Divine Provision for Anxiety

Divine Provision for Anxiety

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7, Genesis 3:6-10, Matthew 6:25-33
Date: 01/08/2011  Lesson: 2
One of the most destructive legacies of sin is the fear of an unknown future, or anxiety. The Bible maps out a strategy to overcome this emotion.
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Good morning and a very Happy Sabbath to those of you here in the sanctuary this morning and those of you joining us from across the country and around the world like you do every week. Today is a very special Sabbath here at Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. We are joined by the fountainview orchestra and choir, who have come all the way from british columbia, Canada to be with us this morning. And they are going to be playing the two songs that we usually sing on the air. The first song that they're going to be singing and playing is "oh come all ye faithful.

" And this is a request from carlston and angela in antigua and barbuda, veronica, angel, jasmine, and sonja in bahamas, Peter in bulgaria, charlene in California, cherise in pagin, england, daphne in florida, ken and anger in germany, renee and linda in grenada, janoi and kareem in jamaica, magalene and Micah in marishes, gerald in New Jersey, beth in New York, keith in st. Kitts and nevis, joli in saudi arabia, vicky in trinidad and tobago, and norman and trilly in Vermont. So we did sing this earlier in the season, but you're gonna really enjoy this arrangement, so I'm really glad that some of you kept requesting that song. And then the next song they're going to playing and singing, "angels from the realms of glory." This is a really good one. I think they did this last year.

It's very, very good. Bertie and ralph in the bahamas requested this, douglas in Canada, cindy in england, hermine in florida, marabelle in grenada, noreen and sanda, beverly, and dasia in guyana, gene, gloria, and ada in italy, dave and stephen in jamaica, graden in Maine, tammy in Massachusetts, joyce in Michigan, emily in Minnesota, ima in netherlands, carol and sheila in New York, felicia in nicaragua, nalawi and shemela in nigeria, abel in puerto rica, and deborah in the united kingdom. So we welcome fountainview this morning as they will be singing and playing for us right now. [Music] º o come all ye faithful, º º joyful and triumphant. º º o come ye, º º o come ye to Bethlehem.

º º come and behold him, º º born the King of angels. º º o come let us adore him. º º o come let us adore him. º º o come let us adore him, º º Christ the Lord. º º sing choirs of angels, º º sing in exultation.

º º o sing all ye citizens º º of heaven above. º º glory to God, º º glory in the highest. º º o come let us adore him. º º o come let us adore him. º º o come let us adore him, º º Christ the Lord.

º º yea, Lord, we greet thee, º º born this happy morning. º º Jesus, to thee º º be all glory given. º º word of The Father, º º now in flesh appearing. º º o come let us adore him. º º o come let us adore him.

º º o come let us adore him, º º Christ the Lord. º amen. [Music] º angels from the realms º º of glory, º º wing your flight º º o'er all the earth. º º ye who sang creation's story º º now proclaim Messiah's birth º º come and worship! º º come and worship! º º worship Christ º º the newborn king. º º shepherds in º º the fields abiding, º º watching o'er your flocks º º by night, God with man º º is now residing.

º º yonder shines º º the infant light º º come and worship! º º come and worship! º º worship Christ º º the newborn king. º [music] º sages, leave º º your contemplations. º º brighter visions beam afar. º º seek the great desire º º of nations. º º ye have seen his natal star.

º º come and worship! º º come and worship! º º worship Christ º º the newborn king. º [music] º saints before º º the altar bending, º º watching long º º in hope and fear, º º suddenly the Lord º º descending, º º in his temple shall appear. º º come and worship! º º come and worship! º º worship Christ, º º the newborn king! º amen. We'd like to thank very, very much fountainview academy and orchestra for being a part of our program this morning. If you would like more information about the school, you can visit their web site, which is--I'm going to guess it's fountainviewacademy.

ca? Fountainview.ca. Visit their web site at fountainview.ca. Let's have a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for blessing us with music, wonderful, heavenly music. What we've heard this morning is just a taste of what we know we're going to hear in heaven.

We thank you so much for blessing these young people with this amazing talent and I pray that they will always use it for you and your honor and your glory. We thank you so much that this beautiful Sabbath that you have blessed us with and we pray that you will just open up our hearts and minds as we study Your Word together this morning, in Jesus' Name, amen. So at this time we'll turn the lesson study over to Pastor Doug and dr. Derose. Morning, friends.

Morning. I'm gonna invite dr. David derose. He may as well just come on out here and join me. Now she introduced you first as pastor, but if I'm not mistaken, you also have served as a pastor.

That's correct and it's wonderful to be able to minister together this morning. To be both. And I want to welcome our friends that are here at Sacramento central. It is neat to have the fountainview orchestra and academy here and we could probably take an action now and vote them all in as regular members of central church if you like. Want to welcome our friends who are watching on the internet or on television right now, the various satellite stations.

For you who are watching, still want to welcome you a new year and we have a free offer we'd like to make available to anyone that simply calls and asks for it. And if you call the number 866-study-more. That's 866-788-3966. We'll send you "1000 years of peace" is the name of the free offer. "1000 Years of peace.

" Now we're getting into lesson number two in our new quarterly. For any friends who might be joining us for the first time, this is the Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath school quarterly. You might be able to obtain one by going to your neighborhood Seventh-day Adventist Church or you can get them online. I download mine and study it off and online. And you can go to, oh, several web sites.

If you type in sda Sabbath school, you'll get a few different web sites where that's available. And today's lesson from the new quarterly on "Jesus wept: the Bible and human emotions." It's talking about the subject of anxiety. And we have a memory verse and the memory verse is from 1 Peter. I'd like you to all say it with me, 1 Peter 5:7. Now I had to actually change the way I'm used to doing this 'cause I always quoted from the King James and the new king James, but today's it's gonna be coming from the niv for a reason, 1 Peter 5:7.

Are you ready? "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." Now of course, king James has, "casting all of your care on him, for he cares for you." But the word there, care, is talking about anxiety, being anxious. Well, dr. Derose, I thought before we dive into the lesson, it'd be a good idea to look at a definition for anxiety, so I just went to the dictionary online and here's what I came up with. Anxiety: distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune, such as in the sentence, "he felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job." Two, earnest but tense desire, eagerness. "He had to keep anxiety to succeed in his work.

" It's a state of apprehension and--or psychic tension occurring in some form of mental disorder, fear, foreboding, worry, disquiet, apprehension. And of course, the opposite of that would be certainty, serenity, tranquility. There's probably some others in there. So now I want confession time. By show of hands, how many of you sometimes worry and are anxious? Oh good, this lesson will be relevant today for everybody.

We all--now should a Christian never worry? Well you know, as you were reading definitions, doug, I had done some homework just like you did and I looked in a different source. I looked in a medical source. And one of the interesting things is we have anxiety disorders in medicine. Some of you perhaps have even been diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, sometimes a panic attack or post-traumatic stress disorder, a number of these. But listen to how they start their definition in one of the medical sources of anxiety.

Anxiety is a natural response and a necessary warning adaptation in humans. So your question, is it wrong for Christians to worry, I mean, in a medical source, they're first saying, "look, there is some anxiety that's actually good." If I'm riding in a car with you, doug, I hope you're gonna be anxious about not driving 120 on the interstate. Yeah, or the other person who is. That's right. And if you're out camping and a rattlesnake crawls in your sleeping bag, it's probably a normal response to be a little anxious or apprehensive about that.

And so there's survival mode, a certain amount of anxiety. And I've heard that a certain level of stress may actually be good for your health. Is that true, or-- well, actually, the way we look at it in the area of human performance is all of us are being exposed to stressors, things that challenge us, things that come at us. We often equate that with stress, but technically, in the medical community, we usually stress is our response to those stressors. But here's the answer to the question, doug.

What we find is that different people do best with different levels of stressors or different levels, in a positive sense, of challenge. So you might do very well if you've got lots of deadlines and lots of pressures, that you may thrive on that. Other people, they just become overwhelmed as their problem load rises. So we actually see this in the workplace. Certain people do better with a certain amount of stressors or challenge, maybe we could say anxiety-producing events, at least for some people.

And other people do best with fewer. We have a saying at Amazing Facts. If it wasn't for the last minute, we wouldn't get anything done. It seems like everything gets done in that last minute. But I think I create a little stress in the office too.

Better get into the Bible lesson for today. Under our sections, we're gonna go to Genesis and talk about where fear and anxiety first entered the world. And we've got a verse that we've distributed. Now it's gonna be a little bit of a challenge for our microphone people to circulate some of these because we have the orchestra here, but Genesis 3:9-10. And whoever has that, if they'll hold their hand up.

We've got someone over here. Then the Lord God called to adam and said unto him, 'where are you?' So he said, 'I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and hid myself.'" All right, here you've got the first example of man being afraid in the Bible. And this leads into just a whole spectrum of study information. Was it right for adam to be afraid, or should God have just said, "adam, why are you afraid? Be peaceful. You shouldn't be anxious"? Was his fear appropriate? It was appropriate for the behavior he and eve had engaged in.

So before adam and eve sinned, was there fear and anxiety. No. Or does this kind of fear and anxiety comes as a result of sin? Is God ever anxious? Anyone here picture God wringing his hands? If you're God, what would you be worried about? If you know everything and you have all power, what would you be worried about? Now we're talking about the emotions of Jesus in this lesson and that's an interesting question. I'm not sure I know the answer. Does--at least Christ, when we was on the earth, while he had perfect faith, in the garden of Gethsemane, did he experience anxiety? What do you think? Was he apprehensive about separation from The Father and bearing what the results of sin would be? Because keep in mind he laid aside his divinity and he experienced what the lost experience when he was separated from his father.

Now God The Father, I don't think I can picture up--him in heaven, wringing his hand and worrying. Most anxiety in our world comes from sin and man being afraid. Your turn, what do you think? Well, I mean, a lot of anxiety does come from uncertainty and so Jesus in the garden was really--he was pleading that that cup would pass from him, so I think definitely he's dealing with some anxiety. Maybe a medical illustration can make this somewhat practical. Some years ago, there was a genetic test that came out for something called huntington's disease.

Some of you may know huntington's disease is a devastating neurologic condition. It's what we call autosomal dominant. That means if a parent has it, odds are 50-50 that he or she will pass it to any given child. When they came out with this genetic test, it wasn't perfect and they offered the test to children of parents who had huntington's disease. They ended up with three groups, doug.

One group, after they got the test, was told that they were for sure gonna get huntington's. A second group was told they for sure were not going to get it. But the third group, they said, "you know what? The test is not perfect. We still don't know." The group that had the most anxiety was not the ones that knew they were gonna get it. It was the ones who still didn't know.

So whether it was Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, struggling with his future, or whether it's us as we struggle with things, the more uncertainty we have, the more anxious we tend to be. And yet, the Bible has a solution, as we're gonna study, to uncertainty. So it's fear of the unknown that causes a great deal of anxiety. That's exactly right. And that's why one of the remedies that we're gonna be looking at is trust.

If we can trust God with any outcome, then that removes the biggest source of anxiety. And if we read the Bible and we have the last chapter in the plan of salvation, we sort of know what's coming, don't we? That's right. And if we have faith about the criteria for salvation and believe that we're--while we have the disease of sin, we can be saved from it. We can have peace there too. That's right.

That's encouraging to know. You know, there's a quote here in the lesson from the book "Patriarchs and Prophets," talking about when adam and eve ran from God. I saw one place that sin brought shame and sin brought blame. Not only did adam and eve begin to feel shame and fear. Then they began to-- it brought division.

They began to blame each other. "It's the woman you made. It's the snake you made." And in turn, they were really blaming God. "The thought of his sin filled him with terror in that the mild temperature of eden chilled the guilty--and then the mild temperature of eden chilled the guilty couple. They were left with a sense of sin, a dread of the future, a nakedness of the soul.

" Now God told adam and eve when they sin that the result of sin was death. He established a sacrificial system to give them some peace for redemption, but still they knew that they were going to experience death. And up until the time abel died--keep in mind the first death was not old age. First death was premature and that must have also filled them with some apprehension that they were mortal. It might not just come by decay.

It could come by, you know, some disaster or disease. And I would think that would make 'em nervous too. I mean, definitely. I mean, it's that whole uncertainty element. So everything was certain in the garden.

They were at peace with God. The relationship was at peace and their future was secure in him. Once they take things onto their own volition, if you will, taking it to their own hands, then they have uncertainty. And that's really the same in our human state today. Someone told me, now this just came to me, that some of the number one selling over-the-counter--i don't know if it's called a medication, I guess it would be a medication, are antacids.

And that some of the number-one prescribed medications are anti-depressants. Are those things dealing with like panic and stress and anxiety. Well, I mean, it's very common that people who have anxiety, they will have a variety of physical symptoms. Digestive symptoms are very common. So if you've got more problems with acid or ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome, I mean, all these things can flare with anxiety.

And so can mental health issues. And so, in fact, if you have an anxiety disorder, abnormal amounts of like a phobia, like if you're afraid of heights or afraid of groups, agoraphobia or acrophobia, or afraid of spiders--i mean, we've got all these name, these medical terms. Often you'll be given an anti-depressant, those same drugs that boost serotonin levels are used to treat anxiety states. Now there's two things we think about you can do to deal with stress and anxiety. One is physical things you can do.

Even if you're just a, you know, totally lost pagan, you don't know God and you're just living for the world, probably you're gonna benefit if you exercise and eat better. You'll be less anxious. Is that safe to say? Oh, there's no question, actually. We often ramp up our stress system, if you will, by the lifestyle choices we make. So if you had a cup of coffee this morning, I can guarantee you your stress hormone levels are higher because that's how caffeine works.

It ramps up those stress hormones. Same with nicotine. So a lot of lifestyle things that are related to things we take in our mouth. And then exercise, on the hand, equalizes the nervous system. If you're geared up and anxious, exercise will help to calm you down.

If you're depressed, exercise will help to boost your mood and your outlook. And I've heard that anxiety, of course, causes all kinds of physical reactions that can affect everything from twitching to digestion to hair loss. Hair loss, really? That-- I'd be anxious for nothing. We're undermining our credibility up here, doug. I'm not anxious about that anymore.

Hey, you know, I did want to read something here because we're talking about, you know, physical things you can do to reduce anxiety. But then there are spiritual things that you can do. You know, one of the most anxious Scriptures in the Bible is found in Deuteronomy 28. Now in Deuteronomy 28, you're gonna find the list of blessings for those that obey God and then the absence of God's Spirit and blessing for those that disobey and rebel against God. Now listen to this.

This is sure to cheer you up. Deuteronomy 28, you can read verse 65. It's a long chapter, 65-67, speaking of those who reject God and choose to disobey and rebel. "And among those nations where you're driven, you'll find no rest. Nor shall the sole of your foot have a resting place, but there the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, anguish of soul.

Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will fear day and night and have no assurance of life. In the morning, you will say, 'oh that it were evening.' And at evening, you'll say, 'oh that it were morning,' because of the fear that terrifies your heart and because of the sight which your eyes see." Well, there's a promise for you. That's a promise of anxiety. Now who gets that? The wicked.

Yeah, those who reject God from their lives, they've got reason to be anxious. So that's to be expected. Now good thing is Deuteronomy 28 starts out with the blessing and it says, "but if you trust in the Lord and obey the Lord, all these blessings will follow you." And in that, of course, it encompasses all the peace. How many of you know psalm 23:4? "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

" So regardless of what the environmental problems might be, person can have peace when God is with them, when they know that they're in God's will. Now I think we gave out another verse. Proverbs 1:33. Hold up your hand if you got that one. But whoever listens to me will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil.

That's a very simple promise. Once again, that was Proverbs 1:33. "Whoever listens to me will dwell safely and will be secure without fear of evil." I want that experience, don't you? Amen. And that comes from, of course, a relationship with the Lord. That's right.

It's not that God is trying to distress us. On the other hand, as we were looking there in Deuteronomy, the Lord in his graciousness allows us to experience the consequences of sin because he realizes that if he just intervened in the consequences, we would never realize how disastrous it is to be separated from him. So when adam and eve were separated, he didn't intervene and take away their fear and their guilt and their shame. He provided a remedy and he allowed them to come back to him through the provision that he made, through the sacrificial system. You know, I can't think off the top of my head of an example, but I think in most cases when a parent chastens a disobedient child because they love them, the actual punishment may not be tranquil.

There might be a certain amount of stress or anxiety in that punishment. Matter of fact, once or twice with my kids, they've gotten into trouble, we're out in public, and to protect their dignity, I would just look at them and say, "we'll take care of this when we get home." Now between the time I tell them that and we get home, do they feel a sense of anxiety? And I know when I tell them that, part of their punishment is the uncertainty and the loss of peace. And i--you just factor that in. And it usually has some effect. Now the Bible talks about that.

Does God tell the wicked in advance what they have to look forward to if they don't repent? Is that anxiety calculated to be redemptive? God's hoping that it's going to redeem them. One more verse here. Hebrews 2:14-15. You know, somebody said that from the time a baby enters the world, they experience a certain amount of fear, fear of loud noises, bright lights. Eventually they learn a fear of gravity.

You hope they do, you know, when they're learning to walk. And then we begin to compound and accrue a number of other fears as we go through life. But the one fear that I think is the most profound is when children realize they're not immortal. I don't know if you can remember the first time in your life you understood what death meant and that you were heading in that direction. Any of you remember that, your first Revelation? No? Am I the only one? My grandfather had a bullfight on television.

I don't know why. He was watching a bullfight on television and the matador got gored and killed. And they're carrying him off and I said, "oh, they're taking him to the hospital, right, grandpa?" He said, "no." Grandpa said, "he's deader than a doornail." He said, "he's not gonna get better." And that was like my first epiphany of death. And I don't remember--somewhere in that conversation he says, "oh yeah, everybody dies." But not me. And do any of you--none of you ever remember when you first realized? You were born knowing that? Well, I'm slower than everybody else 'cause i--it came to me gradually.

Maybe you just have a better memory than the rest of us. Oh yeah, that must be it. But I prefer that explanation. You got any thoughts? Well, actually, one of the things that's fascinating to me is we're speaking about this balance between good fear, if you will, because--and good anxiety and peace in Christ is the whole area of Bible prophecy. And the reason, as a physician, I have a special interest in this, not only did the Lord use Bible prophecy to help me as an agnostic realize that the Bible was something that needed to be taken seriously, but Bible prophecy for the Christian is something that actually prevents stress.

A lot of people say, "I don't want to hear Bible prophecy. Don't study that. It's all scary and all this imagery and stuff. I just want to read about Jesus and his life." But God, by preparing us for what's going to happen in the future, Bible prophecy not only has this merciful aspect of preparing believers, but also for those who are not believers, it helps confront them with where this earth is going. So that it helps prevent some of that anticipation would help prevent--what do they call that when you have a stress disorder from-- yeah, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Yeah, ptsd, like you get in combat or with other dramatic life events. Yeah, one of the things that the research shows us is having some forewarning or anticipation of problems to come is actually a protector from having serious anxiety-related events after you go through something difficult. You can sort of emotionally brace yourself for what's coming. Exactly. Makes--yeah, that makes a world of difference.

You know, in our lesson in the next section, it talks about in Genesis 15:1-3, God said, "do not be afraid." Now I've not counted this myself, but I'm taking the word of I think it was dwight moody, who said he went through the Bible and he counted everywhere in the Bible it said something like "fear not" or "do not be afraid." And he said he found 365 cases of that, either old and new testament, angels saying, "do not be afraid." And then he said, "you've got one fear not for every day of the year," which is encouraging to know. And God says this to Abraham in Genesis 15:1, "after these things, the word of the Lord came to abram in a vision, saying, 'do not be afraid, abram. I am your shield, your exceeding great reward.' But abram said, 'Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless and the heir of my house is eliezer of damascus?'" That was his steward. "Then abram said, 'look, you've given me no offspring. Indeed, one born in my house is my heir.

'" So basically he says, "you know, I've got this servant I've had. He was actually born in my house and now he's my chief steward over everything I have." By the way, he's the one that helped find the wife later for Isaac. He's the one that picked our rebecca, a very trusted man. He said, "I'm gonna just have to leave everything to him." Says, "I have no heir and here you said I'm gonna be like a great nation." Well, Abraham I guess was a little anxious about that. And God said, "don't be afraid.

" So is some anxiety caused by delay? Have you ever been in a situation where you've got to practice patience and you become anxious 'cause you're waiting or you're in a hurry? Anyone ever been anxious at a red light? Or behind a slow car? Or have you been in a hurry and then someone says, "oh, brother doug, can you chat with me for just a moment?" And you're trying to find some gracious way to say--and you feel yourself tightening up a little bit because you don't have patience. So I think maybe God was telling Abraham, you know, he's start--Abraham's looking at the clock. And I mean, not only is he starting to wrinkle, but his wife's wrinkling and it was actually a bigger problem for her with menopause than it was for him. And he's thinking, "boy Lord, you better hurry up or this is never gonna happen." You know, another fascinating thing about this text, Genesis 15:1, it's the first time, at least in the King James version, where we find the phrase "the word of the Lord." Now I'm not a Hebrew scholar, doug, so I didn't scout that out in the Hebrew, but what's fascinating is if we look at anxiety, there's two primary remedies for anxiety and they both start with the letters t-r-u. T-r-u.

One is truth. So thy word is truth. Here God is giving His Word. He's giving the truth and that is helping to dispel this anxiety that Abraham has. The other t-r-u that is anxiety-preventing, can you come up with that one? Trust.

Exactly right. Now would you be anxious if you knew that you've got the most powerful being in the universe and he's at your side and he can do anything to protect you? Would that help to alleviate anxiety? So knowing God is with you is very important. Now by the way, that is a segue into Joshua 1:9. We talked about where Moses discussed the anxiety they felt if they turned from the Lord. In Joshua 1:9, he says, "have I not commanded you be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid or dismayed? For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

" Now you wonder, who would be faced more with anxiety, Moses with all the administrative things he was gonna have to do with a nation of slaves in the wilderness and he had to feed all of those people, or worry about it, or Joshua, who knew that Moses has now died and he needs to lead this group of slaves into battle against seven nations? I'd be a little worried about having to marshal and motivate and lead these people into battle with relatively no training or experience. And God said, "I'm with you. Don't be afraid about anything. Be courageous." You know what used to amaze me? David had king Saul hunting for his life, and during that time, David wrote a song about, "I'll lay me down and sleep peacefully." If you knew that the federal government had just posted you at the post office as the number one most wanted, take him out dead or alive, would you sleep very well? And yet, David could sleep 'cause he said, "thou art with me, so I'll lay me down and I'll rest in peace." I mean, it's the power of resting in God. I mean, the other great illustration like this is Jesus in the boat.

He's crossing the sea of Galilee, that big storm comes up, and you've got 12 disciples fearing for their lives, but Jesus is asleep. So the same stressors, the same environment, but the difference is, just like David, Jesus was trusting in God. He was on God's mission. He was God's anointed and he wasn't going to fear what men could do to him because he knew his life was in God's hands. That's right.

And he actually said to the disciples, "where is your faith? Why are you so afraid?" And I think one reason he could say that to them is, "I am with you. Why would you be afraid? I'm right here with you." And they had forgotten that. They were trying to save themselves. Now I say that because when Jonah was asleep in the boat, the captain woke him up and said, "what's wrong with you? How come you're not praying?" Jonah was at peace when he shouldn't have been, because God wasn't with him at that time. He was running from God.

See the difference? So you got these two extremes, you got believers who were worried when they shouldn't be 'cause Christ is with 'em, then you got unbelievers who are at ease on their way to destruction. And two opposite extremes there, but the big difference is is God with you? So you got the lost who aren't worried when they should be, the devil anaesthetizes them, and then you got the saved who should be at peace, but they're not because they forget the Lord is with 'em. 2 Chronicles 20:17, talking about battles a moment ago. God said to jehoshaphat I believe this is, "you will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourself, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, o judah in Jerusalem.

Do not fear or be dismayed. Tomorrow, go out against them, for the Lord is with you." We have battles in life. Do you ever get anxious about the different battles you have? If you pray before you go into those battles and you know God is with you, God is saying, "be at peace." Don't have to be anxious about it. All right, let's have that next passage, psalm 119:165. "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

" Thank you very much. I want to emphasize, what kind of peace? Great. Great peace, a peace that passes understanding, a peace like a river. Has who? Those that love your law. Now the people who love the law, are they obeying the law? And it says, "nothing," not some things, "nothing will offend them.

" And so I would think the greater your surrender, the greater your peace. Does that make sense? More surrendered we are to God's will, the more peace we have because if you know you've got everlasting life, then what is there to be afraid of? Of course, you need to probably worry about your loved ones. One of the interesting things about this whole dynamic is--and I've seen it in my own life, maybe many of you have seen it. If you're dealing with something that's anxiety producing, look at the very worst thing that could happen in the situation and then ask, I mean, have you surrendered that to God? And when I come to grips, when I say, "lookit, the Lord can work even through the worst outcome that I can envision," that's part of the secret to having peace. That shows me that I've fully surrendered.

We're not fully surrendered when we have an agenda. We say, "well, God has to answer my prayer this way. He has to do this this way," then that's a prescription for anxiety. You know, one of the places where I've learned this is with Amazing Facts. We've done a lot of live broadcasts and there's a lot of anxiety when you're gonna go live, especially if it's like international or national, and it all comes down to a moment where you need a thousand different transistors to work and team to work and the broadcasting and then, you know, you're supposed to say the right thing in the right time in the right way.

I think it can make you a little stressed. And invariably before one of these, whether it's the kids program or net program, and we've seen this with both hope and 3abn working with us before, something will go wrong within minutes of going on the air. And the satellite all of a sudden goes dead. I think when we were in Texas for the "Amazing Adventure" program, hurricane ike was coming through. And we thought it was gonna throw the whole program off the air.

And it's like you--God gives you this opportunity to say, "all right, I want to see if you're gonna trust me." And so I don't know that I've learned it all yet, but I've learned a little bit that whenever someone comes in and says, "Pastor Doug, we're not on the air," or, "we've just been pulled. We're being evicted from the building," a few minutes before you're supposed to go live or something like that happening. You say, "all right, Lord, I'm gonna trust you're gonna take care of that because we've been praying about this and I don't know how you're gonna do it, but it'll be interesting." And so sometimes you just have to say, "I'm--i don't know what the answer is, but I'm not gonna worry. I'm just gonna trust that you're gonna do something." And every time God has done something miraculous. And I think the worst thing that happened once is we lost like the first 30 seconds of our opener.

It didn't actually go on satellite and then they got it fixed or whatever happened. But you go through a lot of that in life and eventually you say, "I don't know what the answer is, but I'm gonna trust God and it's gonna be interesting to see how he does this." Doug, you may have expected this from a physician, but I like prescriptions. You aware of that? I'll be talking with you later. Okay. I like drugs.

But i--but the kind of prescriptions I like best are Bible prescriptions. And here's one that deals with this topic. It's a familiar one, it's in Philippians 4. Philippians 4 beginning with verse 6. Many know it from memory, I'm reading it from the new king James, "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God.

" So this is a prescription, but now what's amazing about this prescription, it's not usually the thing we talk about when it comes to prayer. Usually we say, you know, pray, God will answer. This doesn't say anything about God answering. It says, "when you are anxious, tempted to be anxious about something, come to God in prayer with thanksgiving," and then here's the promise, "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." That's a wonderful, powerful prescription. That's one of my favorite verses.

And you know, that probably leads good into--or leads well into the next section, "trust against anxiety." Now someone has John 14--i think everyone here could do this by heart, but someone's got John 14:1-2. Hold your hand up. Go ahead. John 14:1-2, "let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Now there's so much in that verse. He's telling us the reason not to be anxious or not to be worried. He said, "we're gonna be together.

And we're gonna be together in the future. And I'm going to prepare a place for your future." Now you know that also is in psalm 23:6, "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." So the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. That whole psalm of trust, that lamb trusting in the shepherd culminates with, "we will be in the house of the Lord." Jesus said, "I'm going to prepare a place for you." And I think a lot of anxiety comes from people feeling restless, they don't have a place. Well it's interesting, this whole dynamic here. Of course, the disciples are feeling that Jesus is leaving them.

I mean, that's--Jesus knows that's going to be their emotional state when he's crucified. And it's interesting, this is often the biggest stressor for us in the Christian life. Sometimes we feel that we're going it on our own, that God has left us. I mean, where are you? Why are all these things happening? And just like in this story in John 14, Jesus is saying, "this is all happening for your benefit. I'm sending the comforter.

" Or "I'm sending the Holy Spirit. I'm not leaving you as orphans." And so it's the same in our difficult experiences. If you're going through something right now, you feel like God isn't close, this is oftentimes when God is wanting to be closest. He's allowing you to sense your need for him and it's a call for us to press closer to the one who loves us so much. That's right.

I heard someone say--you know, when you're sharing your faith with a person and they may find out that they're learning the truth and they'll think, "boy, you know, I've been going to a church, but they're just not following the Bible and--but I've got friends there," and then they find a church that's teaching the Bible, there is a certain amount of anxiety about changing the place of worship. And I heard someone say one time, "people don't mind so much--" I mean, if you wake up in the morning and there is a construction company with a wrecking crew and they hand you a notice and say, "we've got to destroy your house today," would that make you anxious? But then if they say, "well, but see on the hill over there, we're moving you into that mansion." Would you feel better? So I say this because there's a housing crisis. A lot of people are very anxious in the world today, they're losing their homes. And the Lord is saying, "you don't need to worry. Here in this world, The Son of man had nowhere to lay his head, but there is a mansion, there is a house.

" He's preparing a place for us. You just need to trust him and I think that gives people peace. I mean, it's powerful, this whole context in John 14-16 where Jesus is speaking to the disciples, speaks powerfully to us. At one point he says, "in the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I've overcome the world." That's not our prescription usually is it? We want to say, "I want Jesus to say he's gonna remove all the tribulations, all the difficulties." But the point is God gives us peace and joy in the midst of the difficulties. That's what's so powerful.

That's right. And that leads into the next section, where it talks about of the birds and the lilies. No, I'm not gonna say the birds and the bees. The birds and the flowers, 'cause Jesus talked about there--that there in Matthew 6, where he said, you know, "behold the lilies. Behold the birds.

They don't worry." And he's inviting us not to worry about the cares of life. I heard about a man that was telling his friend, said, "I've got a ton of credit card debt. I've lost my job. My car's being repossessed. And I'm not worried.

" Says, "how are you managing that?" Says, "I've hired someone who's a professional worrier and he's gonna do all my worrying for me." And I said, "well, what's that cost you?" Says, "fifty-thousand a year." Said, "well, how can you afford that?" He says, "I don't know. I'm not worried about that. That's his problem." [Laughing] so when Jesus tells us to just not worry about what you're going to eat or what you're gonna wear or where are you gonna get your food or--is he telling us don't ever think about these things? You know, after you leave high school, you're just supposed to go stand out in the street and hope that everything's handed to you? Or do you have to think? What does he mean when he said, "don't worry about these things"? Are we supposed to just wear sandals and become all itinerant preachers and trust that God's gonna feed us? Well, I mean, the main idea is not being anxious, not being troubled, not being worried. But God does give us his Marching orders. Every time in the new testament where Jesus is dealing with believers, he's giving them a commission.

And that commission is to bring the Gospel, but it's often in the context of very practical things that they were to do. Paul was a tentmaker, so some of us are called to be in positions of practical usefulness, where God uses us. Others are called to ministries that secular people may not say are very practical, but those are some of the highest roles, whether it's a mother in the home or a preacher in the pulpit. Some of the things that the secular society doesn't value or looks down on, actually these are some of the most powerful spiritual roles that God calls us to. Amen, you know, in the last section here-- well, what do people worry about? Thirty-six percent say that work is the biggest source of worry.

Twenty-two percent say money is the biggest source of worry or stress or anxiety in their life. Ten percent say children is the biggest source. Seven percent worry about their health. Five percent about their marriage. That surprised me, only 5% of people worried about their marriage, and yet they say 50% of people that get married get divorced.

That could be why--they should maybe worry more about their marriage, huh? That says what it says. Five percent worry about their parents. And then five percent said they have no stress at all. Well, I figured at the beginning that that would-- that's why I asked that question. And yet, Jesus said that in spite of all kinds of problems in the world, the attitude of Christians should be one that we're not worried.

In Matthew 24:6, speaking of the last days, he said, "you're going to hear of wars and rumors of wars." We hear that in the news even this week. "See that you are not troubled." Don't be worried, don't be anxious. "For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." Hey, you know, I think I find peace in knowing that God is not surprised by these scary headlines. That's what Jesus is saying. He said, "this stuff is gonna happen.

You don't stress over it, don't worry about it. Stay focused on your mission of being a Christian and sharing Christ, the two great purposes of life." How many of you remember when mary and Martha, there's a dinner about to happen? Mary sat at Jesus' feet and heard the word. Martha was anxious about the dinner and she became upset that mary wasn't worried. You ever see a worried person that's upset someone else is not worried? Think, "what's wrong with you? You need to worry with me." And she said, "Jesus, tell mary to get involved and help me with this dinner." And what did Jesus say? "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled, anxious about many things. But one thing is needed.

" What is that one thing? "One thing's needed and mary has chosen that good part." It was a relationship with Jesus. "Which will not be taken away from her." Martha had Jesus in the house, but she was not with Jesus. Mary was at his feet. Is it possible for people to come to church and they say, "oh, we're in the house where Jesus is," they're worried because they're not with Jesus? Being in the church where Christ is is not the same as being at his feet and finding peace. Martha was really busy serving the Lord, but she didn't have that relationship with him.

Mary was being fed by His Word. Okay, now we're gonna read Matthew 6:34. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. What does that mean? Don't worry about tomorrow.

Don't have anything on your calendar? Well, I don't think--you know, Jesus talks about the man who was not wise not to count the cost. So there's nothing against planning in the Bible, but the point here is that we shouldn't be anxious about what's going to be happen. We can't control the future. God has faithfully taken care of us in the past. He faithfully takes care of all nature.

Why should we be worried? That's right. I was with a young person a couple weeks ago that had a fender bender and they were very stressed about it. And I said, "you know what? You're not gonna feel this way in a month and there'll actually come a time when you look back and you smile when you think about it. So try and transport yourself into the future right now and realize it'll get taken care of." I think the Lord just wants us to know there's some things you can't control and--well, we can probably avoid some fender benders. Definitely.

But, you know, don't worry about what you can't change. There's a little poem I had here in my notes by helen steiner rice. "Worry? Why worry? What can worry do? It never keeps a trouble from overtaking you. It gives you indigestion and sleepless hours at night, and fills with gloom the days, however fair and bright." Sometimes we worry so much. George macdonald said, "few men sink under the burdens of the day.

It's when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that weight is more than a man can bear. Never load yourself so." We often start piling on the worries of years in advance and Jesus said, "look, you know, it's okay to plan, but trust me one day at a time." He'll take care of things. God is faithful, and no matter what we're dealing with today, we can have the confidence as we put our lives in the Lord's hands, rest in his truth, we can trust him. Amen. Well, friends, we're just about out of time, but before we go, I want to remind our viewers we do have a free offer and it's "1000 years of peace.

" Just call 866-study-more. We'll be happy to send that to you. That's 866--I'm sorry, 866-788-3966. And ask for "1000 years of peace." God bless you and thank you for studying with us here at central church. [Music] virtually everyone on the earth, regardless of religion or nationality, recognize that there is some form of battle raging in the world around us between the forces of good and evil, a colossal struggle between light and darkness, truth and error, oppression and freedom, right and wrong, and ultimately life and death.

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