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Best of 2020: God's Answer to Fear, Worry, & Anxiety: Look to Christ Not Our Crisis

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 30, 2020 3:00 am

Best of 2020: God's Answer to Fear, Worry, & Anxiety: Look to Christ Not Our Crisis

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 30, 2020 3:00 am

As the sun sets on 2020, we’re all hoping next year is a lot brighter. For some, it’s hard to imagine it getting much darker. But no matter how promising 2021 is, we’ll all still encounter challenges. But in the midst of those challenges, Jesus will walk right beside us. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie launches a collection of most- requested messages from the past year. And to kick-off this series – he offers “God’s Answer to Fear, Worry & Anxiety.”

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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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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know KNOW know it would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it. Sometimes were doing well and then we do with that. We begin to sing like Peter walked on water to focus on her situation.

Pastor Greg Laurie says we need to look to Christ, not a crisis causes us hard begin to sing so I wanted to get you through this door thought of it to him. Jesus, keep your eyes on the Lord is we are all hoping next year is a lot some much darker. But no matter how promising 2021 is will all still encounter challenges in the midst of those challenges Jesus will walk right beside us to Greg Laurie watches the collection of most requested messages from your office. God's answer to your site grab your Bible want to the terms of Matthew chapter 14 of got my green bubble here with lots of ribbons and I want you to grab your Bible a bit of ribbons are not enjoying me as we talked together heard a story about a little boy that was scared he was in bed at night and he cried out, daddy, daddy, I'm scared. The father said son go back to sleep. Everything's fine daddy daddy.

He said come to me come to me now my room and the father said now son, God is with you and the little boy shot back.

Right now I need someone was skin on God through Jesus is Jesus is God with skin on the many ways I feel like were in sort of a collective nightmare in America and indeed around the world were like scared little children, and we need the light turned on, and we need the comforting reassuring words of our father in heaven who is here with us, and here's what the Lord says to us in Isaiah 43 verse two when you pass through the waters, I will be with you when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you when you walk to the fire. You will not be burned, the flames will not set you ablaze when the coronavirus is spreading.

You will be protected.

Oh wait, that's not in there, but it's implied estimate because God is bigger than what were all facing right now and here's a thought. I want you to consider the Christian is indestructible until God is done with them, you're indestructible. What is that mean it means you're gonna live as long as God wants you to live and he will protect you. Until that day. The Bible even says though. A thousand may fall at your side will not come near you. If God still is a plan and a purpose for you or for me were going to continue on as a story in the book of acts when the apostle Paul was shipwrecked is boat came apart in the in the Bible says the boards they were on boards going into the shore of a little island there and I wonder, by the way of autumn stood up, because if they did that the first case of surfing ever. Even before the guys over in Hawaii. So Depaul serve good ball hitting 10. I don't know but there were reports of the short just saying anyway so they arrive at the shore there freezing there drenched in there warming themselves by this fire and they're the people that live in the island.

All of a sudden a better mistake fastens itself.

Depaul's armfuls ago that a mistake shakes off falls in the fire and dies. All the people are waiting for Paul to die because it was a snake with venom that could kill him but he just continued on, because it wasn't his time. Here's the point I'm trying to meet you.

You can live as long as God wants you to live is an interesting passage in Mark 1618, it says the pick up snakes with their hands and if they drink deadly poison will not hurt them at all.

Clearly, this verse is not saying that we should have services what we can rattlesnakes around is a verdict done. That's crazy. That's not trusting the Lord.

That's testing the Lord, but what I'm saying is you're going to be around as long as God wants you around. So as God said to Abraham in Genesis 15 one not be afraid. I will protect you and that's great for us to know. But then he was the questionable Greg what about that moment when death comes than death, but here's what the Bible says to live is Christ, or to die is gain present another translation puts it, living means living for Christ and dying is even better listen. Nobody wants to die but we are all going to die, but the reality is, as a Christian we don't even have to fear death itself because God is greater even than that.

So listen I want to talk to you about how to deal with your fear, anxiety and worry, and we all experience it okay I'm not exempt nobody is. So let's read a story from the Bible. Matthew chapter 14 I'm in the start in verse 22. Here's what we read.

Immediately Jesus made his disciples get the boat the global form to the other side while he sent the multitudes away, and then he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. It might underline those words a come back to him and when evening came, he was alone there, but the boat was in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves of the wind was contrary.

Now in the fourth watch of the night. By the way, that's the last part of the night right before the sun will rise that the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to them walking on the sea when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled and said it's a ghost that cried out for fear. Listen, that's us right now we don't know what we are but were like in the middle of the sea bobbing around. We don't know what's coming next. So what does Jesus do and say we read that immediately Jesus said to them, be courageous and don't be afraid.

Verse 28 of Matthew 14 and then Peter says, Lord of it. You tell me to come to you. Jesus said, and Peter got out of the boat, walked on the water to go to Jesus.

Look at verse 30 a come back to this, you might underline it when he saw that the wind was boisterous at the King James were the wind was wild, he saw the wind was strong.

He was afraid and beginning to sink he called out to Jesus the Lord save me and immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand and caught him and said oh you of little faith, why did you doubt.

Then I got back in the boat and they all said truly, this is a son of God, is if you take away points for you. Number one.

Jesus is with you in your storm and he's watching you in your storm. We read in verse 23 he went by himself to a mountain to pray in Mark adds the detail in Mark 648 commenting on the same story when he saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them so Jesus was watching them. And Jesus is watching you, not impassively but with great interest and great concern though they lost sight of him. He never lost sight of them. You are not alone in your little storm right now some of you are with family you're kind of hanging out together you that some great family time that a little stress to your never been you know cramped up in that space for such a long period of time. But you know some of you are alone and you don't have family you don't have friends I want you to know that Jesus is there for you. Jesus cares about you and the Bible says that Jesus is inter-seating for you. Point number two Jesus will come to us in our storms. In some ways he comes to us in a way that maybe we notice more when were in a store, you know, when we have everything going on that supermarket shelves are filled in and there's movies to go see in restaurants to go eat at 10 things to go to its great, but things are different right now in and were saying words Jesus, he's right here.

How did Jesus come to them. He walked on the water. You know Jesus is God. That means he could do whatever he wants.

He could've flown in firewood. Jesus, I would've never walked anywhere out of flown everywhere, but is said to the disciples were going out to Jerusalem and then I would say and how I go. You do not know what is it me, I'll just meet you there to worry about it then I would just flown their anatomy of the going Jesus walked among us is a man he ate food like we ate. He slept like we sleep. He felt human pain like we feel he walked in her shoes he lived our life, he died our death, but he came to them on the ways to show him that the thing they feared the wind and the sea was only a staircase for him to come to them heard a minister say the other day. Chaos is never the evidence of God's absence. It's the arena in which he moves so were in chaos right now or wait and was in God's gone God's are God.

This is the arena in which he moves. This is the opportunity for the church to step into the vacuum and help people maybe you know somebody that's elderly like me and maybe they need help, they beat they need someone to go to the market for them neighbor and neighbor need to can you start talking them you start communicating. This is something when we have not had before.

It's all new time and a great opportunity for us to show the love of God. Chaos is never the evidence of God's abs arena in which he moves. Pastor Greg will have more encouragement for us just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here personally inviting you to join us for what we call Harvest at Home. It's a Bible study.

It's a worship service. It church in your home, you're not able to get out your church right now. If so, join us for Harvest at Home people are listening this from around the world listen to this. We have seen thousands of people make a commitment to follow Christ. Join us this weekend harvest@home.o Pastor Greg is taking us to the moment when Jesus is approaching his disciples in the midst of the storm, walking on the water continue the message of the disciples are terrified they think it's a ghost. Why didn't he know it was Jesus answer because they weren't looking for him and a lot of times we miss Jesus not because he's upset, but because were not looking for him sometimes and storms will become more aware of his presence. Joe put it this way, Job 42 five I've heard of you for the hearing of the year, but now my eyes see so someone listening to me right now would say I've heard about how God answers prayers. But now I see it, I've heard all got as close to people when they're facing hardship. But now I've personally experienced it and you can experience that as well so Peter says, Lord of the Jew told me to come. Jesus says come.

And Peter is walking on the water.

Let's give credit where credit is due. Nobody else volunteered to do this, not James and John. Nobody else just Peter and the Lord did say, but then what happened. Matthew 1430 when he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink he cried out, Lord save me see sometimes were doing well and then we look at the wind and we begin to sink would turn on the news here. The latest report and it causes us to panic and our hearts begin to sink Peter's sink because he was afraid he sink because he took his eyes off Jesus because when fear rains faith is driven away. Faith don't hang out together.

Faith is either going to be there or fears going to be there but when one comes in the other walks out heard of Dr. say some of never heard before on the news.

He said quote courage uses the same pathways is fair." So you can make a choice. You can be afraid that's easy.

Or you can be courageous and that's what Jesus told them to do to be courageous, but Peter sank because he took his eyes off of Jesus and will begin our eyes off of Jesus were going to sink only forget God's promises to us were going to sink.

The Senate wanted tell you what sustained Kathy and I and Jonathan are sons of the darkest time of our life. It was when our oldest son Christopher at the age of 33, was killed in an automobile accident. It was devastating and you are whole life changed overnight. And unlike the way things are now, we could go out, you know, and we did. You know, few days after we went out we went into a restaurant but you know the food seem to have no flavor that I would watch other people laughing and having a good time and I resent it because I was in such deep pain. I couldn't escape the pain. No matter where he went. It was there with me.

In fact, if I went to a place that I'd gone too previously with my son. I would have all these memories of our time together.

So I wanted tell you what got me through it and I want to tell you what gets me through it and I want to tell you what will get you through this storm in the sun and it to him. It's Jesus it's Jesus that got me through.

It's Jesus that gets me through, and it's listening to Jesus speaking to me from the word of God. Listen we need to be together right now.

I know we have to keep our social distance, but we can communicate virtually texting, emailing, posting, using the phone, I saw little video work but elderly woman was having like 100 birthday and her family gathered outside singing to her through the window that was beautiful, but we need to be communicating. Let's reach out to one another. Make sure nobody is left alone to keep your eyes on the Lord years ago. Jonathan was one to learn how to scuba dive. How old were you when that happened, the member, I think I was a difference like 10 or 11 years old. I was just at the age where I can legally go and learn how to scuba dive. Just so we're on Maui and I'm certified as a scuba diver. I was certified years ago, which means that I can die when I want I can go get tanks and such, but Jonathan wasn't certified so we went there would training course all day long and I said to the instructor. Hey when you guys go on the dock tomorrow. I'd like to go.

He said are you certified. I said yes I am. I have a Patty card PAD I which means I can get the tanks and so what would happen is the next day comes in. The weather went south and vote for Bob and around and and I thought all men. I don't want to go out there because I didn't go for a long time and so the driver dive instructors is working to go so we get on the boat and we got think about this. Your strapping on all this equipment, you have your BC best your inflatable vest of your very heavy scuba tanks you of your regulator that you breathe through your got your fins a weight belt and then you sit on the edge of the boat like this and you hold onto your mask and you fall backwards.

That's a lesson you want to do when your strapping on all that way in and we went in the water we start to breathe and I started to freak out. I was scared and I looked over at Jonathan.

His eyes were as big as saucers. He was terrified and I didn't wanted him to see. I was scared because I'm certified that I have a Patty card so I was really scared and I looked over the instructor who turned to Jonathan and he said Jonathan look at me. Jonathan looked at him and I'm looking at him to and he said these words at Jonathan. Remember your training, and Jonathan remembered started to breathe well below the surface and everything was fine so the same way we start to panic in the storm, Jesus would affectively say look at me, look at me to look at the wind. The look of the circumstances. Look at me and remember your training. Remember what you've learned in the word of God supported Peter do as he began to sink.

He called out to Jesus folks if ever I've seen a wake-up call for America. I think were seeing it right now he is allowed this to happen.

We don't know why but America Christian it's time to pray.

I'm not talking about a laid-back casual prayer I'm talking about a fervent storm the gates of heaven type of prayer that calls out to God in desperation and urgency. We need God.

In America we need God to intervene and turned back an invisible enemy. We need to pray for our scientists, we need to pray for our president's task force all the others that are working tirelessly to help us to this national crisis call on the Lord hears what God says: me and I will show you great and mighty things that you don't know there's another verse of the know your one but boy does it fit right now. Second Chronicles 714 the Lord says of my people which are called by my name. Listen now, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, those of the conditions that overcomes the promise. God says that I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin and heal their land. It's time to pray. It's time to turn from your sin to and call out to the Lord. Peter started to sink what we read.

We read immediately Jesus reached out and grabbed him. I'm talking to somebody now that needs to call out to the Lord somebody who was not sure that their sin is forgiven. You know, if you're not a believer right now.

You can't do all the stuff you normally do. Can you your your loan and some of you are very scared.

But I want you to know something God loves you and God wants a relationship with you and God isn't mad at you.

God wants to show to you the wonderful plan he has your life. Jesus Christ came to this earth. As I said earlier, he walked among us is a man he breathe our air. He lived our life and then he died our death and then he rose again from the dead and now he is ready to forgive you of your sin.

No matter what you've done but you have to admit you're a sinner you have to say Lord I know I broken your commandments.

I know I've fallen short of your standards and Lord. I'm sorry and then you must receive Jesus into your life. Becoming a Christian is not just reading the Bible. It's not just saying religious things. It's actually having Christ come and live inside of you and here's my question to you is a close is Jesus living in your life right now. You might say, well, I'm not sure let me ask you a question.

If a family moved into your house in the middle of the night and were cooking things in the early hours of the morning. Do you think you would know graduate not suggesting God is like that. I just seen as someone moved into your house, you would know if Jesus is living inside of you. You will know let me flip that around. If you don't know that is living inside of you. Maybe it's because he hasn't you see are not born a Christian, you have to be born again.

Jesus said, being raised in a Christian family doesn't do it. Going to a church doesn't do it you have to say Lord I'm a sinner, I believe you're the Savior, and I ask you to come in the my life right now and forgive me of all of my sin.

He will do that for you and I think talking to some prodigal's out there right now.

You haven't been to church for a while they'll have you, but the good news is churches come to you and even more Jesus is here ready to come into your life, ready to forgive you some prodigal sons and daughters wanted to come on home. We all know the story of the prodigal who run away from home lived in a distant land blue all is inherited, said his dad gave to him made a mess of his life. One day he came to his senses and he said I was going to go home and asked dad that hire me as a worker but the Bible says about the way Jesus told the story of the boy was still a long ways away. The father saw him ran to him through his arms around him just them and said no my son is home he was dead is alive again and that's how God feels toward you got isn't mad at you. God is mad about you and God loves you and God will accept you as you are.

If you will come to him and ask his forgiveness.

So if you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you would like to be forgiven of your sin. If you would like to know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die than pray this prayer with me right now. You can even print out loud if you like. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for my sin rose again from the dead. Jesus come into my life.

I call out to Jesus name I pray, Esther, Greg Lord important prayer with those making a change in their relationship with the Lord today.

If you just prayed with Pastor Greg and made a decision for Christ would like to offer a resource to help answer your questions about this decision. We call it our new believers growth packet and will send it free of charge upon request just right is that a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We are here to take your call anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300 or go online to now. If any interruptions came up during today's study. You can hear what you missed by listening again the title to look for is God's answer to fear or worry and anxiety part one, you can request a CD copy by calling 1-800-821-3300. That's a 24 hour phone number 1-800-821-3300 yesterday were excited about making the DVD of a rush of hope available to her listeners and I really think they're sort of a pent-up demand for that whole personally several friends have asked me if a DVD was available to a lady that used to be our neighbor. Some 30 years ago tracked me down on Facebook just asked me that this Pastor Greg of a DVD of a rush of hope.

So I'm excited to say yes.

Finally, it's available in were making it available to her listeners right now.

That's right Dave, it's available.

Get ready for uncle Dave.

Arezzo Pope is hair.

Yes, Dave. I've heard the same thing, the people would would comment on my social media. I loved it. I watched it 5678 times because as you know, over a given weekend.

Labor Day weekend we showed up multiple times and people just kept watching it and watching it and then wanting to share it with friends, but of course we never archived that you couldn't watch it on the menu could only watch it for one of the showings, but now you can watch it whenever you want wherever you want with whom ever you want to watch it with because a rush of hope is on DVD and not only that, but we vented some special resources to this offer were including a special little book called a rush of hope, a little booklet where we answer life's most difficult questions that you can give out to somebody who is not yet a Christian is also a little piece that we wrote on how to host a watch party so the ideas you invite a bunch of neighbors over and you show a rush of hope and then you can follow up on them so they can make a commitment to Jesus Christ. We saw thousands of people make a profession of faith. After we showed this on Labor Day weekend well over 17,000 people and now we believe thousands and thousands more will come to Christ as well and so working to put this research in your hands. I got to do is order is the order I need to do is send it to you for your gift of any size. I will take the gift that you send and will use it to continue to expand our ministry. You know we want to be good stewards over what God has given us were strong believers in paying our bills and and doing the things that we promise that we will do financially, but we also want to expand their territory.

We want to go to new areas and as you give. We have resources to utilize to go into a market as it's called that we've never been into before.

So if you think more people need to hear this radio broadcast a new beginning. If you think more people need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ through films like a rush of hope, then I would encourage you to send a generous financial gift to harvest ministries and we will put it to work for the kingdom of God and again is my way of saying thanks will rush to your own copy of our cinematic crusade film. A rush of hope we let us hear from you today.

Time is of the essence there just hours (2020. So thanks for sending your end-of-the-year gift today and this DVD will be on its way to you also will send a digital download code she can watch online right from your computer or tablet or smart phone. That way you can take it with you and share it with a friend. You might say a cinematic crusade right in your pocket or purse so I today a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 online to the next time even more insight on how we can chart a course for a worry free life 2021 more of our Bastrop series of mostly rusted messages.

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