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God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Faith Filled

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

God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Faith Filled

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 3, 2021 3:00 am

Problems often bring worry and fear. And fear and worry make it difficult to solve problems. And that causes more fear and worry. Many of us have been caught in a downward spiral like that. But often, when we get to the end of ourselves, we get to the beginning of God. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that the Lord is ready to help, but He waits for our invitation. What is it that has you backed into a corner today? Help is on the way from the book of Romans.

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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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We're glad you're joining us for A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by Harvest Partners. Get more encouraging audio content when you subscribe to Pastor Greg's Daily Devos.

Learn more and sign up at harvest.org. When we take our eyes off of Jesus and we allow our minds and hearts to be filled with doubt, fear, and anxiety, we can start to sing. Here's what you need to do. Cry out to Jesus. Problems often bring worry and fear, and fear and worry make it difficult to solve problems, and that causes more fear and worry. Many of us have been caught in a downward spiral like that, but often when we get to the end of ourselves, we get to the beginning of God. Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that the Lord is ready to help, but He waits for our invitation.

What is it that has you backed into a corner today? Help us on the way from the book of Romans. Why don't you grab your Bible, and we're going to look at two passages. One is John chapter 14, and the other one is Matthew chapter 14. So, John chapter 14, a very familiar passage, one that I really love.

Jesus says, 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. One day Jesus said to His disciples, let's cross over to the other side, and they got in the boat, made their way across the Sea of Galilee, which is actually a massive freshwater lake. And then a huge storm came, and the waves were beating against their little boat, but Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up and said, Master, don't you care that we're perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind stopped, and the water was calm. And Jesus turned to them and said, Why are you so afraid?

Don't you have any faith? See, what they saw was Jesus had the power to stop nature's havoc if He chose to when He said, Peace, be still. And sometimes Jesus will come into the midst of your problem and say, Stop, and it stops.

And other times He's just with you as you face your problem. But I look at it this way, better to be in a storm with Jesus than anywhere else without Him. If Jesus is on board my boat, then I'm okay. And by the way, Jesus said, Let's cross over to the other side. He didn't say, Let's go out to the middle of the Sea of Galilee and I'll die.

He said, Dad, I would not have gotten on that boat. He said, Let's go to the other side. He did not promise them smooth sailing, but He did promise them a safe arrival.

And the same is true for us. He has not promised you smooth sailing in life, but He has promised you a safe arrival. You will get to the other side.

Well, I want to look at one last story. This is also on the Sea of Galilee. This is also about Jesus out there during a storm.

But this one's a little different. It was a stormy night and the disciples were on the boat, but Jesus was not on board with them on that particular occasion. And then they turned and saw Jesus walking over the tops of those waves. And that brings us to Matthew 14, verse 27.

If you haven't turned there yet, look at that. Matthew 14. Immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Be of good cheer.

It is I. Don't be afraid. Peter answered them and said, Lord of the Jew, command me to come to you on the water. Jesus said, Come. And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water. And when he saw, you might underline those two words, he saw the wind was boisterous, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me.

We'll stop there. So why did Peter sink? Because he was afraid. Fear makes us sink. We all know the feeling.

Everything's going great. Then all of a sudden we're gripped with anxiety and fear, and we're practically drowning in our doubts. Faith gives way to fear, trust to worry. And when faith reigns, fear has no place.

But when fear reigns, faith is driven away. Why did Peter sink? Number one, because he took his eyes off of Jesus.

Verse 30, he began to sink and he cried out. He was doing really well. I mean, let's give him some credit. You know, people critique Peter because he was so outspoken and said, honestly, some pretty crazy things. But there's a lot of ink given to Peter. He talked to Jesus and made many statements, far more than any of the others in the gospel. So he had a lot to say.

You always know where you stood with Peter. But, hey, he's the only guy that had the courage to actually try to walk on water. And Jesus actually said, come, and he came. And, of course, he began to sink. He started to sink.

Why? Well, he took his eyes off of Jesus. Years ago, we were in Hawaii, and Jonathan was much younger then, and he wanted to learn how to scuba dive. So I said, okay, well, let's put you through a little course. And the way it worked is they would train you for a day, and then you would go out for a dive the next day with a certified instructor. So I met the instructor, and I said, well, I'm certified, too. And he says, oh, good, you can come on the dive tomorrow.

I said, good. And so Jonathan went through his whole day of training, and the next day he came. And it was kind of stormy, and all the boats were pitching out there on the water. And I was hoping they'd cancel the dive, and, no, it was on still, so we all got on the boat. Now, the problem is I had not dove for quite a long time, and I was a little rusty. And I'm getting the equipment on, and you've got the weight belt, and you've got the regulator and the mask and the tanks and the fins and everything, you know. And you're sitting on a boat, and the way we were to get in is just fall backwards into the water, which is the last thing you want to do when you have a bunch of weight attached to you, right? And so I was a little nervous because I was hoping I would remember everything, and I didn't like the way the water was moving around. And Jonathan looked pretty scared, so I just didn't want to show him I was scared, too, because I'm certified, right?

I'm supposed to be, you know, cool and calm. So we go in the water, and we're under a bit, and it's even worse there. And I look over at Jonathan, and his eyes were as big as saucers. They were huge.

They were huge, totally panicking. And he's looking over at the instructor, and the instructor says to him, Jonathan, look at me. Jonathan, look at me. And then he says to Jonathan, remember your training. And I'm looking at the instructor, too, going, okay. I don't know what the training was, but I'm looking at you.

Are we going to live through this? Well, everything was okay. But I thought that was pretty good advice. Look at me and remember your training. So when we're looking to Jesus, we can do crazy things, wonderful things, faith-filled things, seemingly impossible things. But when we take our eyes off of Jesus and we allow our minds and hearts to be filled with doubt, fear, and anxiety, we can start to sink just like Peter started to sink. But when that happens, here's what you need to do. Cry out to Jesus. Look at verse 30.

Beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me. There's nothing wrong with doing that. What is it that is in us that makes us say, well, I can fix this. I can get through this. I can control this.

Actually, maybe you can't. And really what you need to do is call out to the Lord. Oh, it's a sign of weakness.

I actually think it's a sign of intelligence. I think it's a sign of stupidity to think you don't need God's help. I love what Jesus said, verse 31. Immediately, Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him.

Peter's going down. He catches him, pulling him up, and he says, oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt? Interesting thing, these words, little faith, is one word in the Greek. And there's sort of a tenderness to it. Oh, little faith.

Not two words, one word. Oh, little faith. Almost like a nickname.

Oh, little faith. I know I named you Peter. And I know that means rock.

And I know rocks sink. But hey, man, you were doing well. You were on a roll. Why did you doubt? Why did you take your eyes off of me?

And then he lifts them up and they walked back to the boat. Maybe you're sinking right now. You're filled with fear and anxiety and worry. You feel defeated.

Maybe you're in the grip of some addiction. You say, oh, I can handle it. I've handled this before and then you've fallen. You know, you've fallen off the wagon. And you're back in that same state again. You never thought you'd be there again.

But there you are. And you're wondering, can I ever get out of this again? I feel like I'm sinking.

It's the worst it's ever been. Or maybe there's somebody that has a marriage that's unraveling. You think, I don't think there's any hope for my marriage.

Or there's somebody else that's dealing with some other problem. But you need to call out to the Lord. And remember that God is in control of your life. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment.

My anxiety and PTSD has been really aggravated recently. I say this to thank you for helping me during this extremely difficult time with your teaching from God's Word. God has given you an amazing gift to be able to explain and to teach His Word in a way that I can understand it and apply it. Thank you for pointing us to the cross and helping me personally to stay focused on the blessed hope that Christ is coming back and all things will be righted.

How have these studies in God's Word helped you? If you have a story, why not call us and share it with us? Call 866-871-1144.

That's 866-871-1144. Well, we're getting some good insight today from Pastor Greg on living a worry-free life from a study called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry, Part 1. Let's continue. Romans 8-28 says, For we know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. Verse 29, For whom He foreknew, He also did predestine to be conformed into the image of His own dear Son.

So here's how it works. Something bad happens and we quote Romans 8-28. Well, all things work together for good. So no matter how bad it is, it's going to be good. That's not what the verse says. It says all things work together for good.

It doesn't even say that God makes all things good because some things are bad. If you lose a loved one, that's bad. That's sad.

That's hard. Well, it'll work together for good. No, God will bring good despite this tremendous loss.

There's other hardships you may be facing. Don't try to think that everything has to become good. God will bring good despite some of the bad things He allows in our life.

But here's now the big picture. One day when I get to heaven, I may realize that those so-called bad things were maybe actually good things. I don't know that I can understand that.

This side of heaven. But on the other side I'll say, oh, I get it. You were using that to conform me into the image of your own dear Son. You were using that to prepare me for something still in my future and actually my loved one that died. And I felt so bad about that.

They were in pure bliss and happiness. But I was suffering because I missed them. But now I see that you even had a purpose in that. There's a lot of mysteries. We're not going to figure out this side of heaven. So we just need to trust Him until that day.

But whatever you're going through can be turned around. I read an illustration used by Chuck Swindoll in a book that he wrote about a man that was shipwrecked on an uninhabited island. He painstakingly built a little hut for protection from the elements where he could keep the few items he had salvaged from the wreck. And for weeks he lived in this little hut and he would shelter himself from the storms that would come. And every day he would scan the horizon prayerfully hoping for someone to come and rescue him. And then he would go out for a while and search for food and come back to his little hut. And one day while he was out searching for food he came back and was horrified to find his little hut where his few possessions were was in flames. Now everything that he had was completely gone. He could not believe his bad fortune. And he fell asleep that night thinking how badly things had gone.

Why would this happen? And then he awoke to the sound of someone's voice and it was the captain of a boat had just arrived. And he said, we saw your smoke signal and we came to rescue you. So sometimes what we think is the worst disaster is a smoke signal leading to our deliverance. The worst case scenario can actually be exactly what the Lord has ordered for your life. There is one final movement in this story and I will close. As Jesus is walking to them on the water in Mark's version it says, and he would have walked right past them.

I love that detail. It is like here they are freaking out in the water. They see Jesus walking and he doesn't even walk to them. He is just kind of walking by like, hey guys how is it going? I am Jesus. I am just walking around on the water.

Because when you are God you can do stuff like this. It is amazing. And they are like, no Lord, Lord come on board our boat. We need you here. You want me to come? Yeah, we want you to come.

Sure, here I come. And I think the reason Jesus did this is he won't force his way into anybody's life. You know you have your problems right now.

I don't want Jesus. Okay, he won't force his way into your life. Go ahead and deal with your troubles in your own way. Freak out, worry, be filled with anxiety. That is not going to help. Turn to drugs. Turn to drinking. Turn to whatever it is you think is going to fix it.

That is not going to help you. Or you can call out to him. But I am telling you the moment you call out to him he will hear your prayer and he will answer your prayer. The Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. And the verse that sums it all up is Revelation 3.20 where Jesus says, Behold I stand at the door and I knock and if you will hear my voice and open the door I will come in.

How easily he could have said, I am God you are not. I am kicking the door in. So get out of the way. By the way, have you ever tried to kick a door in? I did once.

We were living in a little house in Riverside and we were locked out and we couldn't get in. And so I thought it would be a great idea to kick the door in. And I did after like 25 kicks and practically dislocating my leg. But John Wayne did it with one kick, right?

So it is not so easy to do. He could have kicked his way in. He could force his way in. He says hey if you don't want me in your life I won't come in your life. But if you want me in your life I will be there. I will be there and I will help you. And I wonder if there is somebody here that is sinking. Maybe you are sinking in addiction. You are sinking in despair. You are sinking in loneliness.

You are sinking in anxiety. In reality you are sinking in sin. And your only hope is Jesus. If you will call out to Him He will reach out and pull you out.

But you have to ask for His help and call in His name. He died on the cross 2,000 years ago for you. Let me finish the verse I quoted earlier. John 14 where he says, There where I am you know and you may be there also.

Where I go you know and the way you know. And Jesus said, We don't know the way you are going and we don't even know what you are talking about. He says, I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by Me. So now He is telling us how to come into a relationship with the Father through Him.

And only through Him. All roads don't lead to God. All religions don't pray to the same God as some would assert. So we are calling on the true and living God. And the only way to come to Him is through Jesus.

Why? Because only Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world. No guru did that. No prophet so called did that.

No other leader did that. But Jesus died for us and then He rose again from the dead and He is alive and He is with us here right now. And He will come into your life and forgive you of your sin but you must ask Him to. In a moment we are going to pray and I am going to extend an opportunity for you to believe in Jesus. An opportunity for you to ask Him to come into your life.

If you have not done that yet why don't you do it right now. Let's all pray together. Father thank You for loving us so much that You sent Jesus to die on the cross in our place. Lord Jesus thank You for coming and laying Your life down and then rising again from the dead. Thank You that You are here ready to forgive sins for those that would call on You. Help those that need You to reach out to You now. In Jesus name I pray.

Amen. Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer about inviting the Lord into our lives. And if you would like to do that Pastor Greg will help you with that in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well Pastor Greg I know you really like contemporary Christian music. I know you listen to it quite a bit. And you were there back when contemporary Christian music was first born. They called it the Jesus music. You were a tuba player weren't you?

Never, no. I thought I remember seeing you trying to fit that into your corvair. Oh that was another guy with lung, hair, and a beard back in the day. I don't think there was a lot of tubas in the music back then.

Maybe in the brass section. But yeah so I did see it happen before my eyes and you know I've always been a lover of music. I grew up in music of the late 60's and 70's and so you know I listened to the same bands you listened to. And after I became a Christian I thought well I guess that's over with. I'm not going to listen to those bands anymore. I guess I'll just listen to choirs.

I'm not really sure. And so I went to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa and a whole movement was happening called the Jesus movement. And along with that movement was a whole new form of music later to be called contemporary Christian music. But back then we just called it Jesus music. And what I love was these were guys like me that played the kind of music I like to listen to. But it had lyrics that honored and glorified God and proclaim the gospel. Now fast forward to today and the music has changed and the styles have changed.

But the message is essentially still the same. And this music is so important it's become a whole industry. It touches thousands of people around the world. But here's a book that tells you how it all got started. It got started in a spiritual awakening. And the title of this book that we want to offer to you for your gift of any size is simply the Jesus music.

And by the way there's a documentary film by the same title that has come out from my friends the Irwin brothers at Kingdom Productions. So we want to take this beautiful hardbound brand new book and offer it to you for your gift of any size. Whatever you send we'll use it to continue our ministry and then you'll have your own copy of the Jesus music to enjoy. It's such a great book.

Such rich history and fascinating stories. Get a copy for yourself or for someone else. Maybe a Christmas gift. When you send your donation today be sure to ask for the Jesus music. You can write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call 1-800-821-3300. We're here to take your call 24-7, that's 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Pastor Greg, you pointed out the importance of asking Jesus to forgive our sins a few moments ago. Could you help those who want to do that very thing right now? Yeah, you know the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ stands at the door of our life and he knocks. And if any man will hear his voice and open the door he will come in.

Maybe as you've heard me speak today, well you've heard another voice speaking to you, it's the voice of God. And you realize you need Christ in your life. You need your sin forgiven. You want the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die.

Well here's what you need to do. You need to pray. And I would like to lead you in a prayer right now where you will be saying to Jesus, Lord come into my life, I choose to follow you.

So let's pray. Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner. But I thank you for dying on the cross for my sin. I turn from that sin now and I put my faith in you. Be my Lord, my Savior, and my God, and my friend. I choose to follow you Jesus from this moment forward.

Thank you for loving me, and calling me, and accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. Listen, if you just prayed that prayer I want you to know on the authority of scripture that Christ himself has come into your life. The Bible says these things we write to you that believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

If you just prayed that prayer in minutes, you can know today you have eternal life. And may I be the first to say to you, welcome to the family of God. And we want to help you grow as a believer. Let us send you our new believers growth packet. We'll send it free of charge if you prayed with Pastor Greg today. Just write a new beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime 24-7. That's 1-800-821-3300.

Or you can request it online at harvest.org. Just click on Know God. Well, next time Pastor Greg has more in-depth insights on how the Lord enables us to live a life free from 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 / 2023-07-28 10:08:17 / 2023-07-28 10:18:46 / 10

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