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God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Love That Provides

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2021 3:00 am

God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Love That Provides

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 8, 2021 3:00 am

The Bible says “be anxious for nothing” – in other words, don’t worry about anything. It also tells us to cast our cares on the Lord because He cares for us. What is it that’s heavy on your heart today? Pastor Greg Laurie brings some good encouragement toward a worry-free life in the final message of a three-part series called God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry. Glad you’re along today for A New Beginning. Good encouragement is coming your way on today’s program.

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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. Worry. It's a lack of trust in God. Worry is sort of a mental and emotional strangulation that can harm your life because it's really a failure to trust in the providence of God. The Bible says, Be anxious for nothing.

In other words, don't worry about anything. It also tells us, Cast our cares on the Lord because He cares for us. What is it that's heavy on your heart today? Pastor Greg Laurie brings some good encouragement toward a worry-free life in the final message of a three-part series called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry. Glad you're along today for A New Beginning. Good encouragement is coming your way on today's program.

This is the day, the day when life begins. They always seem to be collectively in a pretty darn good mood, don't they? I mean, they start the day singing their little songs. I've never seen stressed out birds. I've never seen birds in therapy. I've never seen a bird popping a volume.

Have you? You know. So actually, we can learn something from the birds. And while we're talking about nature, we can also learn something from the flowers. This is what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. And this is where He takes us here as He gives us some very clear words about how to deal with our worry and our anxiety.

And I'm going to share with you in this message 10 tips to utilize when worry comes knocking. But let's read a few verses together. Matthew chapter 6, starting in verse 25 of Matthew 6. Jesus says, So why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you.

So why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things. What shall we eat or what shall we drink or what shall we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of nonbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all of your needs. Now a very familiar verse. Matthew 6 33. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. So don't worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today. Well how practical are those words given to us by Christ 2000 years ago.

Yet they resonate in the culture we live in today. A culture that is gripped with worry and filled with fear and crippled by anxiety. So here now are 10 tips, 10 biblical truths on how to fight anxiety, fear, and worry in your life.

Point number one, very obvious, very simple. The believer, that is the follower of Jesus Christ, the man or the woman who has asked the Lord to come into their life should not worry. The believer should not worry. No.

No. Jesus was not saying that Christians should not think about or be concerned with the things of life such as what you are going to eat or what you are going to wear or where you are going to live or what career you are going to pursue. Those are things we should think about. In fact the Bible tells us we should plan for the future.

The Bible tells us that we should work hard, that we should save our money. So the Bible is a very practical book but what Jesus is saying was don't worry about these things. Don't let these things become something that distract you from what really matters in life. So here is the thing to consider. You know if you let worry get a hold of you it can actually cause deep depression in your life. It can cause a lot of problems that I will talk about in a few moments. Proverbs 12.25 says anxiety in the heart of men causes depression.

I find that interesting. Hundreds of years ago before scientists figured it out, before psychologists figured it out, before the so-called experts figured it out the Bible says anxiety can lead to depression. So how do I overcome it? Well one way is to stop thinking so much about yourself and put your eyes on the needs of others. You might recall that I pointed out to you in the last message that I have a ten step solution to depression. Point number one. Do something for someone who has greater needs than you.

And point number two is repeat point number one nine more times. Try it for a day. You might be surprised by the outcome. Experts have actually found that when you volunteer your services or your time to help others it actually elevates your mood.

It has been dubbed by experts as the helpers high. Now it is a funny thing I just talked about this in my last message and someone commented on my Instagram page. Sent me this little message and I will read it to you.

It is a young lady. She says, hi Pastor Greg. I am not sure if you will see this message. Well I saw your message.

And I do read my comments by the way. But I wanted to comment on what you have been speaking on lately regarding depression and anxiety. I struggled with really bad depression and suicidal thoughts for years and at one point I was determined to end my life. But in the last six months of getting involved at Harvest giving up my time to serve others in the church and making so many new Christian friends I can honestly say my anxiety has gone away. Isn't that great? I don't feel depressed anymore.

I haven't had a suicidal thought for a long time now. I just wanted to thank you for your encouraging sermons and for this amazing church that has truly impacted my life for the best and has helped me to grow in my faith and become closer to God. God bless you. I love her insights there. And here is a couple of things she points out.

She was having these thoughts but she got involved in serving others. And this is why we need one another. This is why we cannot do life by ourselves. God has given us this great group of fellow brothers and sisters to support us in the church. So what does Jesus say?

Verse 25. Don't worry about your life. Another way to translate this is don't have anxiety about the issues of life. Look I can't control problems. I cannot control what is going to happen to me externally but I can control my reaction to it. That is what Jesus is talking about. Don't let your life be filled with worry and anxiety.

In the Greek it means to stop doing what is already being done. In other words stop worrying. Now I think that we justify worry. Sometimes we might even think it is a virtue to worry.

But it isn't. I think it can actually be a sin to worry. And if worry is a sin. I don't like to admit this but it is a sin I have committed on more than one occasion. And really what is worry?

It is a lack of trust in God. In fact the very word worry comes from an old German word meaning to choke. The other day I was choking on a vitamin C. Aren't those supposed to make you feel better? It almost killed me. Now when I take vitamins I will get a little handful of them and I like to take them all in one gulp. So I will throw them in my mouth and get a little bit of water and in one gulp will this one doggone vitamin C pill got turned sideways in my throat. And I am in my house with two of my grandchildren and I am choking.

There is Papa. Are you ok? And I am ok. It sounded like I was dying honestly. And I couldn't swallow it.

I drank a whole bottle of bottled water. It would not turn and I don't want to get graphic but I couldn't get it to go the other way either. It was just stuck there for the longest time. And that is frustrating.

That is choking. And that is what worry can do to you as well. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. I wanted to reach out and let you know how much I appreciate your teachings and how the Lord uses you to give hope and understanding. I am a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan right after 9-11.

I have really been struggling with how the situation in Afghanistan unfolded. 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. And now more good encouragement from Pastor Greg's message called, God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry, Part 3. I believe in everything that comes into my life and either He does it or He allows it. Therefore, I don't believe in accidents. I believe in providence.

And when I worry, I am really doubting God. The prophet Daniel had this great trust in God. Daniel was such a faithful follower of the Lord. He was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians and taken into captivity along with his three friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Because of their gifts and talents, they were brought into the palace and made advisors to the king.

Well, Nebuchadnezzar was ultimately replaced by Belshazzar and he was conquered by the Medo-Persian forces and along comes Darius. But Daniel was a faithful representative of the Lord to three of those kings. Well, he had a lot of people that didn't like him. He had a lot of enemies, fellow advisors to the king.

They wanted him out and they could not find any skeletons in his closet. In fact, the problem is for them, he prayed in his closet. So they said the only way we're going to get Daniel out of commission and not influencing the king is if we do something with his faith in his God.

And they knew Daniel had a habit. Every day he would go to his house, open his windows up, get down on his knees, face Jerusalem, and pray to God. They said, let's get the king to sign a decree that no man can pray to any god for 30 days except the king.

The king signed it and it was the law. And it went into position. And what did Daniel do? He went and prayed as he always had and now he's thrown into a lion's den facing a certain death.

And here's the point I want to make. That night, who slept better? Daniel in the lion's den or the king in the palace? Actually, Daniel slept better. You know, better to be in a lion's den with God than anywhere else without him. The king was up all night worrying despite the fact that he was in the very lap of luxury. And Daniel, he slept like a baby because he had complete trust and confidence in God. Psalm 127 verse 2 says he gives his beloved sleep.

And Daniel had that sleep and that rest. So Jesus gives us some illustrations as to why we should not worry. Birds should not worry.

Why should we? Verse 26. Look at the birds.

Or another way to translate this is look at what is in front of your eyes. Jesus did a lot of his teaching outdoors. He'd just be walking along with the guys. Point things out. Hey, a sower went out into a field to sow seed. Some seed fell on good ground. Other seed fell on rocky ground.

And he probably was gesturing to a sower in the distance. And then he says, hey, look at the birds. They don't toil. They don't worry. They don't get stressed out. And yet no bird has ever been given the hope of heaven.

Yet they get up every morning singing. The birds gather their food every day. They do their diligence. Some birds get their food from the sea. Others get it from the ground.

The rest hang out at McDonald's and wait for the fries to hit the ground. Now the birds get out there and they get their food. So Jesus is not saying don't think about these things. He's saying don't get stressed about it. The birds aren't stressed.

Why should you be? Have you heard this poem about birds? Said the robin to the sparrow.

I should really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about and worry so. Said the sparrow to the robin. Friend, I think that it must be that they have no heavenly father such as cares for you and me. Well actually we do have that heavenly father who has promised to take care of us. And if he takes care of little birds, will he not also take care of you? The second illustration is about flowers.

Verse 28. Why do you worry about clothing? Look at the lilies of the field. How they grow.

They don't work. They don't make their clothing. Yet Solomon in all of his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

Jesus is saying even King Solomon dressed in royal robes in his lavish palace with pieces of furniture overlaid with gold did not have the beauty of the wild flowers of Galilee. And he is saying look why do you stress so much about the way that you look? Why do you get so concerned about your wardrobe? You know we will think so much about an outfit and putting the right outfit together and looking a certain way. Or we photoshop ourselves and we want to look a certain way.

And here is what Jesus is saying. Don't be obsessed with those things. Now having said that you can go too far the other way. Some people need to think more about the way they look. I am looking at you right now. I am actually.

No I am not. But give a little more thought to it. Jesus is not saying don't think about the way that you look. What he is saying is don't be obsessed with these things. Especially at the expense of spiritual things.

Point number four. Worry does not make life longer. It just makes it more miserable. Worry does not make life longer. It just makes it more miserable.

And I would add this. Worry does not resolve problems. It simply creates new ones.

Look at verse 27. Can all your worries at a single moment to your life. How many of you through worry and anxiety can extend the length of your life? Answer.

No one. In fact worry may actually shorten your life. Some people are trying to extend their lives using the latest technology. I read an article in a news feed the other day about a number of billionaires who are trying to find a cure for aging. One well known billionaire wants to have a computer chip strapped to his brain.

So a little artificial intelligence there. Other billionaires were having blood transfusions from healthy young people between ages 16 and 25. They felt by getting this transfusion of blood from young people could reverse aging. Instead what happened to them is they wanted to move back into their parents house. Play video games.

And some wanted more avocado toast. So I don't know. You explain these things to me. But they think that's going to actually reverse aging. Actually we know also that one Silicon Valley billionaire is investing in a startup that promises to upload your brain into computer. And thus he thinks it will grant eternal life to your consciousness.

Crazy stuff. These things are not going to extend your life. God determines the date of your birth and the date of your death.

You do not determine that. But you have everything to say about the dash in the middle. That's your part. The rest is God's part. You've joined us today here on A New Beginning. And Pastor Greg has an important closing thought from this message in just a moment.

Well Pastor Greg, we're excited about making available a new book called The Jesus Music. You lived through the start of Jesus Music, as I did. But for someone younger, what makes this history so important and so interesting? Well this is the roots of the music that we have all come to love. I love history.

I've always loved to know about history. For instance, take rock and roll as an example. You know, rock and roll music really started with a group of individuals in what was called Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

A producer named Sam Phillips discovered a young singer named Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins. And so that music turned into what we call rock and roll. And so now let's go back to the origins of Jesus Music. It was a bunch of bands that were forming during the Jesus Movement. Names like Larry Norman, bands like Love Song, Mustard Seed Faith, Andre Crouch and the Disciples, and many others were innovating and creating music that was different than anything people had heard before. It was current with culture, but it was music that honored God.

Fast forward to today. Artists like Chris Tomlin, Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, Phil Wickham, For King and Country. You know, the list just goes on. These amazing artists that produced this great music. It all started a long time ago in the late 60s with these bands that would record these records, literally sell them out of the trunks of their cars, go on the road and perform these songs.

Little did they know that this was going to be the tip of the spear of a whole industry that was to follow. So if you've ever wondered about how this music got started, if you want to know some behind the scenes stories of some of your favorite artists, or you want to know more about what you may have missed, it's all here in this brand new book called The Jesus Music, written by my friend Marshall Terrell. By the way, I've written three books with Marshall Terrell, as you may know.

Steve McQueen, The Salvation of an American Icon, Johnny Cash, The Redemption of an American Icon, and Billy Graham, The Man I Knew, and I'm working on a fourth book with Marshall right now. This is a book he wrote on his own, but I had the opportunity to write the foreword for it, because this is a book that you're going to love, and we'll send it to you for your gift of any size. By the way, very high quality book, hardcover, glossy pages, lots of photographs, lots of information, stories, and history of the music that's a part of our life today. It's called The Jesus Music, and we'll send you a copy of this book for your gift of any size. Whatever you can send, we'll send this copy to you, and I would encourage some of you to be generous, because when you are generous with your finances, we will put that money to work in expanding this ministry to reach more people with the teaching of the word of God and the message of the gospel. So order your copy of this brand new book, The Jesus Music, from us right here at Harvest Ministries.

That's right. Your donation is an investment in changing hearts and lives. It's an investment in keeping Pastor Greg's teaching coming to you each day.

So with your investment today, be sure to ask for the new book called The Jesus Music. You can write A New Beginning, Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514. Or call us at 1-800-821-3300. Reach us any time 24-7, again at 1-800-821-3300.

Or go online to harvest.org. Well, next time, join us for the finale of Pastor Greg's series, God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry. But before we go, Pastor Greg closes our time together this way. Every single time that God gives to each and every one of us, every day, every single morning God deposits into your bank of time 86,400 seconds. Or 1,440 minutes, which equal 24 hours. You choose how to spend those minutes. Nothing will be carried over to the next day on credit. You have to spend it, and what you don't spend is forfeited forever. Or go to harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-26 04:00:34 / 2023-07-26 04:09:26 / 9

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