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September 14, 2021 2:00 am
Fear, stress, and anxiety ravage modern culture. In the message "Overcoming an Anxious Mind," Skip addresses the problem of anxiety and offers some encouragement from the apostle Paul that will give your soul a rest.
This teaching is from the series Technicolor Joy: A Study through Philippians .Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
If you don't live with an anchor thing you've been adrift in a sea of anxiety and most people in the world didn't have anything to anchor no real grand scheme or purpose. So if you just think dangling in some inexplicable universe with no rhyme, no reason, no design, no plan, no God, so all we are fortuitous occurrences of accidental circles were here by chance is a very lonely place to be is so very isolated, very lonely and that's a scary place to be stress and worry are a hallmark of our modern culture is that you don't have to live inside connect with Skip Heitzigs of today as he explores the problem of anxiety and shares how you can find peace for your soul through the truths of Scripture.
Right now we want to tell you about a resource that shines light on the rapidly shifting landscape of the Middle East and shares why this impacts you New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg is now based in Jerusalem and he's releasing the new nonfiction book enemies and allies I traveled with Joel to the middle of the cities to meet with Kings Crown Prince. We sat together on the east lawn of the White House for the signing of the historic Abraham accords and I previewed his new book enemies and allies. I can tell you it contains never before published quotes from behind closed door meetings with some of the most powerful and mysterious leaders, Middle East, you will want to read enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis. The authors conversation.
She is meet's howls company most leaders enemies and allies by Joel Rosenberg includes insights and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the most controversial leaders in the world will send you a hardcover copy of enemies and allies. Thanks for your gift of $35 or more to give. Visit connectwithskip.com or call 819 to 1888 get into the message with skip. Talk to you today about one of our greatest struggles.
That is anxiety. Anxiety is a thief steals your thoughts steals your peace steals your confidence steals your joy and in this theme of the book that is overwritten with joy that Paul expresses at some point we're going to have to deal with the topic and the issue of worry and anxiety which Paul does in these two verses for many years a woman couldn't sleep because she worried that her home would be broken into by a burglar was just a thought that plagued her thinking for a long time day after day in week after week and month after month for a number of years, she had this plaguing thought well one evening she and her husband both heard a noise downstairs.
Her husband got up went downstairs to find out what the noise was and it was.
Can you guess the burglar husband saw the burglar and said to him, could you come upstairs and meet my wife.
She's been waiting 10 years to meet you. The point is simple. A burglar can steal from you once the burglar of anxiety can steal from you for decades now. It sort of humorous to me what we as Americans worry so much about what concerns us what stresses us out. We put filters are faucets we put air ionizers in our home. We lather ourselves with antibacterial soap we get worried about avian flu.
We get worried about getting E. coli bacteria. At the same time, 20% of adults smoke 20% of drivers don't wear their seatbelts and it's estimated that 75% of those who own mobile devices text while they drive what that tells me is that we worry about perceived dangers while we ignore real ones. Now this is the holiday seasons the Christmas season and this is the time when all of those anxieties and worries go away.
This is the time when we don't experience anxiousness and stress. All this is a time of peace on earth and goodwill toward men right but wouldn't that be nice but you know that that is not the truth. What you know is what we found out that 64% of Americans say during this season their anxiety level goes up and down and there's reasons for that. There are contributing factors are one of the things that psychologists say is a reality is called seasonal affective disorder are given the initials SAD sad, seasonal affective disorder is brought on by shortened days, less sunlight, more darkness that does something to sort of a generalized gloominess that we experience another factor is during the holiday season. Americans travel 72% of Americans will travel from Thanksgiving through New Year's right in between there a lot of people are mobile, while going to airports missing flights whether snowing people, and etc. all about raises, not lowers the stress level and will be traveling to well we want together with family which brings another level of stress getting together with family members, some of which we don't really want to get together with perhaps is always that weird uncle that shows up or something like that. We worry over buying the right gifts life and that my bottom this size. I hope that fits was it enough money that I spent Cedric that I spent too much all of those things contribute so what working to do is look at two of the most significant verses in the New Testament that deal with your mental health.
They are familiar versus I would dare say some of you have even memorize these verses you know them. We know them by heart.
In Philippians chapter 4 verse six and seven. It's part of a lineup of exhortation's that we began to explore last time just to refresh your memory if you look back at verse one. He's begins with the style stand fast. He commands them. Verse one. That's verse one, verse two, I implore the two ladies that he mentions verse three. I urge verse four rejoice in the Lord always. I'll say it again rejoice and now that same start sort of approach and style. He writes the next two verses and that's all the verse would look at today. Verse six says be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Perhaps, I can't prove it, but perhaps some of you read that you go let's nice simplistic na´ve unsophisticated but that's nice what I want you to know it is not simplistic, though it is simple and one of the things I love about God is he's not complicated. Most truth, you will discover is simple truth, not simplistic truth simple truth is simple, but it is also needful. I say it's needful because some of us are stuck in verse six we live in the world of worry and anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress. We never get out of so it's simple truth. It's needful truth, but I also believe it's radical truth. If you can somehow get out of the first part of verse six into the second part of verse six into verse seven it could revolutionize your life. It could give you a whole new lease on life Cemetery. The story about George.
George was a busy executive in Pittsburgh. George worked about 75 hours a week. George had a heart attack. His doctor after the heart attack, said George, I'm giving you a year to live. You probably won't last longer than a year. If you keep this pace up in your style of living and so all of that stress and all of that busy schedule and all that high blood pressure and George's life finally caught up with so now he's listening very carefully is listening differently to his doctor than he was before. After the heart attack he goes home to recuperate and so while he's recuperating.
He goes to his back porch with a pad of paper and he writes a letter to God. That said, dear God, I hereby resign as general manager of the universe sign George and he always tells his friends. Wonder of wonders God accepted my resignation, suggested before the end of this message God might be tapping you on the heart saying I want to resignation. I want you to resign from trying to control everything were trying to worry about everything and be controlled and consumed by anxious thoughts.
So what am I give you what I want to do today is and I'm confining it to these two verses I want to unpack these verses on the grill down. I want to sort of dismantle these two verses into parts look at each part and put it back together again and see how it all fits what I want to do is give you a fourfold approach to understanding anxiety and overcoming anxiety. So let's begin with the problem. The problem is shown in the second word of the first verse, we are considering it's the word anxious. That's the problem. Anxiety is the problem it's a problem all human beings.
At some point have to deal with, but I want to tell you about the word that is used it's translated into English English anxious the original word in Greek is the word Marinol and Marinol appears 19 times in 17 New Testament versus it is translated into three English words primarily worry anxious care worry anxious care. Marinol so when Jesus said do not worry about your life. That's the word he chose when Jesus speaks to Martha who was so distracted and busy when Jesus came over while Mary was sitting at Jesus feet. Jesus said to mark them, Martha, Martha, you are were read and troubled about many things. That's the word Jesus chose, and it's the same word Paul used in first Corinthians 7 when he wrote to them and said I want you to be with out care. That's the word Marinol concerned worry anxious care but given that I now want you to know where that word came from the word Marinol comes from two Greek words stuck together and when I tell you what they are you going to get a full understanding of what worry in the Bible describes two words put together, Marin zero which means to tear or separate to tear or to divide and the second word now lists which means the mind so you put those two together Marin so and noticing you have merit now, which means literally to divide the mind with an apt description of anxiety. Anxiety is when your mind is divided between legitimate thoughts and destructive thought.
Anxiety takes your mind into different directions at tears your mind. James put it this way, a double minded man is unstable in all his way now.
I believe that of all the times in history. This is the time when these verses are more appropriate than at any other time in this culture. It speaks to this culture in our country more than any other unexplained where told that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in America and they will say they estimate that 40,000,004 zero million Americans suffer some form of anxiety disorder that is 18% of all American adults in 2015, Boston University reported that anxiety has now surpassed depression and all other disorders in our country and I found something terribly interesting. They took 14 different countries around the world and study them. The world mental health survey stated Americans were the most anxious people in the 14 countries that were studied with more clinically significant levels of anxiety than people in Nigeria, Lebanon, and Ukraine. If you know much about those countries.
You know those are troubled spots what that tells us, then, is the United States of America is the undisputed champion of anxiety and worry, we win the Olympics when it comes to anxiety and work recently, the New York Times put on an article where they stated in America, we have developed an ethos of relentless worrying and agitation. And did you know over the last three decades. Anxiety disorders have jumped more than 1200% amazing one psychologist Robert Lahey said the average high school kid today has the same level of anxiety has an average psychiatric patient in the early 1950. That's our country. Now I hope by now you're wondering what are we so worried about in America. What are we so anxious about what I want to get and all the factors limits just sum it up by telling you what the Gallup organization found out top things a concern is the most number one personal income will have enough money to survive whatever happens in the future. Second, Social Security system, which further ties into the first with the Social Security system be able to provide for me when I get all of you know that it's had a lot of problems over the last couple decades. Third possible terrorist attacks, will I become the victim of some hostile act of terrorism.
Healthcare availability in the future and finally race relations. All of those are top concerns of Americans.
On one hand I want to say I understand from the perspective of a believer. Looking at the unbelieving world. I get it. I understand whether anxiety so high I understand why they're panicked. Whether anxious if you don't live with an anchor of faith, you can adrift in a sea of anxiety and most people in the world they don't have anything to anchor them. There is no real grand scheme or purpose in life. So if you just think that you are dangling in some inexplicable universe with no rhyme, no reason, no design, no plan, no God, so all we are fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstance were hereby chance. Well, that's a very lonely place to be isn't it. It is all very isolated, very lonely and that's a scary place to be if you don't know why you're here or where you're going that scary so one website that I found several of these.
I always like to go to dig around and get some statistics and background but ends in studying for this this week I found several websites that said this, but one just sort of articulated quickly. It said this is a psychiatric website. Our goal then shouldn't be to dismiss anxiety entirely, but just to make it a healthy manageable part of our lives.
I want you to hear what they just said you the very best the world can do for you is to just manage your anxiety and are you good with that because the Bible offers you a chance to eliminate it. Keep reading.
So the problem is anxiety anxious the prescription is this verse six be anxious for nothing that stop right there for just a moment if you didn't pick up on that. That's a commandment it's put in the present active imperative other workers call writing is lotteries writing from a Roman prison took a good a church in Philippi and he writes this in a very strong manner. I command you. Stop worrying.
Which sounds absurd if you're a worrier. It sounds unreasonable. It sounds na´ve. It sounds idealistic to tell a worrier.
Hey, stop it, quit your worrying because writing is a what planet are you from, how unrealistic can you be to make matters a bit worse.
If you're a worrier in the Greek language. This is stated in the very emphatic way so that it could be best translated stop worrying about even one thing before you get mad at Paul for saying that Matt should question the Jesus Christ say something like that. He did didn't in fact almost exactly the same thing but with Jesus that we said the same thing. He gives us reasons not to allow anxiety to rule over us. Listen to his work. This is sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 6 he says do not worry about your life say more, do not worry about your life what you eat what you drink about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the air, they neither read nor gather into barns, but your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature. Don't misunderstand what Jesus is saying he's not saying kick back and be lazy go outside and open up your little beak and expect a worm to plop and birds don't do that. By the way, because it doesn't rain worms.
Last I checked, they got ago be very busy and diligent about finding is not saying the lazy when he says don't worry he saying don't happen anxious over concern about life that divides your mind is racing. By the way he uses the example of birds master something.
Have you ever seen a worried bird think back now correct all the times you looked at birds. Can you have you ever seen one with a blue Jay in our backyard.
We just spotted it. I spotted at the last week it's beautiful for like hangs out between these two little areas I was looking at him the other day because Jesus said, go look at the birds. Behold, the birds of the air, so I did and it wasn't like he did have a slow head in its its beak and its claws going all man, how are we gonna pay for the rent on this and asked was no stress at all. It looks carefree for Jesus is behold the birds now in Jesus words that I just read you. He gives us three reasons we should not worry. First, because it's unhealthy. Second, because it's unbecoming. And third, because it's unproductive to explain those first of all, it's unhealthy. He said, is not life more than food. You know the worry and stress and anxiety can actually harm your life, your physical life can hurt you can ruin your body and your mind a few biblical examples. King Darius signed a decree and he was so stressed over what he signed that it says his sleep went from him, neither did he eat that's Daniel chapter 6 if you keep that up not sleeping and not eating ~so it's not healthy. King David in Psalm six it says that he turned to God and said, I am wary with my groaning all night. I make my bed swim.
I drench my couch with tears. That's depression and anxiety. Then there's Moses numbers Chapter 11 so stressed out about Israel that he complain I listen to Moses prayer, my burden is too heavy for me. Please kill me. Hearing now that's anxiety when you're praying like that so it's unhealthy.
Harvard Medical School says those who are gripped by anxiety have a greater risk for developing a number of chronic ethical conditions will affect your G.I. system, respiratory system and has been linked to heart disease. So it's unhealthy second reason Jesus gives it's unbecoming. It's unbecoming of a child of God. It is not fitting for a child of God for a child of God to be always anxious and always worried is in effect saying I don't trust you, God, you said some pretty cool things that make me feel good for little while and I read them but then I God, let my real life in.
I don't expect you to really get to make good on any of these things. So to be consumed with worry and anxiety betrays a lack of trust in God caring for you.
So Jesus says and here's why it's unbecoming look at the birds of the air, they don't repeat them. So gather into barns, but your heavenly father feeds them mark the language he didn't say their heavenly father feeds them because he's not their heavenly father that have a personal relationship with God but is your heavenly father you have a personal relationship with the father. Your father feeds birds with bird brains if your father feeds birds in your fathers and defeat his children and take care of his children that Skip trace of hopefulness between Sue's technical script to share how you can keep these teachings coming to connecting others to God's word. The apostle Paul said that all Scripture is God breathed, meaning God inspired and wants us to understand it, even in today's day and age, that's why I teach line upon line through every book of the Bible and that's why this radio program exists to share biblical teachings with friends like you across the country and around the world. You can help further that mission by sharing your gift today. Here's how to do that visit connectwithskip.com/donate to give a gift that's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 809 two 218 809 two 218 for your generosity. Come back again tomorrow as she is trust God to set with Skip presentation of connection communications to God's unchanging truth, ever-changing time