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God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry, Part 1 | Free From the Worry Trap

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 24, 2023 3:00 am

God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry, Part 1 | Free From the Worry Trap

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 24, 2023 3:00 am

If worry were an Olympic sport, some of us would qualify for the Gold Medal. But, in reality, life gives us so much to worry about, doesn’t it? The world is a mess, on so many levels. And we all have issues on a personal level, as well. But so many times, we’re so much more attached to our burdens than our burdens are attached to us. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie begins a message designed to set us free from the worry trap. Good encouragement worth taking some 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. Pastor Greg Laurie says, listen to the Lord. If worry were an Olympic sport, some of us would qualify for the gold medal. But in reality, life gives us so much to worry about, doesn't it?

The world is a mess on so many levels, and we all have issues on a personal level as well. But so many times, we're so much more attached to our burdens than our burdens are attached to us. And today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie begins a message designed to set us free from the worry trap. Good encouragement worth taking some notes. 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 swinging 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've 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. Well, 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, and 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, just 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. 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 mind. 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? Most of you. 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. 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 or your newsfeed. 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. More and more people are sharing how Pastor Greg's movie Jesus Revolution has impacted them. Pastor Greg, I just watched Jesus Revolution and wow, I'm touched and stirred up.

I'm literally on fire and desperate for a move of God in this generation. Thank you for sharing your story. After watching Jesus Revolution, I've rededicated my life to Jesus. I'm all the way in, Pastor Greg.

Thank you for sharing your life with us. Praying for you and your ministry and that more people will find Jesus. Would you like to share a comment with Pastor Greg? If so, email him. Greg at Harvest dot org. That's Greg at Harvest dot 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. 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. That's right, too. I wish I 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.

So 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 is 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. When I don't understand what is happening, fall back on what I do understand. Let me say that again and direct it toward you. When you don't understand what is happening, fall back on 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 on 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 on 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 council isn't finished. He'll have more from this presentation next time here on A New Beginning.

Pastor Greg? Hey everybody I'm in studio here with Shannon Bream who has written a number of books. And her newest is called The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. Now it's not just romantic stories. She does talk about Adam and Eve and the Song of Solomon.

And some not so great romantic stories like Samson and Delilah. But Shannon you also have a chapter on the relationship of Jesus and the Apostle John. John is described, well he describes himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved. And that can almost appear arrogant but I don't think it's arrogant at all.

In fact I think it's the opposite. If he said the disciple that loved Jesus that would be one thing. But he didn't boast of his love for Jesus. He boasted of the love of Jesus for him.

And it reminds us that when Jesus was here on earth He was fully human like we were. So He had friendships and He had relationships. And we can look at those and see how these people related. Think about, I talk about in the book The Amazing Race if you've ever seen the show. I love this where people pair up.

It could be a family member, a friend. They go on these crazy you know jaunts all over the planet solving clues and doing these things. But at some point you see a meltdown.

And you think like when you're under pressure and you're traveling and you don't have food, you don't have water. Like that's what Jesus and His apostles were doing a lot of the time. That's where their relationships were formed. And we see John at one point you know he and his brother were called the Sons of Thunder. Because he would want to call people out and like Jesus do you want me to call you know fire from heaven down on them. Like he was in Christ really walked him through like no if people are doing things in my name and for my heavenly kingdom and glory.

There's no reason for you to judge and you know wipe them off the face of the earth. So you see his relationship mature as he grows. But we see very real friendships that Jesus had as a human being. And we would read that he would lean his head on Jesus chest you know so almost as though not to miss a thing. And then John outlived all the other apostles and they thought they'd never hear from him again according to church tradition. He was put in a pot of boiling oil and survived it and they banished him to the island of Patmos. And God gave to John the book of Revelation.

That's incredible. But he one of his big messages and you see it in this epistle is love one another. Yes absolutely and we see too that this strong relationship this bond that they had he was there at the cross. Remember almost everybody had abandoned Jesus. The women are there John is there and you see that moment where Jesus knows that he's going to have his earthly death. And he says you know basically you're going to be the one to take care of my mother now.

This is your son this is your mother. And so to entrust John with Mary who was then a seed they both were of the early church. So many people had abandoned Jesus and were rightfully frightened for their own lives at that point.

But John stayed to the bitter end there. That's just one of the things Shannon Bream writes about in her brand new book The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. And we're offering this book to you for your gift of any size this month to help us to continue to bring God's Word to people and proclaim the gospel. Yeah and Shannon highlights a number of relationships in Scripture.

More than a dozen in fact including Adam and Eve, David and Abigail, Ruth and Boaz, Mary and Joseph and many others. We learn so much about the different aspects of love spoken of in Scripture. We'd like to send this new book your way to thank you for partnering with us so these daily studies can keep coming your way.

We're completely listener supported. So ask for The Love Stories of the Bible Speak as you donate today. You can call us at 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime 1-800-821-3300. Or write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.

Or just 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-24 05:38:39 / 2023-07-24 05:48:55 / 10

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