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The Cure to Worry

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2020 9:00 am

The Cure to Worry

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 17, 2020 9:00 am

Pastor Greg Laurie delivers a message from Philippians 4, offering encouraging words to help us dispel the worries that plague our lives.

The Greek word translated anxious in verse 6 means, “to be pulled in different directions.”

1. The believer should not worry.

When you worry about the future, you cripple yourself in the present.

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

2. Instead of worrying, you should rejoice!

“A cheerful heart has a continual feast" (Proverbs 15:15).  

God’s plans for you are still good and He will never leave or forsake you.

3. When we pray instead of worry and rejoice instead of panic, we have peace.

3 Steps to the Cure for Worry

Right Praying

Right Thinking

Right Living

The peace of God will stand guard night and day over the two areas that create worry: the heart (wrong feeling) and the mind (wrong thinking).

Why do thoughts matter?

Because what we think about ultimately affects what we do.

The next time you are filled with worry, try talking to yourself.

Scriptures Mentioned

Philippians 4:1—9

Proverbs 15:15

Habakkuk 3:17—18

Psalm 42:8

Proverbs 23:7

Further Study

Free Download: Bringing Christ into Your Crisis  

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A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us everybody are watching Harvest at Home and I'm Greg, Lori and I have a message for you with the title, the cure to worry before we begin the that I like to say next weekend at Harvest at Home. I will do a series on the end time so coronavirus covert, 19 all that is happening in our world are these things pointing to the imminent return of Jesus. You know the Bible tells us that there are signs of the times we should be looking for that will alert us to the fact that Christ is coming are those happening right now in real time. I think the answer is yes and I think you already know that I want to talk to you about that next time, but the title of my message again, the cure to worry and I'm in the be looking up Philippians chapter 4. So turn in your Bible to that text. If you would, let's pray together now. Father I pray for every person wherever they are watching this hearing this, that he will speak to their hearts that you would speak to our hearts because we need your truth in a world filled with half-truths and distortions and frightening things that we hear all the time. We need some good news in a bad world.

So speak to us from your word. We pray in Jesus name we ask this. Amen. Okay, I heard about a lady who was lonely and she wanted someone to talk to so she thought. Maybe I'll get a talking parrot so she went down to the pet store and said you are prepared to talk in the pet store managers at all, ma'am, I have the perfect parent. This parent shatters nonstop, you'll love this bird so she bought the bird got the kids to get home a week and 1/2 ounces he comes back to the pet store to the manager and said that bird you sold me. He doesn't talk.

The man said will men did you buy the parent a mere parents love mirrors that they can see the reflection the chatter away so she bought a mirror to get home. Another weakening of passes and she returned to the pet store and says of the manager.

The parent still hasn't said a single word he said men did you buy him a swing. Parents love swings and if you give him a swing. He'll talk endlessly full.

She bought a swing to get home another week and 1/2 passes and she returns back and says that parent still is in talking lady said do you have a letter for the parrot they love the latter. In the case to go up and out go talk to if you get them a letter, so she got him a letter to get all another week passes. She returns back to the pet store. She says not only that, that parent not talk. The parent actually die. He said oh no. Did he ever say anything he says as a matter of fact, right before he died he did finally speak and the pet store manager said men tell me, what did the parrot say she said.

The parent said don't they have any food down at that pet Star yacht. You know the problem is, is she had her priorities all out of whack. She was missing the obvious. And that is what worry because that's what I want to talk to you in this message about worry you know the Bible tells us to not be anxious about anything or not worry about anything. As we'll see in our text before us in the moment and that word means to be pulled in different directions. That's what fear and worry will do in your life, your hope will pull you in one direction. Your fears will pull you in the other and you find yourself focusing on the wrong things and missing the point. Like God lady with the bird that didn't talk and I think you can feel the worry in the air right now during this coronavirus epidemic. This pandemic really is. The experts warned us we had national panic sweep our nation because we were told all our hospitals are going to be overrun and in millions of people are going to die and then we don't have enough mass so we don't have enough ventilators in our all in the national panic will know that things are finally starting to calm down and the curb is flattened, we have a whole new set of worries and because were beginning to reopen the economy.

Some states are open. Others aren't open yet, but were wondering. Am I going I have a job to go back to when I can work again will I get the coronavirus if I go back to work. One expert said, quote, coronavirus has caused a mass emotional event in our lives. A mass emotional event in our lives.

We've all experienced it collectively, according to recent research.

This pandemic is causing strong negative emotions. For most Americans and prescriptions for antidepressants are up. The use of anti-anxiety and insomnia medication has increased and it's even worse than that.

I just heard from a nurse that worked in the PT of pediatric ICU at a hospital and she said we have so many suicides among young people because of the quarantine. So there's a lot of anxiety a lot of fear in the air right now somebody watching me might be saying while you know I kind of tuned into get some hopeful words and I was feeling pretty good. Still, you until you started speaking and now I'm totally stressed out.

Or that's what I want to share some hopeful words with you from the Scripture. This is the last message in this series we been doing called quarantine life.

We've all been experiencing that together have a weight and these are the words of the apostle Paul to the believers in Philippi, he was under house arrest. Why will he had appealed to Caesar. He been preaching the gospel. He was arrested and as a Roman citizen the of the right to appeal to Caesar. So now he's waiting in appearance before the leader of Rome, but it's a very uncertain future.

He did know P was good to be acquitted or beheaded.

And plus, there were some believers that were divided somewhere for Paul. Some were against him so he could be super stressed out. But instead of worrying Paul is rejoicing and living in great peace instead of complaining. He gives to us the secret of victory over worry.

Don't you want to know what that secret is to give it to you right now. No charts look at your Bible. Philippians chapter 4 verse four Paul writes these words rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men.

The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, or another way to translate that is, don't worry about anything but in everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

So here's point number one of your taking notes.

The believer should not worry.

The believer should not worry wife because worrying is simply not a productive thing to do.

In fact, when we worry it's really a failure on our part to trust God.

It's interesting that the word worry comes from a word that can translate out to to choke.

That's what worry. Does that sort of choke shoot in a while ago my grandkids and I were playing words or wrestling little bit there were like choking me from behind and in one of them jumped on my back was hanging on my neck and I so to get off now and they really enjoy that. They came over. The next time and they said pop, that's what they call me.

Can we choke you again. No pop-up wants to live to give another sermon someday so but that's a worry desk to choke you out and it's a bird it's not so worried that that that's a worry does it just chokes you out, it creates a mental and emotional strangulation in your life. It doesn't make things better worry actually make things worse because when you worry about the future you cripple yourself in the present.

Listen to this worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. Let me repeat that worry is not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.

It empties today of its strength. Jesus said don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

There's an old fable that is told of the deed that death went to visit a certain town and his death was walking in a man stopped death and said what are you doing. That said, I'm really going to that town and I'm in a take 100 lives today. The men said that's horrible and he ran ahead of death and warned everybody that death was coming as a D came to an end and the sun was setting. The men met death again and said you said you were only going to take 100 lives, but a thousand people die what happened. That said, I kept my word, I only took 100 worry took the rest. That's how worry works in our lives.

So the believer should not worry. Listen to this point number two if you're taking notes instead of worrying I should rejoice instead of worrying I should rejoice look at Paul's words. Philippians 44 rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice. Know this rejoicing is a scriptural command if it's not a suggestion, you are commanded to rejoice, let me take it a step further to fail to rejoice his actual disobedience to God. Now notice it says rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice cuter after rejoice in your circumstances. I think sometimes Christians think that whatever happens, they should rejoice in it harm so painful that I just wrecked my car.

I'm so thankful of that. I found out I'm very sick. No, here's what you say. I'm so thankful that despite the fact that I wrecked my car and I'm sick God is still on the throne and he still loves me. I'm so thankful that God according to Romans 828 can cause all things to work together for good to those of love the Lord so that's what it means.

Rejoice in the Lord, not merely in your circumstances, you know, I think a lot of people just take themselves a bit too seriously. There always a downer.

And if you notice people love to judge you now on social media, especially if you post a photo though the comment. What about social distancing. Why don't you wearing a mask you know and people are just very negative right now and very critical right now and there's a lot of division right now you know I think when this virus first hit. We heard all of the scary Newsweek. We pulled together we did our part we sheltered in place and and now that were beginning to be able to go out again. People are said in their angry and now everything seems to be dividing along political lines and maybe one more divided than we have ever been so it's good to just lighten up a little bit you know the Bible says that when you have a relationship with God. There is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more. Solomon writes in Proverbs 1515 a cheerful heart is a continual feast. So rejoice that football is a looking. He sin was very brave looking. If anyone can be depressed, it's me. If anyone can be down it's me. If anyone facing an uncertain future. As I write these words, it's me. But here's what I'm saying, you rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice.

Listen to this verse. It talks about how to face adversity in Habakkuk 317 to 18 it says even though the fig trees have no blossoms. There are no grapes on the vine.

Even though the olive crop fails and the fields like empty and barren. Even though the flocks die in the field and the cattle barns are empty. I will rejoice in the Lord all be joyful, and the God of my salvation. What the words of a crazy man know the words of a man who knew that God was still in control. The words of a person that knows their loved by God. Just as you are, we could update this verse and it would say something along these lines pay even though the economy has tanked in their downsizing their work in the insurance rates are up to. My car is out of gas.

I'm joyful in the God of my salvation. Again, no matter what's going on.

I can rejoice in the Lord, you know God's plans for you are still good and he is promised he'll never leave you or forsake you. Think about this. Paul and Silas were imprisoned for preaching the gospel and we read at midnight Paul and Silas sing praises to God, know they were literally in a Roman dungeon, their backs had been torn open with the Roman with but at midnight there singing praises to God and the other prisoners are listening listen the midnight hour is not the easiest time to sing praises to God, nor is it easiest time to sing his praises. When you're in the doctor's office waiting for the results of your lab test you just had done or in when you're in the hospital waiting room when your loved one is having surgery or a thousand other scenarios that we can come up with so as we come to this last message in this series are three steps you need to take if you want to find the cure to worry. Write this down three things you need to do if you want to find a cure to worry number one it's right praying verses 6 to 7 right praying number two right-thinking. That's verse eight, and finally right living. That's verse nine right praying right-thinking right living. Let's start with the first one right praying. The next time you're tempted to worry. Praying instead, we need to get into the habit of turning to God. When we feel worried approaching and develop what we might call a conditioned reflex. Okay let me compare a natural reflex to a conditioned reflex and natural reflex is what I immediately feel without even being told I should feel it. For instance, if I put my hand and fire Emmylou Palmer him back because why it's hot and it hurts right that's a natural reflex. A conditioned reflex is something I learned to do. For instance, if I'm at a sporting event. Remember those and we used to go to sporting events, and someone says our son is going to sing the national anthem. What we do.

We all stand we stand out of respect for our nation, or if we are giving the Pledge of Allegiance. We put our hand over our heart we learn to do that. That wasn't natural. That is what you would call a conditioned reflex. Think about when you first learn how to drive a car. Member what that was like you're so excited and then you got behind the wheel of this vehicle and there's so many things to remember. I don't know why but I learned to drive on a stick shift car instead of an automatic transmission tarted up with an automatic transmission but all the shipping in the clutch in the break-in you you hit the break and so the clutch and in the gears are grinding and always enjoyed to think about, then you're coming to turning up five to turn my signal on you know you turn it on. Now him to turn it off and all these things and then after a while you drive a little bit. Now you just get in your car. You don't even think about it because you've developed what you would call a conditioned reflex you. You know how to drive now okay so now let's apply this to worry when trouble comes our way, and it does doesn't it. When bad news comes our way when something scary happens. Our first inclination Arnaz natural reflex if you will, is to worry. Oh no worry panic.

But here's what you need to teach yourself to do will call this a learned reflex you pray instead. So, the moment you start to panic.

You turn your panic indoor prayer you turn your worry in to worship you turn to God immediately. That is what Paul is telling us that we should you develop this conditioned reflex and put the matter in the hands of God. What is he tell us to do in this cure for worry in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God in everything by prayer we pray about the big stuff. Don't forget the little stuff because little problems concern in the big problems especially if they're neglected. Maybe you think I can handle this and this and never be a problem for me. One day it's a big problem. A little things turn into big things. Think about David and Goliath that we call Goliath the giant. He was in a mythical character. He was just a big dude.

That's all 9'6" tall solid muscle covered in body armor with a giant shield and a really big sword facing off with David the shepherd boy arm, basically with a slingshot, but even sized up his giant and would he recognize with his giant was bigger Tuesday may restate that he realized that God was bigger than his giant start over again.

So David, a young man armed with only a slingshot, looked out the massive Goliath and realized his God was bigger than this giant that he was facing.

Think about this so Goliath wasn't always a giant once was a little baby. I really was a big baby is all right, nobody ever wanted to change Goliath diapers ideal last time you do it yeah so the little baby turn into a giant little problems become big problems and it's interesting because in the story of David and Goliath there in the valley of Eli Goliath was down in this valley that separated the Philistine army from the Israeli army and he says someone send someone down here to fight me and if I win the battle, then you serve us in the your representative wins the battle will serve you and then we read some times people Mrs. Goliath started coming up into the camp of the Israelites. So then, just in the Valley he's getting in their face become a man who's going to fight me. That's how those little sins can be.

They get bigger and bigger so we need to remember in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Number three.

When you pray instead of worrying and you rejoice instead of panic.

You will have God's supernatural peace. Let me say that again when you pray instead of worry and when you rejoice instead of panic. You will have peace look at Philippians 47 Paul writes in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, will guard you might want to underline that word. It'll guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Paul uses a military term here or guard.

He seen God's peace will literally stand guard around your heart and protect you if in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving you let your requests be made known to God. It's as though Sgt. peace is been assigned to watch over you.

So when you go to sleep at night when you lay your head on the pillow in your mind is flooded with worry, you can say Lord I cast all of my care upon you because your word tells me that you care for me and you can experience the peace of God that passes human under standing. You see, it will stand guard over the two areas of your life and cause worry. That's the heart. Our emotions are wrong feelings in over our mind, that's the wrong thinking. So if you want to overcome worry. It starts with the right training in point number two is it comes down to write thinking. Look at verse eight and let me just quoted from King James it says, whatsoever things are true and lovely and virtuous. If there are of good report of think on these things. Here is a modern translation summing it all up, my friends, I'd say you do your best by filling your minds by meditating on things that are true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious, think about the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly things to praise, not things to curse.

I put this passage to the test I mentioned in my last message that our son Christopher went to be with the Lord and I have to tell you that on the day that I found out that our son had died. It was the worst day of my life and I felt as though life could have ended for me.

Then it was so devastating. I remember I couldn't stand that I collapsed on the ground.

I wept uncontrollably for days and weeks. I cried more than any other time of my life and I was in the state of shock. Initially, I did note of the time but I was then it was just numb and I remember feeling as though there was a huge weight on my chest just an actual physical pressure I felt I was constantly sign.

It was just such a heavy hard thing and I couldn't sleep at night because I couldn't imagine a world without my son. I felt like I was living a nightmare. So as I would get ready to go to sleep. All these thoughts would crowd. My mind is horrible, negative, scary, awful thoughts and so I sort of ran them through what I called a grid of grace. I took every one of those thoughts and I asked myself the question is this true thing I'm thinking is it true secondly is this thing helpful is this thing pure and lovely. Or is that the ugly and the worst thing and I would actually be told thoughts not going to think about that and said I want to think about this other thing in its place. I was consoling what came into my mind. Listen folks, this is command central.

As you can see I don't have any hair here because Christ does not grow on busy street. Anyway, the idea is we have to consider what we think about because what we think about ultimately affects what we do.

Proverbs 23, seven says as a man thinks so is he. It is in my mind that I reason I contemplate. I dream I fantasize so I can reach into the past through memories. I can reach into the future through imagination, so I want to learn how to think right.

That's why am told (second Corinthians 10 five to bring every thought into the captivity of the obedience of Jesus Christ. So it's not just right training. They'll help you overcome worry it's right thinking the next time you're filled with worry tried talking to yourself.

I know that sounds crazy, but there been times I've talked to myself be distressed or agitated by something that will actually preach a little sermon to Greg Greg. Now listen, this is what the Bible says sometimes I'll say it out loud. We know that the psalmist did that there is an occasion where he was overwhelmed with his problems and some 42 is emotions seem to be getting the best of him, causing him to cry out wired to you.don't cast all my soul. Why are you so disturbed within me. So he's actually saying hey you speaking of himself why he is so down what's wrong and then he corrects himself and says put your hope in God and I will get praise in my Savior and my God that's called talking yourself are preaching to yourself.

You correct your own thinking. Sometimes you do it out loud. Quote the word of God to yourself. Remind yourself of what is true, because, listen we don't have moments of despair.

We all have lapses of faith we all have times in our life but we don't understand what is going on in our life. So that's why we need to turn to the word of God. So if you want to overcome worry it's right praying. It's right thinking. In the final point right living right living. Philippians 49 Paul says the things that you've learned and received and heard and seen in me, these do in the God of peace will be with you so it's doing the right thing. See the problem is is sin can infiltrate our life and mess up everything and we can end up with our hearts being hard or as the Bible says having our conscience seared as with a hot iron I mentioned earlier help. If you touch something hot you pull your hand back will. There was a time I was ironing a shirt by the way of a very powerful iron it's imported from Europe and when it does applies to steam it's like no American iron I've ever seen. So all iron things without unaware like iron stuff, especially if it's really wrinkled.

You know, so I ironed a shirt and I put it on Irving was right there was one little wrinkle on the shirt like right here and I know what I was thinking it said taking the shirt up and ironing out the rig like that was given a plus to steam so I took the shirt neck and pulled out like this. I took the mega iron from Europe with the plasticine and I hit it and I screamed like a little girl. It was so painful.

Later that night. It took my shirt off my wife looked at me and saw a big red well there. She said whatever the UA said don't ask okay you know what your heart to be seared as with a hot iron rev your heart get hard. That's why we want to live right. See living right with God results in experiencing the peace of God. Isaiah 32, says the work of righteousness will be peace and the effect of righteousness, quietness and peace. The Bible says you will go out with joy. You will be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills will break forth into singing all the trees of the field will clap their hands to love that verse you go out with joy and be led forth with peace years ago before I began preaching I I was a graphic designer and I did an album cover where I illustrated this very first but that's how God leads as he leads us with peace and we go out with joy. That's a result of her relationship with the Lord. But I'm talking to somebody right now that doesn't have joy they don't have peace. They have despair they have killed and they have fear and I remember before I was a Christian I had a big hole in my heart and I heard the gospel and I want to tell you what the gospel is in the moment. If you've not heard it.

I heard what it meant to become a follower of Jesus and what Jesus could do for me and I prayed a prayer asking Christ to come in my life and remember as though this massive weight had been lifted off of me and you know what I realize later that was the weight of my sin and everybody carries a weight like that though some may have sinned more than others, but one sin is enough to keep you out of heaven. Everyone of us of sin. Every one of us a broken God's commandments everyone of us have fallen short of God's standards with. That's where Jesus comes in. That's why Jesus died on the cross. Listen to this. The Bible says the punishment for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes were healed. Seek God punished Jesus, if you will, in the way that you and I should have been punished. Jesus bore the weight of my sin. Jesus came to pay a debt he did not know because we owed a debt we could not pay it to put it theologically, he was our substitution right.

He died in our place. He died on the cross for your sin so you could be forgiven of your sin and then he rose again from the dead three days later and guess what, wherever you are you in a front room you're in a car is sitting in a park.

I don't know where you are watching this right now but I want you to know something Jesus Christ is there with you right now. And Jesus says, especially if you don't know him, behold, I stand at the door and I not if you hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in. How can a person have their sins forgiven. How can a person have their anxiety and guilt removed. How can a person find this joy and peace. I been talking about. Answer by admitting you're a sinner and by asking Jesus to come into your life would you like that to happen for you right now that's the gospel. The word gospel just means good news here is a good news. God loves you. God will forgive you, God will enter in your life but I can fully appreciate the good news, or by don't know the bad news. The bad news is you're separated from God and if you don't turn to him you'll face a certain judgment.

You don't want that to happen now.

Do you you can have a fresh start in life you can have Christ come and live inside of you. You can experience this piece that I've been talking you about right now you say but how would one way do you pray, and Emily enjoy the simple prayer by the way, thousands of people have prayed this prayer over 45,000 people have prayed this prayer with me over the last weeks that we've been gathering exclusively online.

It's a simple prayer. We are asking Jesus to come into your life.

So listen in closing, if you want your sin forgiven, if you want to know you go to heaven when you die if you want to fill their big hole in your heart if you want your guilt removed then I want you to pray this prayer with me that I'm about to pray. You can even print out loud if you like, or you can pray it silently in your heart. But Dupree and God will hear your prayer.

So if you want Jesus to come in your life. Pray this prayer with me right now.

Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. Now Jesus come into my life right now. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer in answering this prayer in Jesus name I pray, amen

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