storm?  Couldn’t He see what was going on around them?  Of course He could.  Jesus knew about the storm.  He probably knew about it before it ever happened.  The thing about Jesus is that He knows who is in charge and who is in control.  The winds and the waves obey Him.  He is in charge.  He is in control.  Everything is under His command.
The waves that are crashing over your boat?  He sees them.
The wind that is blowing hard against you?  He hears it.
The way that you are being tossed about in the storm you are going through?  He is fully aware.
He sees you rowing for your life.
He knows about your fears and anxiety.
He cares for you.
He asks you the same question He asked His disciples:

…why are you so afraid? – Mark 8:26a (NIV)

It is time to stop rowing against the seas.
It is time to stop fighting the storm by yourself.
It is time to let go of the oars and turn to Jesus and cry out, “Lord, save me!”
He can calm the storm and He can calm you, too.
Rest in the power of His voice to bring peace to you, His precious child.

 

Matthew 8:23-27

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

04
Apr
13

God Knows What He’s Doing

As we wind down our study in Philippians, I am drawn to verse 6:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

I’ll be honest.  I’m dealing with a little bit of anxiety today.  Something happened yesterday that kind of knocked me for a loop.  It’s been on my mind for hours and hours now.  I’m just not sure why God is doing what He is doing.  But I know this: God knows what He’s doing.  My job is to take my fears, doubts and anxieties before the Lord and to present them to Him.   The Greek word translated as “prayer” means to make an urgent request of God, to beg or plead.  The Greek word translated as “petition” means to make a request with intensity.
Let’s face it, when we are worried and anxious, the prayers we pray are not filled with flowery language of praise and elegant words of supplication.  They are quick and direct and to the point.  “Oh, Lord!  Help!  I need You!  Help me!”  Paul tells us that it is okay to pray with urgency and intensity.  It is okay to beg and plead.  Not just from time to time, but “in every situation.”  Lay your worries and fears at the feet of Jesus.  Give Him your anxiety and doubt.  Cry out to Jesus for the help that you need.  He hears you and He knows your needs.  Though you may be facing a desperate situation, our God can do anything!  He can provide for your every need.  He can heal any disease.  He can give you strength when you feel weak.  He can help you overcome any trial, test or temptation.  He cares for you and He cares for me.  He is God and He will answer our prayers according to His will and in His time.  It may not make sense now, but somewhere down the road we’ll see His plan better and in a clearer way.  We’ll see how He carried us through and we’ll thank Him for what He’s done.

Final Exhortations (Philippians 4:4-9, NIV)

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.




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