You're listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.
Visit our website and learn more about Harvest Partners at harvest.org. This is the day when the lost are found This is the day for a new beginning Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound Again you hear all the angels are singing This is the day, the day when life begins Greg Laurie begins a message designed to set us free from the worry trap. Good encouragement, worth taking some notes. This is the day, the day when life begins The title of my message is God's answer to fear, anxiety, and worry.
Before I start I want to make sure I'm talking to the right people. How many of you deal with fear, anxiety, and worry? Raise your hand up. Okay. How many of you don't?
You don't have any issues? You're just always calm because you're liars, or you're mentally disturbed, or I don't know what you are, but you're not normal, that's for sure. Why is it three o'clock in the morning is the moment that many of us wake up, at least it is for me, three o'clock in the morning, it's like a magic number, and all of a sudden I'm awakened by a dream or something, or some fear, some anxiety, some worry sort of grips me. And then you start playing that what if game. You know what I'm talking about?
Oh no. What if this happens? And what if that happens? And all of a sudden you find yourself filled with deep fear, intense worry, and crippling anxiety. Well that's what I want to talk about in this little series I'm going to do on God's answer to fear, worry, and anxiety. You know when a child is afraid of the dark they need someone to reassure them.
And the best thing to do is turn on the lights so they know there's actually not a monster under the bed. If there is no boogeyman, there is no threat to them, they need the reassuring words of an adult that can help them get a proper perspective. Well in the same way, like little children, when we're frightened, when we're scared, we need the reassuring words of our Heavenly Father to help us in times of anxiety. And you know we all deal with fear.
What I'm amazed by is how if there's not enough to be afraid of we pay money to be frightened, right? Oh the new scary movie. Oh it's really scary. And then the scariest scene of the scariest movie comes on and what do we do? We cover our eyes. How many of you have seen the film Jaws?
It's been around forever anyway. It's hard for you to believe now but back when that movie came out people were freaking out in movie theaters. No one wanted to go in the water. People didn't even want to take baths after they saw Jaws. And there's this one scene where the captain of the little boat is swallowed alive by the shark. Now when you look at it now it is so fake looking.
It's like the fakest shark ever but somehow when I saw that scene for the first time I was like oh it's horrifying you know. So there's scary movies and then there's amusement parks and these crazy roller coasters people can get on. I just decided a while ago I'm not going on another roller coaster. I don't know if I ever enjoyed it. Even when I was a kid I went to Disneyland not long ago with my son Jonathan and Levi Lusko and we brought along some of the little kids.
Levi brought his daughter Daisy and Jonathan brought Ali and Christopher. And so we're talking about rides that go on and they decided they wanted to go on the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride over at California Adventure. Now I've been on that ride.
It used to be called the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. And I hated it because I hate to drop quickly. So I'd already done it.
I said I'm not going. So Jonathan and Levi and Christopher, little Christopher went on this ride and I took the little girls over to Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. And even that nauseated me a little bit. There was a lot of swing in there and a lot of hearing Mater's voice saying get her done.
Get her done right. By the way the guy that is the voice of Mater, Larry the Cable Guy, is a Christian who listens to our radio broadcasts all the time. So anyway. So I decided I'm tired of paying money to be sick to my stomach and to be scared.
But then there are things that really are frightening in life. I heard the story of a hitchhiker. A man in a pickup stopped for him and the hitchhiker jumped in the back. And as it turns out the man driving the truck had a coffin in the back that he was delivering. So the hitchhiker was sitting there and it started to rain and he didn't want to get wet. So he climbed in the coffin. And the hum of the engine caused him to fall asleep. Unbeknownst to him the truck driver stopped and picked up two more hitchhikers. So they climbed in the back of the truck and they're cruising along. And then the rain stopped and the guy had fallen asleep opened up the top of the coffin and sat up.
The other guys jumped out. Needless to say. Now that's scary. That's scary. So there's a place for rational fear. That we actually want to have that fear.
Like you're on the edge of a cliff. It's good to have fear and step back a little bit. I'm not talking about rational fear. I'm talking about irrational fear that gnaws at us over time. The fear of the unknown. The fear of losing something we have. The fear of losing control. The fear of the future.
And there's a lot of things that stress us out. And one of the reasons is because we get our information on demand now so quickly. There's threats of war. We open up the newspaper.
Well very few people read newspapers anymore. You go to your favorite news site or your news feed on your phone or on Twitter and you're reading the headlines. You're scrolling through and oh there's a terrorism threat over here. Another terrorist attack in another place and all those things. And then there's the personal things we worry about. Losing our health. Losing our job.
Even worse losing a member of our family. And this is not limited to older people. When you're young you worry all the time. You worry about your future. You wonder will I ever get married?
I'm so old. I'm like 20 and I'm not married yet. Or am I ever going to pay off my college debt?
Or am I going to have a career? What will it be like to be an adult? And then when you're an adult you look back in your childhood and say man I wish I was young again. Those were the good old days. I didn't have a worry in the world. Right? I actually read the other day that millennials are the most stressed generation ever.
That's interesting. The most stressed generation ever. They say they're even more stressed than what is called the greatest generation.
That's the generation that came through World War II. And I think there's a two word answer to why millennials are stressed. Avocado toast. You know there's something in it.
It's messing with your minds. Just stop. I actually read a headline. A millionaire gave advice to millennials.
He said stop buying avocado toast if you ever want to buy a house. Right. No seriously the stress is caused clearly by these things that we all have. How many of you have a cell phone? How many of you don't have a cell phone?
You might be the smart ones you know. But you know we carry these things around. And I was very excited when this technology came to be because I'm old enough to remember when the first cell phones came out. And they were very large. They were called the brick. And they were made by Motorola. And they really were like a brick.
They were massive. They had a battery life of like eight minutes. But yet we were so excited to be able to carry a phone around. But now these phones are causing so much stress.
They've said that the most stressed people are called constant checkers. These are people who are attached to these devices just flipping from one screen to another. You've seen people do this.
You might even be one of these people. You come to a light. You reach impulsively for your cell phone.
And you just start flipping, flipping, flipping. Instagram, you know, looking at what's going on over on Twitter, your news feed, checking your emails or whatever it is. And they say that these constant checkers report feeling isolated because of technology even when they're with their families.
It's been said that millennials are the loneliest generation of all. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey, everybody, Greg Laurie here, encouraging you to join us this weekend for what we call Harvest at Home. It's worship. It's a message from the word of God.
You can watch it with your family in your front room, or you can watch it on the go on your tablet, on your phone or your computer. Take it with you. Take the word of God with you and join us for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. Well, Pastor Greg is offering some very helpful insight today on a common issue.
It's a message called God's answer to fear, anxiety and worry, part one. Let's continue. You know, I saw an interesting, trending term right now. It's hashtag if social media didn't exist. Interesting question. What if there was no social media? So, of course, we go to social media to talk about what it would be like if there was no social media.
So I'm reading what people wrote. One person wrote, if social media didn't exist, everyone would be so much happier. And I think there's some truth to that because I remember what it was like to not have it. And we had things called answering machines.
And when you got home, you'd turn it on and you'd hear all of the messages for the day. But the rest of the time, in some ways, ignorance could be bliss. Another person said, well, we would have a lot more productive people. Another person said we would have to make friends the old-fashioned way. A girl named Veronica said, if social media didn't exist, people wouldn't be constantly comparing themselves to guys or girls they see on their feed, which the majority of time are people who have been photoshopped. And that's very true. I wish they could look like them, you see. They don't even look like them, you see.
It's sort of an illusion. Another person said, if social media didn't exist, I'd have to drag my cat from door to door to show people the funny stuff he does. I like that. What is with all these videos and pictures of cats?
I don't understand it. So I had to jump into the fray and I wrote, if social media didn't exist, I would have more time to be more productive. But at the same time, I would not be able to offer hope from a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and many that really need it. That's what I try to do with my social media platform. But now it's become lethal. We have death by selfies. A young university student, 22 years old, fell off a mountain after she stepped over a retaining wall to take a selfie. A daredevil in China was filming himself hanging off the side of a building, had a camera set up at a distance, and fell 62 stories.
A young lady who liked to take selfies of herself on snow-covered mountains in her bikini continued to do so until she fell to her death. And so some of you are saying, you know, I actually was very happy after that time of worship, but you so stressed me out with everything you've said. Well, look, stress is a serious problem which is connected to worry and anxiety because the National Institute of Mental Health reports a significant increase in the number of Americans who fears have moved into full-blown anxiety, disorders, and phobias. Now we've all heard of claustrophobia, the fear of small spaces, but there's other phobias, and these are real.
I'm not making any of them up. I don't even know if I'm pronouncing this one right. Cathisnophobia. It's the fear of sitting. I hope you don't have that phobia because you're sitting. Even worse, ablutophobia, the fear of bathing. I hope you're not sitting next to someone that has that fear. This one I almost understand. Dentophobia.
I'm sure you can figure that out. What do you think that's the fear of? Dentists. I don't like the sound of those drills. I was at my dentist the other day, and they're doing a teeth cleaning, and I don't like it because they're looking for trouble, you know?
And then, ooh, ooh, we have a little problem here, and then she calls it down. Here we go, you know? And of course it was something that needs to be dealt with, but I'm not dealing with it because I have dentophobia.
No. I'll get to it eventually. I have procrastinatophobia too, I think. There's automatonphobia.
I'm not making this up. Automatonphobia, the fear of ventriloquist dummies. When would this fear be experienced exactly?
I can't think of many ventriloquist dummies I come into contact with. I hope you don't have this one. Paldophobia. It's the fear of baldness and bald people. But my favorite is phobophobia. That's the fear of phobias.
Here's another one. Glossophobia. It's the fear of public speaking. That is the number one fear. Number two is death.
Basically what you're saying, if you go to a funeral, you'd rather be in the casket than saying a few words about the deceased, right? So all these things can lead to high levels of stress. Literally being filled with anxiety and fear can cause you to have ulcers, depression, obesity, nervous breakdowns, even cancer.
One expert said that 90% of all doctor visits in the USA are triggered by stress-related illness. Okay, so what's the answer? Well, as always, the Bible has answers, doesn't it? So let's read some words from Scripture. John chapter 14, a very familiar passage, one that I really love. Jesus says, and let's get the context of who he was saying it to. He said this to his disciples in the upper room. This is after it had become known to them that he was going to be crucified, that he was going to be leaving them. So needless to say, they were very stressed.
They were filled with fear and deep anxiety. So with that backdrop, Jesus says these words, 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, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself. There where I am, you know, and you may be there also. Where I go, you know, and the way, you know.
We'll stop there. The word that Jesus uses here for trouble is a picturesque word. It means don't let your heart shudder. Have you ever had your heart shudder?
Just really bad news, something that just was a shock to your nervous system. He says don't let your heart shudder. Jesus did not say worry and get super stressed and mull over your problems. Rather, he said don't be troubled, and hey, life is full of troubles. No matter how much money you make or where you live or what you do for a living, you'll never be able to create a trouble-free life.
Job says in chapter 5 verse 7, people are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire. I hate to break it to you, but it's always going to be something. It's always going to be something. Just when you get through that one conflict or that one difficulty or that one hardship or that one trial, hey, another one's coming. I don't say that to depress you. I say that to prepare you so you understand that troubles may come and what you need to do when those troubles do come.
There's big things that seem to overtake us, and they're small, irritating things. But know this. While there are reasons to be troubled, there's a greater reason not to be. Jesus says in verse 10 from the New Living Translation, trust in God, trust also in me.
In other words, Jesus is saying, look, I haven't brought you this far to abandon you now. I know what I'm doing, so I'm asking you to believe. I'm asking you to trust me.
Here's something to consider. What I don't understand what is happening fall back in what I do understand. Let me say that again and direct it toward you. When you don't understand what is happening, fall back in what you do understand. So what don't you understand? Well, whatever it is you're facing, whatever hardship, difficulty, why, why, why, we ask.
Okay. Fall back in what you do understand. What do I know? Well, if I'm a Christian, I know my sin is forgiven, right? If I'm a Christian, I know that one day I'll go to heaven. If I'm a Christian, I know that God is in control of my life. And if I'm a Christian, I know that God loves me. And if I'm a believer, I know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. So though I don't understand these circumstances, I'm going to fall back now in what I do understand. And I have found that when those what if questions start rolling through your mind, I like to go back to what I do understand, what I know is true.
So here's something to consider. I love this little verse. So much packed into one verse of Scripture. Luke 12 32. Jesus said, Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom.
Notice He says it's His good pleasure. I think sometimes we think of God as stingy. God doesn't want to give you that. God doesn't want to bless you. God wants to hold all the good stuff back and just kind of make your life hard.
Nothing can be further from the truth. It's His pleasure to give to you the kingdom. But also, when we think of God as king, it reminds us of the sovereignty and the power of God. So when you're filled with anxiety and fear and worry because of a problem you're facing, consider this. God is bigger than your problem. And if you have a big God, you have a relatively small problem. And if you have a big problem, do you realize how big your God actually is? And so He's your king who's in control of your life. Great encouragement today from Pastor Greg Laurie.
And his counsel isn't finished. He'll have more from this presentation next time here on A New Beginning. Well, we're making available a fascinating new book called The Jesus Music. Pastor Greg, you wrote a book called The Jesus Revolution, talking about the Jesus movement.
Yeah. How much is Jesus music linked to the Jesus movement? Yeah, Dave, I would say it's very linked. It was, well, they say the music of the 60s was a soundtrack of a generation, and that's true. And the Jesus music, which would be late 60s onto the 70s and really to the present day, is also a soundtrack of a generation.
But it's a Jesus generation. And it's very important music because it was born out of revival. It was revival music in its early stages. It's worth noting that in the beginning we called it Jesus music, and later it became an industry known as contemporary Christian music. But it really started with just songs about Jesus.
And I had a front row seat. We were attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa in 1970, which was the epicenter of the Southern California Jesus movement. And all these bands were forming before our eyes. Every week it was like a new band. There was bands with things like Love Song, of course, Gentle Faith, Joy, Country Faith, Mustard Seed Faith, lots of faith back in those days. But what was really unique was these were songs that were written to speak to people. They were songs that expressed this newfound faith that these musicians had found after coming to Christ. And so it was very exciting to see, and then it became a whole industry. And now there's contemporary Christian music stations, of course, and huge events and concerts that happen all around the world. But it started very simply, and it started in revival. And we have a brand new book that sort of tracks the history of Jesus music back in the late 60s, early 70s.
Yes, we do. It's called The Jesus Music, written by Marshall Terrell. And by the way, there's a documentary film put out by the Irwin Brothers and Kingdom Productions by the same name, an amazing film. But this book, The Jesus Music, written by Marshall Terrell, tells you the story. And I was able to have some input in the writing of this book because I was there.
I wrote the introduction to the book as well. And as a matter of fact, some of you may recognize Marshall's name because we have written three books together. One of them is Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon. Another is Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon. And of course, Billy Graham, The Man I Knew. So Marshall is a great writer.
He's a good researcher. And this is going to take you back to the beginning of this music to the present day. There's a lot of stories you'll read and a lot of things you will learn. And I'm sure you did not know about some of your famous artists out there that have touched your lives in so many ways. Yeah, it's such an interesting book. You'll love it, even if you're a relative newcomer to Jesus music.
Again, it's the new book called The Jesus Music. And we'd be glad to send a copy your way to thank you for your partnership with us and making these studies available each day. It's only through listener support that that's possible. So thanks so much for your generosity. Write us at A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime. That's 1-800-821-3300.
Or go online to harvest.org. Are some big problems stealing your joy and peace of mind? Next time, Pastor Greg reminds us that no matter how big our problems are, God is bigger still. More good reassurance coming. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher, Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. Hey everybody, thanks for listening to A New Beginning. This is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners. So for more content that can help you know God and equip you to make Him known to others, or to learn more about how you can become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org.
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