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God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry, Part 1 | God Meets Us at Our Point of Need

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2023 3:00 am

God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety & Worry, Part 1 | God Meets Us at Our Point of Need

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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July 25, 2023 3:00 am

Every kid has known a bully. The bully is often bigger and meaner and is a force to be reckoned with. Well, when your new best friend happens to be the linebacker of the school football team, it’s amazing how the bully isn’t so threatening anymore. What problems are bullying you right now? Today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us how God stands ready to meet us at our point of need, and His problem-solving resources are limitless and reassuring.

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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 ebooks designed to help you grow in your faith. God is bigger than your problem. And if you have a big God, you have a relatively small problem. And if you have a big problem, do you realize how big your God actually is? We should call out to God when our problems overwhelm us. But Pastor Greg Laurie reminds us how God can overwhelm our problems.

It's okay to call out to the Lord for help, but remind yourself of the power, majesty, and greatness of God, and it puts your problems in perspective. Every kid has known a bully. The bully is often bigger and meaner and is a force to be reckoned with. Well, when your new best friend happens to be the linebacker of the school football team, it's amazing how the bully isn't so threatening anymore.

What problems are bullying you right now? Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie shows us how God stands ready to meet us at our point of need. And his problem-solving resources are limitless and reassuring. You know, when a child is afraid of the dark, they need someone to reassure them. And the best thing to do is turn on the lights so they know there's actually not a monster under the bed, that there is no boogeyman, there is no threat to them. They need the reassuring words of an adult that can help them get a proper perspective. Well, in the same way, like little children, when we're frightened, when we're scared, we need the reassuring words of our Heavenly Father to help us in times of anxiety. So let's read some words from Scripture. John chapter 14, a very familiar passage, one that I really love. Jesus says, and let's get the context of who he was saying it to. He said this to his disciples in the upper room. This is after it had become known to them that he was going to be crucified, that he was going to be leaving them. So needless to say, they were very stressed.

They were filled with fear and deep anxiety. So with that backdrop, Jesus says these words, let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions.

If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself. There where I am, you know. And you may be there also. Where I go, you know. And the way, you know.

We'll stop there. The word that Jesus uses here for trouble is a picturesque word. It means don't let your heart shudder. Have you ever had your heart shudder? Just really bad news.

Something that just was a shock to your nervous system. He says don't let your heart shudder. Jesus did not say worry and get super stressed and mull over your problems. Rather He said don't be troubled and hey, life is full of troubles. No matter how much money you make or where you live or what you do for a living, you'll never be able to create a trouble free life.

Job says in chapter five verse seven, people are born for trouble as readily as sparks fly up from a fire. I hate to break it to you, but it's always gonna be something. It's always it's always gonna be something. Just when you get through that one conflict or that one difficulty or that one hardship or that one trial, another one's coming.

I don't say that to depress you. I say that to prepare you so you understand that troubles may come and what you need to do when those troubles do come. There's big things that seem to overtake us and they're small irritating things, but know this, while there are reasons to be troubled, there's a greater reason not to be. Jesus says in verse 10 from the New Living Translation, trust in God, trust also in me.

In other words, Jesus is saying look, I haven't brought you this far to abandon you now. I know what I'm doing, so I'm asking you to believe. I'm asking you to trust me.

Here's something to consider. When I don't understand what is happening, fall back on what I do understand. Let me say that again and direct it toward you. When you don't understand what is happening, fall back on what you do understand. So what don't you understand?

Well, whatever it is you're facing, whatever hardship, difficulty, why, why, why we ask. Okay, fall back on what you do understand. What do I know? Well, if I'm a Christian, I know my sin is forgiven, right? If I'm a Christian, I know that one day I'll go to heaven. If I'm a Christian, I know that God is in control of my life. And if I'm a Christian, I know that God loves me. And if I'm a believer, I know that all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose. So though I don't understand these circumstances, I'm going to fall back now on what I do understand. And I have found that when those what if questions start rolling through your mind, I like to go back to what I do understand, what I know is true.

So here's something to consider. I love this little verse. So much packed into one verse of scripture. Luke 12 32. Jesus said, fear not little flock. It is your father's good pleasure to give to you the kingdom. We learn a lot from that verse.

Number one, fear not little flock. So my point is this God is our shepherd. And we are a sheep. You know, I don't know how much you know about sheep. I don't know a lot about them.

But I've read some things and I held them occasionally, but I'm not real familiar with them. But I know they're basically pretty defenseless creatures. Sheep don't bite. Sheep can't run very fast.

Sheep don't even have claws. Honestly, a cat has more going on than the sheep does. We have this little cat that walks around our neighborhood. I actually like this cat. He's like the exception to cats for me because he's just kind of his own little cat.

And he was standing in the middle of the street. Who does this? This cat. It's like, I'm going to sit here.

And I don't care. Everyone go around me. He's just sitting there. And a dog is yapping at him and kind of coming toward him.

He's just like, come on, bring it on. You know, I thought, I like that cat. Cats have more going on than sheep because at least a cat can claw. Or a cat can climb a tree and run. But sheep, they're just like leg of lamb for the taking.

They ought to just carry mint sauce around with them like, here I am. Eat me now. I'm delicious. Yeah. That's what a sheep is. A sheep is totally dependent on its shepherd.

Why? Let's be kind and just put it this way delicately. They're really stupid. They run in flocks. They do what the other sheep do. They're easily frightened. They're skittish. And there have been more than one occasion where one sheep goes off a cliff and the other sheep follow him off the cliff.

So no wonder the Bible says, oh, we like sheep have gone astray. Big picture. You're defenseless. Big picture.

You can't really defend yourself ultimately. You need the shepherd's care. That's why David was sitting around one day when he probably wrote Psalm 23 and you know he was a musician as well as a warrior and ultimately a king. And he's maybe just kind of you know strumming some chords.

G, C, D. Looking around. He's looking at his flock and he's saying, you know what? These sheep are dependent on me and the Lord. He's my shepherd.

I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies and my cup runs over and yay goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I'll dwell in the house of the Lord forever. And even though I go through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil because he's with me. That was the picture he was painting for us that just as those sheep need me I need God.

Fear not little flock. It is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. God is our shepherd and we are sheep.

Number two. God is our father who loves us and cares for us. Notice he says it's your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

So why should I not be afraid? Because he is my shepherd watching over me. But he's also my father caring for me and I can approach him at any time with whatever is troubling me and he will listen. But not everybody can call God father. People will say today well I believe in the brotherhood of man and we're all children of God. Sons and daughters of God.

Actually that's not true at all. We're not all children of God. We're all created by God. We're all created by God. We're all made in the image of God. And we're all separated from God by our sin. But the only way to become a child of God is you must be adopted into the family. And the Bible says for as many as received him he gave them the power to become sons of God. But once you believe in Jesus you can call God father.

After Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead he appeared to Mary Magdalene. And he says to her don't cling to me. Some translations put it don't touch me.

But I think she was holding onto him so tightly. And he says for I have not yet ascended to my God and to your God and to my father and your father. That was a revelatory statement. That was a radical thing to say to a first century Jewish person and especially a Jewish woman. Because women were looked down upon in that culture. You know people like this say Christianity oppresses women.

Nothing can be further from the truth. Christianity and the Bible elevated women to their proper place made in the image of God. So he says to this woman who was once possessed by many demons I'm going to my God and your God. I'm going to my father and your father.

Mary guess what? He's your father now. You can call him father now.

Not just me. We get the fact that Jesus calls God father. But now we can because of what he did. Pastor Greg Laurie will have the second half of his message in just a moment. We're thrilled when we hear from listeners who have been impacted by the movie Jesus Revolution.

Listen to these comments from one of our listeners. I just want to say Pastor Laurie that I found you through your recent movie that was released the Jesus Revolution. And my brother has known you for years.

He came to know the Lord during that time and I was a little bit later. But I have found your books. I finished the Jesus Revolution.

I've also finished the one on Johnny Cash and now I'm listening to the one about Billy Graham and I'm enjoying them so much. And also enjoying your podcast every morning. And I'm just so thankful for you and your ministry. But I just want to thank you again that God has worked through you to reach us all over the years.

Thank you so much. Do you have a story to share? If so, would you let Pastor Greg know? Just drop him an email.

greg-at-harvest-dot-org. Again, that's greg-at-harvest-dot-o-r-g. Well today Pastor Greg is pointing out how God's children have a special relationship with God the Father and how that should bring us comfort during our times of worry. Calling God Father hits us in different ways because a lot of it depends on what kind of an earthly father you had.

Right? I never had a father really growing up so when I thought of God as Father I just had a big blank. Like I don't even know what that is to have a father. Some of you had fathers that were cold and distant. Others of you had fathers that maybe left you when you were young. Some of you may have even had fathers who were abusive and harsh with you. Or maybe incommunicative but it was not a loving image of a father. But then others of you and others of you got a warm, loving, hands-on, involved dad. How many of you had a really good dad growing up? Oh God bless you for that. How many of you did not have that experience?

Raise your hand. Yeah okay. So I understand what that's like. My wife Kathy or her father Richard Martin lived to be 95 years old. And he was a very, very good father. And I think because of that one Kathy and her three sisters and her brother heard the gospel they very quickly embraced God as their father. They had such a great father figure.

And so this is this family that they lived in the Far East. Richard Martin was very educated. Very smart guy.

Very successful guy. And so this is a very cultured family. Great manners. And then one day Kathy brings me home to meet the parents. It looked like something the cat drug in.

Right? I had long hair past my shoulders. A thick red beard. You know. And like here's my new boyfriend dad. And he didn't take to me very well.

But nor did his wife Pilar. But so finally we decided we wanted to get married. And so I took a walk with him. I said well Mr. Martin I want to marry your daughter. And I wanted to ask for your blessing. And he looked at me and said well no.

He's very calm. No. No. And can I ask why Mr. Martin? He said well you don't have a stable income. And we're concerned about that. And concerned for the welfare of our daughter. And I reassured him it would be okay. And he said no again. But ultimately when we got married he gave his daughter away.

But an interesting experience happened. When Kathy was younger she used the middle daughter. She has her older sister Mary.

And then there was Dodie. And then there's Kathy. And then her younger sister Jackie. And then finally her brother Ricky. So she had an uncle. This was the brother of Richard Martin's wife Pilar.

And he was not able to have children with his wife. And so he came to Pilar his sister one day and said you know you already have two daughters. Now you have a third one. Can Pilar can we just have your daughter?

And interesting request. And so she said let me talk to my husband about it. This shocked Kathy. Like you want to talk to dad about this?

Like this was on the table. But fortunately Richard dad said no. But he eventually gave her away to me on our wedding day. And I'm thankful for that. But here's the good news. When you are a child of God no one is going to take you out of His protective care. And we're afraid oh what if I lose my salvation? Oh what if the devil gets me?

Are you kidding me? You're a child of God. And Jesus said in John 10 29 I will give them eternal life. They'll never perish.

And no one can snatch them away from me. God is your shepherd. God is your father. And finally He is your king. Because Jesus said fear not little flock. It is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Notice He says it's his good pleasure. I think sometimes we think of God as stingy. God doesn't want to give you that. God doesn't want to bless you. God wants to hold all the good stuff back and just kind of make your life hard.

Nothing can be further from the truth. It's his pleasure to give to you the kingdom. But also when we think of God as king it reminds us of the sovereignty and the power of God. So when you're filled with anxiety and fear and worry because of a problem you're facing consider this. God is bigger than your problem. And if you have a big God you have a relatively small problem. And if you have a big problem do you realize how big your God actually is? That is why in the Lord's Prayer Jesus taught us to pray our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And then ultimately we get to the request give us this day our daily bread. But effectively Christ is saying when you pray just contemplate the awesomeness and the greatness of God before you start firing off your petitions. It's okay to ask God for things.

You should. It's okay to call out to the Lord for help. But remind yourself of the power majesty and greatness of God and it puts your problems in perspective. Have you ever wondered why when you leave church a lot of times you feel better than when you came in? The reason is is because of amazing preaching by other pastors here at Harvest.

No. I think the preaching plays into it but I don't think it's any person. I think what is it all about? I come in and what do I spend a good part of my time doing? Magnifying God. Magnifying God. And so as I'm thinking of God's glory and His power and I'm sort of casting my problems aside and I'm worshiping Him then I hear a message hopefully that reminds me of God's love and His sovereignty and His power and all those things I need to be reminded of.

And I leave and now I have the same problems leaving that I had coming in but all of a sudden I don't see them in the same way. It's all about perspective, isn't it? And so He's your King who's in control of your life. Pastor Greg Laurie with great perspective today on how we should view the challenges we sense in light of the God we serve. And there's more to come in this message here on A New Beginning called God's Answer to Fear, Anxiety, and Worry Part 1. Well Pastor Greg we have a couple of special guests in the studio today.

Yeah. One is familiar to us sitting to your left but the other you need to introduce to our audience. She's the author of a new book we're making available. Yes, I have next to me on each side two lovely ladies my wife Kathy and Shannon Breen and many of you probably know Shannon if you watch Fox News. Her program on the weekend is Fox News Sunday. Shannon is not only an accomplished journalist but she's a very strong Christian and has written a number of books. So Shannon now is this what your fourth book in this series?

This is it's the third in this series but my fourth overall. Okay so tell me the titles of your other books. So Finding the Bright Side is a personal collection of stories some high points and difficult things that my husband and I have been through the lovely and wonderful Sheldon but about our faith through all those things but then we have Women of the Bible Speak followed by Mothers and Daughters of the Bible Speak and a brand new book is The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. And it's amazing because you cover so much ground we would think love stories more just the romantic stories but it's really stories of romance, friendship, and faith. Some of the people you talk about Adam and Eve, Samson and Delilah, Mary and Joseph, Jonathan and David a friendship there, Paul and his many friendships, you even talk about Job and his friends.

So the overriding theme of your book is what? Well what did what were we told that everything boils down to is loving God with all our heart mind spirit and soul and we've got to love our neighbors as ourselves so he models perfect agape love meaning it's all-consuming it's unconditional we can't ever earn it we can't ever get away from it and that's how we're called to love other people. So I think in looking at these relationships in the Bible we see the good ways that's portrayed we see some negative ways and I think we can always learn from both kinds of examples.

Give us an example of a good relationship and maybe what we might today call a toxic relationship. So we have Mary and Joseph I think is a good one so often and I've written in the past about from the perspective of Mary I think so much many of us look at the Christmas story in her life but I thought let's write about Joseph this time he is a man who is going along on this adventure he was told by an angel what would happen he had to be very selfless to say I'm going to go ahead I'm going to support Mary I'm not going to shame her I'm going to raise this child who's really not mine but I'm raising the savior of the world the Messiah and so he and Mary were in this together and he had to Joseph sacrifice his life to be a loving strong husband and father in the situation he didn't choose for himself. Yeah you know I've often thought that just as surely as God chose Mary to be the most privileged woman who ever lived God also chose Joseph to be the earthly father figure of Jesus and that's quite a thing and he's sort of the unsung hero of the Christmas story because he had to live with the idea that his wife had been unfaithful to him and one occasion remember the Pharisees said to Jesus at least we weren't born of fornication implication well at least we weren't conceived out of wedlock when in reality Jesus was supernaturally conceived in the womb of Mary but yet here's Joseph who weathered through all of that and clearly was I'm sure a very good father figure. Yeah and I just found so much in thinking about the idea of a blended family because Mary Joseph had their own children after that.

That's true. I came from a broken family that we then ended up I had a wonderful stepmother stepfather step siblings and so as those families come together and sometimes somebody my stepfather was very much a father figure to me even though he wasn't my biological dad I was blessed really to have two amazing fathers so I encourage people to think about the blending of families and how we step in for different responsibilities just like Joseph did. Wow so if you want to read more about this and other love stories and friendships of the Bible for this month we're offering for your gift of any size this new book brand new book by Shannon Bream titled The Love Stories of the Bible Speak. Yeah that's right not only would this be a welcome addition to your own collection of resources what a great gift it's a brand new book and we'll be glad to send it to you to thank you for partnering with us to bring these daily studies your way we're completely listener supported we don't have any large organizations covering all the costs now it's listeners who appreciate Pastor Greg's insights and want to see them continue so as you send your donation today be sure to ask for The Love Stories of the Bible Speak by Shannon Bream you can call us at 1-800-821-3300 that's a 24 7 phone number 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org are you receiving Pastor Greg's daily devotions they're a great way to start your day with extra insight and inspiration sign up for his devotions today at harvest.org well next time Pastor Greg provides more helpful insight on keeping our eyes on the Lord when our fears and anxieties threaten to detour our walk of faith join us here on A New Beginning with Pastor and Bible Teacher Greg Lourd Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to harvest.org and click on know God
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-25 05:11:26 / 2023-07-25 05:21:09 / 10

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