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God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Rejoice in the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2021 3:00 am

God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Rejoice in the Lord

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 5, 2021 3:00 am

It’s so easy to get inside our own heads. It’s an echo chamber of thoughts – often negative thoughts – that feed each other. One anxious thought sits there and germinates the next anxious thought. Pretty soon it’s a garden of worry and depression. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us pull those anxious thoughts out by the roots, and let the truth of God plant itself deeply in our hearts and minds. Glad you’re along today for good insights from Scripture!

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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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. Bring a smile to someone else's face. Isn't it interesting how their smile is contagious?

Pastor Greg Laurie has encouragement. Experts have found helping and focusing on others instead of yourself can literally change your mood. It's so easy to get inside our own heads. It's an echo chamber of thoughts, often negative thoughts, that feed each other. One anxious thought sits there and germinates the next anxious thought. Pretty soon it's a garden of worry and depression. Well, today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us pull those anxious thoughts out by the roots and let the truth of God plant itself deeply in our hearts and minds.

Glad you're along today for good insights from Scripture. So what do we do when worry hits? What do we do when we're suddenly filled with anxiety? What do we do when we're overcome with fear?

Answer. We need to give our worries to Jesus Christ. First Peter chapter five starting in verse six. By the way, I'm reading from the New Living Translation. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God and at the right time he'll lift you up in honor, underline this phrase, casting all your cares upon him for he cares for you. Casting all your cares upon him for he cares for you.

And by the way, the word used here for cast is not the normal word for throwing something. Rather it is a word that signifies a definite act of the will by which we choose to stop worrying about something and let God assume the responsibility for our welfare. So I'm saying I am going to deliberately not worry about this and I'm going to intentionally throw this on God.

I'm going to put it in his hands and I'm going to leave it in his hands. But let me just for a few moments talk about clinical depression. You know there is, I believe people can be clinically depressed or actually have medical issues in play. And sometimes the answer is not just another verse from the Bible and another prayer. Sometimes people need to go see a doctor and they need to have a complete checkup and they need to maybe take a little time off.

You know there is a place for recharging our batteries. There is a time to take some time off, take a vacation even. Even Jesus with his disciples over in Mark chapter 631 said come apart to a quiet place and rest for a while.

And the reason he said this was because so many people were coming and going that Jesus and the apostles didn't even have time to eat. I love how practical that is. Lord so many people are being touched. Yeah. Let's go get away for a little bit.

You guys need to have lunch now. I love the practicality of that. Listen if you don't come apart you're going to fall apart. And there are sometimes practical things we need to consider when we're dealing with maybe depression that we're facing in our life. Frankly it could be your diet. You know I look at what some people eat and I'm thinking that's going to affect the way you feel and the way you think. You're eating Krispy Kreme donuts and washing it down with diet coke. I love that you know. I'm eating all this fatty food but I'm having a diet coke.

That will pretty much correct everything. So you're just filling yourself with sugar and then you're constantly watching television or looking at social media or filling your mind with junk and you wonder why you feel down. Maybe ask yourself some practical questions. When is the last time I took a vacation? What images am I filling my mind with? How much time am I spending on social media? Do I have a tendency to isolate myself? That can be another problem when we get alone and we're not around others who can sort of help us.

And we can get into a funk. And by the way this happened to men and women of God. Elijah comes to mind. Elijah the great miracle working prophet. Elijah who prayed and the rain stopped. He prayed again.

The rain came back. The prophet who literally called fire down from heaven. And yet after his great battle with the prophets of Baal up on Mount Carmel and the fire of God fell from heaven in answer to Elijah's prayer.

And those false prophets were dealt with and it was just a glorious moment. Right afterwards he went into a cave and just went into the deepest depression ever. And it was in that cave that the Lord actually spoke to him and said what are you doing here? See he isolated himself. And then he's sleeping. And an angel wakes him up and I love what the angel said to him. He said to him in First Kings 19 7 get up and eat.

Isn't that interesting? Not pray more. Read more scriptures. Just have a sandwich will you? Maybe you're just hangry right? You just need to have something to eat. My wife can tell when I'm a little bit cranky.

You know she'll throw food at me just to calm me down. No but seriously sometimes it's as simple as just having something to eat. Having a good night's sleep. Resting a little bit. Having a balanced diet.

Even exercising. These things all have their place. But here's something I found. Depression often comes after high moments in your life. Low lows often follow high highs.

Right? So you have that big moment and then you have to return to reality and for some it's kind of hard to deal with. I read an interesting article by a doctor named Robin Smith. She wrote a book called Hungry the Truth About Being Full. And she writes about those who feel an emptiness in their lives after experiencing great success. And she calls it quote being hungry for the high note.

And she writes about the deaths of Michael Jackson in Whitney Houston. She said and I quote, people say drugs killed them. Drugs didn't kill them.

What killed them is they were striving and hungry and they were striving to hit the high note again. And I think that can be true of people. You know they have this certain success in their life. Or this certain euphoric moment in their life and they want it to always be like that. And when it isn't like that they get depressed.

We just have to understand that the culture is not going to bring us the fulfillment that we're looking for. I read about an Instagram post by Justin Bieber and he made this statement. Hey world that glamorous lifestyle portrayed by famous people on Instagram. Don't be fooled into thinking their life is better than yours.

I can promise you it's not. End quote. So we look at these people on social media or we look at them on TV or we see them on the big screen. And we say oh man if only I were living their life.

Well maybe you should be happy you're not living their life. Because you see how empty and sad so many of them actually are. If you're dealing with depression, anxiety, and fear take your eyes off of yourself and put them on God. Take your eyes off of yourself and put them on God.

Remember this. You are not alone. If you're a Christian God is with you. If you're not a Christian God is near.

And can be with you and in you if you call out to him. The Lord reminds us in Isaiah 41 10. Don't be afraid I'm with you. Don't be discouraged for I am your God. I'll strengthen you and help you. I'll hold you up with my victorious right hand. Listen when you get down he can lift you up. So you need to remember you're not alone. Call out to the Lord.

Remember in our last message that we looked at on this topic. Peter was walking on the water doing the impossible with his eyes set on Jesus. And then he began to look around seeing how crazy it was seeing the stormy waves and such. And he took his eyes off the Lord and he began to sink.

And when you take your eyes off of Jesus you're going to start sinking. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. You know sometimes we can't always make it to church but here's the good news. Church is coming to you.

It's coming to you on your TV screen or on your tablet or your computer or even your phone. We do it every weekend and it's called Harvest at Home. Worship. We have a message from the Word of God.

If you want to find out more just go to harvest.org and join us this weekend for Harvest at Home. Well Pastor Greg is offering some great encouragement today from his message, God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry, Part 2. Let's continue. If you're dealing with depression I have a ten step solution to your depression. To overcoming it.

So if you're taking notes definitely write this down. Ten steps to overcoming depression. Point number one. Do something for someone who has greater needs than you do. Do something for someone who has greater needs than you do. Step number two. Repeat step number one nine more times. That's it?

Yeah that's it. Now understand I'm not dealing with clinical depression or anything like that now. But I'm just saying a lot of times our problem is we're so focused on ourself.

And if you just find someone who has a real need, probably a need much greater than yours, it can put things into perspective for you. Experts have found helping and focusing on others instead of yourself can literally change your mood. It's a well documented fact that volunteering elevates mood in most people. It's a phenomena that has actually been dubbed the helper's high.

The helper's high. And it's been assessed biologically in brain imaging studies. And it's been looked at in research on the release of endorphins. So you've heard of the runner's high?

There is also the giver's high. And I can tell you I've experienced this myself. Where there have been times I've stepped up to speak and maybe I'm not feeling well.

Or something else is troubling me and I'm really not in the mood to speak. But I get up and do it anyway and I start with my spiritual gas tank maybe at 20 percent. And I end at 100 percent. I'm thinking wait how does that work? I started out depleted and I ended up full.

I'll tell you how it works. The Bible says given it shall be given unto you pressed down shaken together and running over. With the same measure you give to others it will be given back to you. So that's why we're always saying to you get involved and serve. And I think when church really starts firing on all cylinders is when we start participating.

Not just attending. Not just expecting everyone to cater to us. But we come saying I want to serve now. I want to help now. I want to do something now.

And I don't care what I do. I just want to do something to bring glory to God. And you'll start having that helper's high so to speak. Or the giver's high. So when someone asks you what you're doing on the weekend you can just say hey man I'm getting high.

I'll say what? I thought you were a Christian. I am a Christian.

I'm going to church on Sunday and I'm going to serve the Lord. And that makes me high man. Now you know understand I'm not trying to make this overly simplistic. You're not always going to have a euphoric feeling when you do things for God.

But I am saying this. There is a certain lift that you can experience. And then when you find someone really in need. I think of times I've gone to make a hospital call. And then maybe I have a cold. I have a cold. Life's so hard. I hate colds.

I'm thinking. Then I go and visit somebody that is terminally ill. Or somebody that's facing a real serious illness of some kind. And sometimes they minister to me more than I minister to them. And I walk out feeling bad about how selfish I was.

Not even wanting to go there in the first place. And how I got perspective on what real hardship is. But yet how the Lord was there with them.

So I think it really helps us when we can get perspective about these things. Let's read one more passage and then we'll wrap this up. Philippians chapter 4 verse 5 to 7. Rejoice in the Lord always.

And again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Rejoice in the Lord no matter what you're going through. Rejoice in the Lord no matter what you are going through. Rejoice in the Lord always writes Paul. And again I say rejoice. By the way circumstantially Paul had nothing to rejoice about when he wrote this.

He was going through great hardship with a very uncertain future sitting in a prison cell. Yet he writes rejoice in the Lord always. And by the way the phrase that he uses in the original language is a command.

He's saying I'm commanding you. The Lord is commanding you. Rejoice in the Lord. Notice it doesn't say rejoice in your circumstances always.

And again I say rejoice. You don't have to necessarily rejoice in circumstances. You don't have to say Lord I'm so thankful that you know I just wrecked my car. No rather I'm so thankful that despite the fact that I wrecked my car you're in control of my life.

And you can provide for me and you love me. That's rejoicing in the Lord see. So despite my circumstances or maybe my physical challenges I'm facing.

Or despite other areas of my life I'm dealing with. The Lord's still in control. The Lord is my shepherd. The Lord is my king. The Lord is my father. The Lord is thinking about me so with this in mind I can rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say rejoice.

Paul is effectively saying will you guys just lighten up a little bit. Just be happy in the Lord. And rejoice in the Lord. Look if anyone can be depressed it's me where I am right now. I can be depressed. I almost deserve to be depressed. But I've chosen not to be. Because God's in control of my life.

And I'm rejoicing and if I can rejoice you can rejoice as well. Maybe you've come here tonight with the weight of the world on you. You've just heard some devastating news. Something has happened that has sort of sent you into a tailspin. And you're just you don't feel good right now. You don't even really in some ways want to even be here right now.

But here you are. And here's what Jesus is saying. Come to me right now if you're laboring under the weight of your sin. If you're tired of carrying heavy burdens and let me carry that for you. If you're schlepping around a bunch of heavy luggage and someone says can I carry that for you.

Your answer should be yes you can. And thank you very much for that. So here's the Lord saying let me lift that burden off of you. Let me help you with that. Let me stand right next to you now and carry that thing that you're carrying. Give it to me. Now look He's not going to take it from you.

You have to give it to Him. That's why Jesus says come to me if you're under the weight of sin. Or you're under the weight of anxiety.

Or you're under the weight of worry. He says give it to me. Casting all your care upon Him for He cares for you. He says come to me with your problems. Maybe you're saying man I've made such a mess in my life.

I don't even know where to start. But how do I get this fixed? Well you just come and admit you can't fix it on your own. You come to God and say I need your help. I'm a sinner and I need a Savior.

I need someone to pull me out of this mess that I'm in right now because I can't pull myself out of it. Maybe you have like an addiction. Or maybe you have some other vice that has a hold of you.

Or just some other area of your life you just can't sort it out. You can't fix it. That's okay.

You're just like the rest of us. So just come and say Lord help me. Forgive me. And I'm telling you whatever problems you're facing in life God can change your story.

Right here right now. But you have to come to Him. He's not going to force His way into your life. He invites you to come.

He welcomes you. But you must say alright Lord I'll take your hand right now and let you pull me out of this. And Jesus died on the cross for your sin. And that's your biggest problem. Not your anxiety. Not your worry.

Not anything you're facing right now that's of a temporal nature. Your biggest issue is where you're going to spend eternity. And according to the Bible there's only two options.

Can you guess what they are? Heaven and hell. By the way that hasn't changed and it never will.

Despite shifting culture and what we think or don't think. Doesn't matter. Two destinations in the afterlife. Heaven or hell. God wants you to go to heaven. God doesn't want anybody to go to hell. That's why He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sin. And pay the price for the wrongs we've done so we don't have to go to hell.

He died in our place. And if we'll believe in Him and turn from our sin He'll change our eternal address from hell to heaven. But you must call out to Him. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And if you've not done that yet why don't you do it right now as we pray together. Let's all bow our heads. Father thank you so much for sending Jesus to die on the cross in our place.

Lord Jesus thank you for coming and laying your life down for us. And now I pray for anyone that has joined us here tonight if they don't know you. If they don't have a relationship with you. Help them to come to you. Help them to believe in you.

Help them to be forgiven by you we pray. Amen. Heard on many Christian music stations across the country and were expanding to even more stations. That's right.

But it wasn't so many years ago that the number of stations that played contemporary Christian music or Jesus music was close to zero. Yes. And the story of how that music was born and was incubated is told in a brand new book. A beautiful hardcover edition that we're making available.

That's right. The title of the book is The Jesus Music. So I had an opportunity to have a front row seat to the beginning of this music. We didn't know it was going to become an industry with Christian radio stations around the world. We just were hearing what we believed in music that we could connect to in the late 60's. You know groundbreaking artists and bands like Love Song and Larry Norman and Andre Crouch and the Disciples and Mustard Seed Faith and many others that followed.

To the present day of the bands that you love. So this is sort of a behind the scenes look at how it all got started. It's called The Jesus Music as you mentioned. It's a beautiful hardcover book written by my friend Marshall Terrell that I've written three other books with. And I had the privilege of writing the forward for this book. And so we are offering to all of our listeners a copy for their gift of any size. So whatever you send we'll send you a copy of The Jesus Music. But I'm going to encourage you to be generous.

This would be a fairly expensive book if you were to order it at Amazon.com or your favorite bookstore. But I'm going to give it to you at no charge. But I do want you to invest in our ministry.

So whatever you can give it's greatly appreciated. And we'll put it to work getting the word of God out. Getting the gospel out. So order your copy of The Jesus Music from us right here at A New Beginning.

Yeah that's right. We have a copy waiting for you. So get in touch with your investment today and be sure to ask for the new book called The Jesus Music. Our address is A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside, CA 92514. Or call us anytime 24 hours a day at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to Harvest.org. Well Pastor Greg you've mentioned how someone can become a Christian with just a simple prayer. Right. Maybe somebody would like to do that right now. Could you help them with that? Sure.

I'd love to. A simple prayer is right. In fact I would like to just pray a prayer and I would ask you to pray it after me right now. Pray these words. Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. But I also know that you are the savior because you died on the cross for my sin and you rose again from the dead.

Jesus come into my life and forgive me of every sin I've ever committed. I choose to follow you from this moment forward. Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank you for answering this prayer Lord and I pray all of this in Jesus name.

Amen. If you just prayed that prayer and meant it I want you to know on the authority of scripture God Almighty has heard your prayer and he will answer this prayer. You are now a newly minted child of God.

So congratulations. You've made the right decision and welcome to the family of God. I want to send you a special gift because of that prayer you've just prayed. It's called the New Believers Growth Packet and in it is a copy of the New Testament in a very understandable translation called the New Living Translation. It also is filled with hundreds of notes that I wrote that will encourage you in this commitment you've made to follow Christ.

And there's some other outstanding materials in this little packet I'll send you as well. So order your copy today and let me be the first to say to you congratulations and welcome to the family of God. Yeah and to get that New Believers Growth Packet just get in touch and we'll be glad to send it right out.

You can write A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside, CA 92514 or call us anytime at 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click the words Know God. Well next time Pastor Greg brings us more valuable biblical counsel in his study series called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety and Worry. Join us here on A New Beginning with pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. This is the day, the day when life begins. A New Beginning is a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. If this show has impacted your life, share your story, leave a review on your favorite podcast app and help others find hope.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-27 09:28:01 / 2023-07-27 09:37:58 / 10

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