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God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Pray and Persevere

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2021 3:00 am

God’s Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry: Pray and Persevere

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 9, 2021 3:00 am

Worry can burn through our minds like a forest fire. It consumes our sense of peace and well-being . . . our emotional equilibrium and passion . . . our entire outlook on the day. What extinguishes that fire that tries to burn through our serenity? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie answers that question. We’ll see prayer can keep us from worry . . . but we have to have perseverance because worry can keep us from prayer. Glad you’re along today for a practical study.

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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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Today's episode of A New Beginning is brought to you by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God.

Learn more at harvest.org. And while you're there, browse our library of free e-books designed to help you grow in your faith. If you don't want to live in anxiety, fear, and worry, put the matter in God's hands. Today, Pastor Greg Laurie points out that God invites us to cast our cares on Him.

He's more than capable of handling them, and He assures us that He cares. So at night when you're going to bed, you say, Well, Lord, here's this problem, here's that problem, and there's five more. Here you go. I'm going to sleep. I'll talk to you in the morning.

That's exactly what you should do. Worry can burn through our minds like a forest fire. It consumes our sense of peace and well-being, our emotional equilibrium and passion, our entire outlook on the day.

What extinguishes that fire that tries to burn through our serenity? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie answers that question. We'll see prayer can keep us from worry, but we have to have perseverance because worry can keep us from prayer.

Glad you're along today for a practical study. Why don't you grab your Bibles and turn to two passages today. They're going to be Matthew, chapter 6, and Philippians, chapter 4.

Matthew 6, Philippians 4. This is part three of a three-part series that we're calling God's Answer to Fear, Worry, and Anxiety. You know, 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. Matthew 6, look at verse 27. Can all your worries at a single moment in 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 or at least make it more miserable. I have a friend who's a doctor who heard my message last Sunday and came up to me and said, you know, Greg, you were talking about how medical scientists and others have said that worry and anxiety can shorten your life. And he said, there's actually a condition for that, and it's called broken heart syndrome.

And I'd never heard about that before. And it's also known as octopus heart, of all things, because it affects the shape of the heart. What happens is sudden bad news can cause fear, fright, or anxiety. It takes hold of you, and the tip of your heart enlarges immediately, and it results in chest pain, depression, heart failure, and even death. So sudden bad news, maybe the sudden death of a loved one, maybe a car accident, maybe some other traumatic event that happened to you.

Interestingly, I read that one of the things that can also cause this is public speaking. So for some, it could be a terrifying thing. But whatever it is that frightens you, it overwhelms you at that very moment. And so worry does not lengthen your life.

It can actually shorten your life. Worry is an indication of a lack of faith. Look here at Matthew chapter six, verse 30.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Notice Jesus did not say you have no faith.

He said you have little faith. And because some are weak spiritually or have little faith, they're prone to worry and anxiety. They're always stressed out. They're always worried.

They're always defeated. They're sort of like those little chihuahuas. Have you ever seen a chill chihuahua? They're always shaking, shaking, shaking, you know. They're just perpetually nervous. Why? Because they know I just look like a rat. And no one loves me.

They even know cats are better than me. I'm like, I don't know. Always shaking. But some people are that way, aren't they? Oh, what if this happens? What if that happens?

And what if that happens after this happens? And they work themselves up into these frenzies. And you can control that. You don't have to live that way. It's because your faith is small. So make your faith big. Make your faith stronger.

You say, well, how do you do that? You grow in faith by what you're doing right now. Studying and believing the Word of God. Your faith grows by hearing God's Word and acting on it.

Romans 10, 17 says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. When I listen to God's Word, it puts everything in perspective. I see God for who He is. I see life with all of its challenges for what it is. I see everything as I ought to see it. Okay, so don't worry.

I got that. What should I do instead of worry? Trade your worry for worship. Put God and His Word first in your life. Now, here's a very familiar verse. Matthew 6, 33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Well, what does that mean? To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. To seek first means to seek it principally above everything else.

Give it priority. Have you ever lost something? Let me put it another way. Have you misplaced your cell phone? That's kind of a big deal, isn't it? So the other day I was driving with my wife. I said, where's my cell phone? She said, I don't know. I said, for that matter, where's my wallet?

Oh, no. I've lost my cell phone and my wallet. Well, we called my wallet, which I can do, because I have a little device in it called a tile. By the way, I'm going to try to attach it to my brain later.

But anyway, my tile's battery is low, so it wasn't working. So we said, well, let's try to find the phone. So we used the Find My Phone feature.

And boy, sure enough, boom, it just showed up in a certain spot. So we're driving along. It's along the road, like almost a highway. And we're driving along. Kathy says, it's a little further.

It's a little further. Stop right now. Look. And there it was. And it bounced a few times.

My phone right next to it, my wallet with my credit cards laying on the ground. We scooped them all up, gave thanks to God, and on we went. But we sought it out. We were going to find it no matter what.

And this is the idea. Put God's kingdom first. Don't give up on this. Seek it above all things.

Listen. If you don't want to live in anxiety, fear, and worry, put the matter in God's hands. I like what Martin Luther said, quote, pray and let God worry. That's good, isn't it?

Do you think God worries? I don't. So at night when you're going to bed, you say, well, Lord, here's this problem, here's that problem, and there's five more. Here you go. I'm going to sleep.

I'll talk to you in the morning. That's exactly what you should do. It's in God's hands. Place it in God's hands. See, often we turn to people for help and we forget that we need to turn to the Lord for help.

Now notice this. Paul says that we should turn these things over to God because He is in control and He is the one that wants to help us with these issues. Now let's flip over to Philippians chapter four. And our next point is turn your panic into prayer.

Turn your panic into prayer so the next time you're tempted to worry, pray instead. Look at Philippians 4-6. Don't worry about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.

Maybe underline that. Let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus. So you put it in God's hands. Notice He says in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. He doesn't say in only the big scary things.

He says in everything. Because guess what? Little things become big things. How many of you have children? Raise your hand up. How many of you have children under the age of eight? Raise your hand up. How many of you have children over the age of 12? Raise your hand up.

Ok. You guys really need to be praying a lot right now. You know when you have a teenager or a young adult a lot of new problems develop. They face a lot of temptations.

A lot of challenges. And you do as well as a parent. Let me say a word to you parents of younger children. Start praying for your children when they are small.

Because one day when they are older you will have laid a foundation in their life. Pray for them when they are young and now pray for them when they are older. Pray for little things. Pray for big things. Pray for everything. The Bible says in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Notice He says thanksgiving. We need to spend more time in our prayer in thanksgiving.

And maybe not as much in petition. I am not suggesting you not pray for things. What I am saying is spend time giving glory to God first. It might even affect the things you pray for after.

In fact I am sure it will. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. Hey everybody Greg Laurie here. You know my uncle Fred Jordan had one of the first Christian TV programs out there. It was called Church in the Home.

I remember watching it as a little boy when I was living with my grandparents. Well we have Church in the Home for you every weekend. It is called Harvest at Home and you can find it at Harvest.org. We have worship and a message from God's word. So join us this weekend for Harvest at Home at Harvest.org. And now Pastor Greg continues his message called God's answer to fear, anxiety, and worry part three.

Here is my last point. Replace thoughts of anxiety, worry, and panic with godly thoughts. Replace thoughts of anxiety, worry, and panic with godly thoughts. Look at Philippians 4 verse 8. Finally brothers whatsoever things are true whatsoever things are noble whatsoever things are just and pure and lovely whatsoever things are of good report if there's any virtue if there's anything praiseworthy meditate on these things listen maintaining personal peace involves both the heart and the mind Isaiah 26 3 says you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind has stayed on you because he trusts in you why do thoughts matter because what we think about ultimately affects what we do proverbs 23 7 says as a man thinks so is he guard your mind people protect your mind think about what you're going to put in there think about this thing that I'm going to watch right now on Netflix think about this thing that I'm going to download and listen to think about this place I'm going to go think about this thing I'm about to do is this going to build me up or tear me down spiritually think about that thing that I'm going to put in my mind because it's going to affect me ultimately in my actions and so we need to think about godly things more and we need to think biblically 2 Corinthians 10 5 says bring every thought into captivity of the obedience of Jesus Christ memorize scripture fill your mind with the word of God and it will be there to strengthen you in your time of need these promises are amazing everybody has trouble in life the rain falls the bible says on the just and the unjust a non-believers have tragedies happen to them and tragedies happen to Christians as well Christians get cancer Christians die in automobile accidents Christians lose loved ones unexpectedly Christians face every kind of hardship but here's the difference the non-believer what do they have to turn to we have God to turn to and he wants to hear our prayer and will help us in our time of need it's so wonderful to know my doctor friend who told me about that broken heart syndrome said I was listening to your message today and I just thought I wish I could say to more of my patients when bad news comes when hardship comes call out to God see that's what we can do we can call out to God Lord here's my problem it's bigger than me I don't know what to do it's scary I'm afraid but you're greater and you're bigger and you love me so here it is and I throw right up to heaven and he takes it from me because what did Jesus say come to me all of you who are laboring and are heavy laden and I will give you rest he wants to take your problem I don't know about you but when I travel I always over pack and I don't like to check my luggage I like to go carry on which means I am that obnoxious guy trying to cram my bag into the overhead of the plane right I always put too much in it it's always a little too big so sometimes if I'm walking along with some heavy bag and someone says let me give you a hand with that I'll say well thank you very much so here we are in life pulling all these problems behind us all of these burdens behind us all of these burdens and along comes Jesus and says let me help you with that I can do it myself really I'll carry the whole lot for you give it to them what are you facing right now what burden have you come in with today what is troubling you something's concerning you some anxiety some fear commit it to the Lord and listen if you're not a Christian you need to be why because these promises are for believers only only the man of the woman who's put their faith in Jesus you say well what does that even mean I think I'm a Christian I come from a Christian family that doesn't make you a Christian there has to be a moment in your life where you realize you're a sinner in need of a savior let me put it another way talking about the beach if you're out in the ocean and you're drowning and you see a lifeguard you need to cry out for help and Jesus is ready to rescue you he's ready to save you and I love the fact that the Bible uses the word saved a lot by grace we've been saved through faith not of works lest any man should boast saved that's what God wants to do he wants to save you from your sins forgive you of all the awful things you've done and wipe your slate clean and give you a fresh life a new life but you must come to him and admit your sin and be sorry for it and then put your faith in Jesus and throw all of your burdens on him I'll close with this I remember as a young man when I came to Christ I was 17 years old this was 10 years ago and a few more years I went forward at a meeting and I prayed a prayer with Christians and asked Jesus into my life I really didn't know what I was doing but I do remember this very distinctly I remember I felt as though a huge weight had been lifted off of me now what kind of a weight could a 17 year old be carried well I guess a pretty heavy one because it was like lifted off of me it was my guilt it was my sin it was all the things that I'd done wrong that I guess I'd grown so accustomed to I didn't even know it was there I just carried it around every day that weight of sin and when I prayed it was like relief the pressure was lifted the sin was removed and God can do that for you today Jesus died on that cross and he rose again from the dead and he stands now at the door of your life and he knocks and if you will hear his voice and open the door he'll come in do you need Jesus in your life in a moment we're going to pray and I'll extend an invitation for anyone here that wants their sin forgiven that wants the burdens of burdens of life lifted that wants a fresh start it can happen for you right here right now let's all bow our heads and pray father speak to every person here and every person that is watching and listening wherever they are show them their need for Jesus and help them to come to you and believe today we pray amen.

Pastor Greg Laurie with an important prayer about coming to the Lord to find forgiveness of sins and if you'd like to do that Pastor Greg will help you in just a moment before today's edition of A New Beginning concludes. Well we're making a new book available that's just fascinating called The Jesus Music. It talks about the rise of contemporary Christian music and how it wasn't always smooth sailing as some in the church opposed it but I found it fascinating Pastor Greg that at one point Billy Graham wanted to make the music in his crusades more contemporary and invited Michael W Smith and DC Talk to be his music guests at a youth event and Billy was in his 70s at the time.

Yeah fascinating story. Yeah Billy was always a person who was willing to take risks for the kingdom of God so going back a few years when Jesus music was just exploding there was an event in Texas called Xplos 72. It was described as a religious Woodstock so 80 to 100,000 young people or really people of all ages gathered there in Texas and an artist like Love Song and Larry Norman and Johnny Cash performed before thousands of people and Billy Graham spoke so it was sort of like the seal of approval from the leader of evangelicalism at that time Billy Graham. Okay now fast forward many years Billy has been doing his crusades and he wants to reach younger people so the idea came of let's put Christian music that's contemporary on the stage. I can tell you not everyone supported the idea.

I know because I was there. It became a little bit of a debate among the members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Board of Directors because I've been on that board for 25 years. Some opposed it.

I stuck up for it and said this is a great idea. This will reach more young people and indeed it did but I have to tell you Dave I was at one of those concerts and Michael W. Smith played and DC Talk played and the young people loved it but when Billy Graham walked out he got the greatest ovation of the night and this was just his willingness to do whatever he could to bridge the gap and reaching culture with the gospel. So this music has played a significant role in the church for the last 50 years but I bet a lot of you do not know the origin story.

You don't know how it got started. You don't know who were the sort of pioneers of this music and now turning into the music you love today on the many Christian stations around the United States and indeed the world. So there's this brand new book out called The Jesus Music written by my friend Marshall Terrell.

I've written three other books with Marshall. He's an excellent writer, a great researcher and you're going to learn a lot and I think this book is going to be a blessing to you and frankly you would pay a lot for this hardcover book with glossy pages and photographs and stories of these artists through the years but we're going to give it to you for your gift of any size. So whatever you send to us we will send you this book The Jesus Music in return but I'm going to encourage you to be generous because whatever you send us will be used to get the gospel out and to teach the word of God. So thanks in advance for whatever you can do and let us send you a copy of this new book The Jesus Music. Yeah you know we wouldn't be able to bring you these studies each day without the support of listeners like you.

We have no other way to cover the costs of broadcasting other than the generosity of those who listen. So thank you so much for your investment and with your generous donation today be sure to ask for The Jesus Music. We'll send it right out. You can write us at A New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime around the clock.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org. And then before we go any further Pastor Greg wants to help you make a change in your relationship with the Lord today. Listen if you would like Jesus Christ to come into your life right now, if you would like your sin forgiven, if you would like a new start in life I'd like to lead you in a prayer where you would ask for God's forgiveness. So I'm going to ask you to just stop what you're doing right now and bow your head and pray this prayer with me if you want to make a commitment or recommitment to Jesus Christ. Let's pray together.

Lord Jesus come into my life. I know that I'm a sinner and I thank you for dying on that cross for my sin and paying the price for it and rising again from the dead. I turn from that sin now and I make a choice to follow you as my Savior and Lord.

Thank you for calling me and for giving me and receiving me and loving me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Amen. And listen if you have just prayed that prayer with Pastor Greg and have made a commitment to the Lord just now, well we'd like to help you. We'd like to send you our New Believer's Growth Packet to help you get started living for the Lord. Just ask for the New Believer's Growth Packet when you contact us. You can write a New Beginning Box 4000 Riverside California 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. Call anytime.

We're here 24 7. Again dial 1-800-821-3300 and you can even make the arrangements online when you go to harvest.org and click on Know God. Well next time Pastor Greg brings an encouraging message called The Refreshing Power of Prayer. Good insight on the privilege we have of bringing our needs and concerns to the Lord. Join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie. Thanks for listening to A New Beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast made possible by Harvest Partners, helping people everywhere know God. Sign up for daily devotions and learn how to become a Harvest Partner at harvest.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-24 23:27:10 / 2023-07-24 23:36:31 / 9

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