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The Greatest Key to Overcoming Anxiety and Worry

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
December 21, 2022 9:06 am

The Greatest Key to Overcoming Anxiety and Worry

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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December 21, 2022 9:06 am

December 18, 2022 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

            Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 6:25-34

            Topic: Anxiety, Overcoming,


            Download SCRIPTURE REFERENCE


If you have your Bibles with me, turn to Matthew chapter number six today, and we want to thank everyone for being with us on the.

If I got a couple, how many one of my staff grab some of these microphones? Maybe we'll pull those down so I don't run into him. Matthew six verse twenty five through thirty four is where we're gonna be reading. The Bible says in Matthew six twenty five. Therefore, I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor yet for your body. What you shall put on is not the life more than meat in the body, more than Raymond. Behold the fowls of the air, for they so not. Neither do they reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly father feedeth them. Are you not much better than day? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?

And why take you thought for Raymond? The lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not. Do they do that? Neither do they spin. Yet I say unto you that even Solomon and all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is and tomorrow cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you?

Oh, ye of little faith. Therefore, take no thought, saying, what shall we eat or what shall we drink or wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentile seek for your heavenly father know it that you have need of them of all these things.

You read verse 33 with me, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. And he concludes the chapter by saying, Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Father, we thank you for your word today.

It is our joy. We are so blessed to see these precious children come and sing praises to the name that is above all names. These young hearts would grow in their faith and understanding of Jesus Christ. Help us to be faithful with these precious lives that you've entrusted to us.

Thank you for all the workers who worked with them. And I pray now as we turn our attention and hearts toward the word of God, that our hearts would be open to your truth, that if anyone today doesn't know the Lord Jesus Christ, that the same Jesus that these kids sang about, Lord, that they would these these folks today would trust in you and find their salvation and the only name that is able to say through the name of Christ. We ask this in Jesus name. And God's people said, Man, you may be seated today. Two thousand years ago on a hillside in small town called Bethlehem, an angel came to some lowly shepherds bringing heaven's message to earth. In Luke Chapter two, it records and the angel said unto them, Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born in this day in the city of David, a savior, which is Christ the Lord, and this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And it says in verse 13 and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host, praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill toward men.

I find it amazing that the night that heaven said peace came to earth, our world has turned into anything but peace. Researchers more than a decade ago found that there are more fatal heart attacks on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. The second greatest busiest day for heart attack victims is December 26th. And then the third is January 1st.

The the pattern continued so long that they began to coin the phrase among health care workers Christmas Coronary. And how sad that the very season, which was a season of bringing peace to the earth through the Lord Jesus Christ, our world has taken and turned into a stressful anxiety time. But when Christ came to the world, he didn't come to bring chaos. He came to bring peace. And the greatest peace that friends we need is not is not horizontal peace.

It is vertical peace. We need peace with God. And the Bible tells us that our sins have made us estranged to God has separated us from God and Jesus Christ through his own perfect life and death and resurrection has made a way for us to be reconciled to our God. But sadly, this world has rejected the Lord Jesus Christ.

America has rejected Christ, and we now see a Christless world filled with so much hate, violence, divorce, brokenness, separation, stress, worry and anxiety. Jesus said this in John 16, verse 33, the day before he died. He says, These things I say unto you that in me you might have peace in the world. You shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer.

He said, I've overcome the world. Now, this morning, I want to turn our eyes to the only one who can bring peace to your life, your family, heart, mind and soul. Isaiah 26 three says, Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. So today I want to look at the problem of worry, and then I want to show you the greatest key in overcoming worry and anxiety. So what is worry? The word worry comes from the Greek word Merim Na'o, and it's used seven times in chapter number six. And it means to be anxious or troubled with care. The word worry has an interesting etymology.

It comes from an old German word, Wurgen, which means to strangle, to strangle. Worry is to strangle someone, and that's what worry does to us. It strangles our lives, and it strangles the peace and joy of our lives. Vine writes, Anxiety harasses the soul that enfeebles, irritates and ruffles tempers. Webster defines it as worry means to harass, to subject with persistent or nagging attention or effort. It makes you anxious. Some pithy statements about worry are that worry gives a big shadow.

Small things, it gives big shadows. Worry is the interest we pay on tomorrow's troubles. Worry is like a rocking chair.

It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere. Worry is a guest which once has been admitted turns into a taskmaster. And worry is an indication that we do not believe God can look after us. Another word that is synonymous with worry is the verb fret. It actually comes from an old English word, Fretan, which means to devour or consume.

Literally meaning to gnaw at. One man said, Worry is today's mice nibbling on tomorrow's cheese. Worry literally gnaws away at a person. Anybody ever felt the gnawing pain of worry and stress and anxiety?

We all have. So why is worry such a problem? Let me give you why it's a problem both physically and spiritually. It's important to understand that stress will kill you.

Did you hear me? Stress will destroy your life. According to the American Medical Association, stress is the basic cause for more than 60% of all human illness and disease. Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress-related symptoms for which they take medication.

And in a 20-year medical review conducted by the University of London, they concluded unmanaged reactions to stress were more dangerous factor for cancer and heart disease than smoking cigarettes or high cholesterol foods. A recent article in the news said we are living in the United States of anxiety. According to the article, anxiety is now an epidemic in the United States. More people suffer from anxiety in proportion nationally in America than any other country in the world. We are the most anxious, worrisome nation on the planet. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million Americans.

Three of the top 10 best-selling drugs sold in America are for mental illness. Forty-two billion a year is spent on anxiety-related disorders, and these just continue to increase. Charles Mayo of the prestigious Mayo Clinic called worry the disease of doubt.

It's fascinating to me. He said it affects the circulation, the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system. He said, I've never known someone who died of overwork, but I've known many people who died of doubt. Stress and worry will mess up your life. Undoubtedly, there are people that are sitting, whether in the early service or in the second service, that are slaves to worry. Stressful worry causes memory problems. And just ask yourself if you have any of these memory problems.

Everybody's like, ugh. Unable to concentrate makes you pessimistic. It makes people moody, irritable, short-tempered, unable to relax. You feel overwhelmed. You become depressed.

It can affect your eating, eating too much or too little. I've counseled with people who've spent anywhere from three to six days laying in bed, not physically able to get out of bed, urinating on themself in bed, so depressed. People can isolate themselves at times, causing people to procrastinate. Sometimes people get feeling helpless where they just, they're so overwhelmed with stress, they just quit everything, and they don't feel like it matters at all anyway. People will use cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, and anything else to try to gauge their mind to have some rest. There's so much I could say about the physical ramifications of stress.

It will destroy your life physically. But secondly, it'll also destroy your spiritual life. Perhaps nothing crumbles the servant of God more than fretful worries. Jesus spoke to Martha and used the same word in Luke chapter 10 when he said, Martha, you're worried, or you're meram na'o, you're anxious about many things.

You're careful, worried, anxious about many things, but there's one thing needful. Mary's chosen that good part, which won't be taken from her. Martha was so worried, and her worry robbed her both of joy and peace in Luke chapter 10, which you go on and talks about, but also it robbed her of fulfilling the one needful thing in her life. Jesus saw this as such a problem that in his day, it was so much worry was going on that he spends, the first sermon that he ever preached, one of the largest portions of this sermon are focused on dealing with the problem and sin of worry and anxiety. He deals with it as strong as anything else he deals with in this whole three-chapter sermon.

Because he knew if people have worry and stress as their master, they could never have Jesus as Lord. Matthew chapter 6 verse 25, he tells us not to worry about your necessities. He says, take no thought for your life, what you'll eat or drink or what you put on.

Don't worry about the necessities of life. If God can save your soul, he can make sure he feeds your belly. And then he tells us not to worry about the length of our life in verse 27. He said, which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And I showed you last week that that word for stature is also defined as length of age. Most time it's defined that way in the Bible. And he's talking about by worry, you're not going to extend the length of your life.

There's no way to do that. Worry will only decrease that with that stressful problem. And also he tells us here in verse 28, don't worry about your clothing and appearance.

In verse 28, he says, and take no thought for your raiment. Don't worry about your clothing. Hear that, young people? Don't worry about, you know, we used to buy jeans because we had holes in them, right? Now I sound like an old fogey, right? I'm over the hill.

My oldest daughter just got engaged this last week. So I'm sure by the end of the summer, I'll be bald and white. You know, it's like, what happened to him? But he says, don't worry. Don't worry about your necessities. He says this again in verse 31. He says, therefore, take no thought saying what we'll eat or what we'll drink or wherewithal we shall be clothed. And in verse 34, he says, don't worry about your future.

Seventy seven percent of Americans today have a very pessimistic view of the future. And he says, you don't have to be consumed with worry about that. Now notice what he says in verse 33. He says, but seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. How can people seek God's kingdom first when their heart and mind is consumed with earthly worries and anxieties? We can never put God's work and will first when we're consumed with the world's. Worry is also an assault against our faith in God, which Jesus continually rebuked.

Over and over, he would make these statements. Why are you so fearful, O ye of little one faith? And he saw a little faith as being the problem for why worry came in and intruded hearts.

Verse 30 says he rebukes them for being concerned so much about their physical provisions. And he tells them at the end of verse 30, oh, ye of little faith. In Chapter eight, verse 26, he tells the disciples that faithlessness and their little faith was the cause of their great fear. While they were out at the storm at sea, he told Peter in Matthew 14, it was Peter's small faith that caused Peter to sink in the water. He told the disciples in Matthew 16, verse eight, that it was their small faith that kept them from spiritual perception. He taught in Matthew 17, verse 20, that it was their little faith, their unbelief that kept them from casting out a demon in that chapter. Time and time again, the Lord rebuked the small faith. Weak faith cripples the believer. I like what one man said. He said, Worry is practical atheism.

It is practical atheism and it is an affront to God. Billy Graham said, When worry is present, trust cannot crowd its way in. Now that we've looked at the problem of worry, let's look at the key to overcoming that. And that's what I want to take a few minutes this morning upon and focus our hearts to.

I asked my wife this last week. I said, What would what would you say has helped you overcome worry, anxiety, stress more than anything else? What do you feel has been the greatest single truth that has helped you overcome worry and anxiety in life? And without hesitation, she said this. She said, Without a doubt, it is the sovereignty of God. She said, Without a doubt, it's the sovereignty of God.

What do I mean by that? This word sovereign can be defined as supreme rule, supreme power to govern. In relation to God, it refers to God as being the supreme ruler over all. God is the one who ultimately controls and whose purposes will ultimately be fulfilled to perfection. God has all power and all authority, and not only does he have power and authority, but he has the right to do it.

He he has supreme right to exert his rule. It is important to understand that someone is in control. Philosophically speaking, someone has to be in control of everything.

If there is a driver's seat, someone sitting in it. Somebody is ordering the universe. Somebody is upholding all this. The Bible tells us it is God who upholds it all. Either you are sovereign or God is sovereign. Someone rules, and there will be no greater truth that your soul will ever cling to than the truth that God is sovereign, that he is in control, that he is sovereign. He rules over all. His kingdom will come. His will is going to be accomplished. There is nothing that no one can do to thwart the will of God. He wins, and because he wins, we win.

Amen. Psalm 115 verse 3 says, But our God is in heaven, and he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Psalm 103 19 says, The Lord hath established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Psalm 135 6, But whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven and in earth to see in all deep places. It was after God humbled King Nebuchadnezzar, the prideful, greatest king on the earth. He took his mind from him for seven years until Nebuchadnezzar knew that God was the king of all. Listen to how King Nebuchadnezzar responds. It's literally written in Daniel chapter 4, the exact response of Nebuchadnezzar when his mind returns to him.

Daniel 4 34. And at the end of the days, I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me. And I blessed the most high, and I praised and honored him that liveth forever, and whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. If I would just pause, ancient Babylon is where present day Iraq is.

That's who Saddam Hussein sought to build his empire after, ancient Nebuchadnezzar. Verse 35. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. And he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. And none can stay his hand or say unto him, What doest thou? This guy sounds like he's been reading Romans nine.

This is this is a soul that's been gripped by God. And he walked away and said, There is no one that can stop his glory. He is king. He is Lord of all the greatest king on the planet, the greatest empire. I've studied ancient Babylon.

The expanse of ancient Babylon is is like a fairy tale of magnificence. And God ruined that kingdom for his own judgment and glory sake, brought them to their knees by the Medes and Persians. Isaiah 46 10 says, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times, the things that are not yet done, saying my council shall stand.

I will do all my pleasure. Ephesians 1 11, in whom we have obtained an inheritance. Why have we retain obtained an inheritance in our salvation being predestinated based on what? According to the purpose of him who work with all things after the council of his own will.

Anybody glad God's in control? People ask if God is sovereign. Why is there so much pain, suffering, hardship? Those who blaspheme God do evil.

Why are there evil rulers? Well, because God's sovereignty and in his sovereignty, he has allowed for what's known as human volition. God has given men freedom to make decisions, to obey him or to disobey him, to love him or to hate him, to reject or to serve him. Deuteronomy Chapter 30 verse 19. The Bible says this.

I call heaven and earth to record this day. Against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life. Choose life that both thou and thy seed may live. God said to the nation of Israel in Isaiah 65 to I have spread out my hands all the day onto a rebellious people which walketh in a way that was not good after their own thoughts. This is exactly what Jesus reiterates in Matthew 23 37.

The week before his death, he said, Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them which are sent under thee. How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings? And you would not. God was willing and they were not. Though man is given freedom, God will ultimately bring to pass his perfect will. And listen, friends, no one can stop it from happening. This does not lead into a fatalism.

This does not lead into a negative determinism. But what this leads to is a joy, saying at the end, God will bring to pass his perfect will and how we get there can be navigated in multiple different ways. Think about Jonah's life. You ever read Jonah's four chapter book?

What happens in Jonah one? God says, Hey, I want you to go to Nineveh. Nineveh was as wicked as Isis. And what's interesting, ancient Nineveh is exact place where Isis was birthed out of.

Their wickedness was exactly the same. He's like, I want you to go to Nineveh and preach. And he's like, I ain't going to Nineveh.

Let them guys die and go to hell. I mean, that's he was the worst missionary in history. So so he didn't want to go. He gets in a boat to go to Tarsus, which is an exact opposite direction. Well, that's in chapter number one. You know what happens by chapter two? He's in the belly of a whale mourning over this situation. And then chapter three.

Guess what it says? And the word of Lord came into Jonah again, saying, I want you to go preach to Nineveh. You know, when I when I've preached multiple sermons through that. Jonah didn't have to have a Jonah chapter number two. He had a whole chapter written of misery and pain in his life because he chose to rebel against the goodness of God and the call of God. I wonder how many chapter twos we've lived in. Anybody got a chapter two in your life? You said I was so foolish that I ended up with a chapter three and five, four and five.

I mean, still writing them, right? We've all done that. And so just understand it doesn't mean you're in some fatalistic system that you just throw your hands on.

Well, it doesn't matter. God's going to do it anyway. No, that's sinful. That's not what he calls us to. But you need to understand there's God's perfect will and also his permissive will. God calls men to repent and many won't. He is not willing any would perish, but many will.

He would have all men to be saved. First Timothy two, four, but many won't be saved. The Lord stretched out his arms of salvation, but many rejected. But as Christians, even in the midst of the evil of this world, we can have peace knowing that God can and will bring good even out of the bad. One of the greatest mysteries that we see in scripture as well as in life is how does God's sovereignty intermingle with man's freedom? How can man be a free moral agent, live on Earth, oppose God, hate God, seek to overthrow God?

Yet in their wickedness, God can turn that to work into some glorious purpose. I mean, Judas Iscariot is that person. Judas, who was predestined to do what he did, but also chose to do what he did. He sold Christ out, hated Christ, betrayed Christ.

And yet God used what Judas did to bring about the greatest good, which is the sacrifice of Christ, which brought salvation to us today. God is so supremely amazing that he can take the greatest evil and triumph over it in a way that transcends our understanding. We would say, I never saw that coming. That's how we'll conclude for all of eternity. Wow, I never saw that coming. I never saw God working behind the scenes there.

You mean that was going on? Just consider all the evils of this world that God is so supreme, he can turn the greatest evils to bring about the greatest good. God is not the author of evil. The Bible says he can't even tempt people with evil or sin. But he is so glorious that he champions over evil in such a dynamic way that he can bring good out of the bad. He can turn Haman's Old Testament Haman's nooses into put around Haman's own neck.

Haman sought to kill Mordecai and Haman's the one ends up getting hung by his own noose. Just consider the greatest earthly injustice, the greatest evil that was ever committed on the earth. The greatest injustice that ever happened, the greatest atrocity of justice that ever happened was the crucifixion of God's perfect son on the cross. And yet out of that horrible situation, God brought the greatest thing that ever happened on the earth.

Now I've spoken to people throughout the years who asked me this question. If God could stop sin, why doesn't he? If God could stop sin, why doesn't he?

And that's a valid question. I would ask, can God stop sin? Is God able to stop all sin if he wanted to today?

You know what the answer is? Yes, absolutely. Yes, he can. He could stop every single evil that's going on in the world right now, instantly. And people say, well, if God could and he doesn't, then he must be evil.

Let me give you some answers for this. First of all, if God were to stop any sin, God would have to stop all sin. If God were to stop any sin, he would have to stop all sin. We would all first agree, God, you must stop all murders in the United States and in the world. Stop all murders. God says, OK, I'll stop murder, but then must I not also stop the hate that produced the murder?

Would I not also have to stop the inward crime as well as the outward crime? God would obviously have to stop all adultery, sexual promiscuity. But if he stopped all sexual violations externally, would he not also have to stop lust? So he would have to stop all lust, right? And if God were to have to stop, we would say you must stop rape and abuse and all those things.

If he stopped that, would he not also have to stop selfishness? If God stopped any sin, he would have to stop all sin and praise God one day he will. Secondly, just consider that if God did not allow sin, then there would be no understanding of salvation. It is only in knowing sin that we understand grace and mercy. It is only because of our sin that we understand the joy of being forgiven.

And you say, but but if God allowed sin so that he could show us forgiveness, God doesn't understand how much pain sin has caused me. My own sin or the sins of others. I've been violated. I've been wronged by people.

Such injustice. I have been wronged by sin. Sin has cost me so much. I would have to ask the question, has sin cost you more than it cost Jesus Christ? Who did sin cost the most? There's no one who suffered more for sin than Jesus Christ. The things on earth we do not understand we're called to trust God for, and it's such a blessing to have such a great God to trust the uncertainties of life with.

And I could give you a bunch of reasons this morning. Let me just conclude with the third one. What kind of person would you be if if all the trials and challenges and hardships and tears of your life were removed? What kind of person would you be?

Do you think the challenges of your life have grown you? The character? Your faith? Remove a person from any difficulty. Why they put people through boot camp? They want to build them up, right?

You think that's easy? It's through the calluses of life's trials and pains. It's in the it's in the furnace of adversity that people are purified and growing.

Endurance is built. Not only is God sovereign, friends, but God is also what's known as providential. And what I mean is not only does God have the right and the power to do all, but he has the perfect wisdom to direct it. If sovereignty means means God has the power and right, Providence tells us God has the wisdom, the perfect wisdom to apply sovereignty and power to bring about the best possible outcome available. The Bible tells us God is omnipotent.

Nothing is the Bible says nothing is too hard for the Lord. He can do anything as easily as he can do anything else. God doesn't get tired.

He doesn't grow weary. He didn't rest on the seventh day because he was worn out. He rested on the seventh day to give us a pattern for a seventh day week. And by the way, why do you think the whole world operates on a seven day week?

Because the B I B L E and Genesis Chapter one tells us in Chapter two tells us that's how God ordained it. If it was left up to man, we'd have three 10 day weeks and turn into a month. We cycle it with the solar with with the moon, one rotation around and then one rotation around this. All of that that sets our our months, our our days, rotation of the earth is is obviously a day and around the moon is a month.

We cycle through those things. And so it is it is God is omnipotent, but also he's omniscient. The Bible tells us he knows all things and he knows anything as good as he knows anything else. He knows all things past, present, future, effortlessly and easily.

There's no strain for God. So with his omnipotence, his power and with his omniscience, there's also what's known as his omnisapience. It's his it's his perfect wisdom.

And it is it is, in fact, the omnisapience of God that allows him to take his power and knowledge and then apply them to produce perfect outcomes. And he creates an outcome that could never be better. It could never have ended better than that. Like like the death and resurrection, it couldn't have gone any better than that.

Now, now, in the day they were living, they didn't feel that way. But afterwards, they couldn't have gone any better than that. There's when you read Revelation 22, it can't end better than that.

All throughout eternity, we will be we will be saying that was the best possible thing that ever could have happened and I never saw it coming. We are in the midst of trials that we're trying to understand. And God says in the times of life where you don't get it, you're going to have to do what's called faith.

You're going to have to do what verse 30 rebukes people for. Don't have little faith. Don't doubt. Why did you doubt? Why did you get filled with worry and anxiety and fretting?

Why did you get strangled by these things? Am I not able to be trusted for your body if I saved your soul? Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth. Good will toward men, right? God is sovereign.

J.L. Monzibre said it this way. One of the great quotes on this. He said, If God would concede me his omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if he gave me his wisdom, too, I would leave everything as they are. If you disagree with that, it's because you don't understand this truth. If you knew what God knew, you wouldn't change a thing in the world.

Did you hear that? You wouldn't. You think you would, but you wouldn't. You think you would because you would be like Peter rebuking Jesus for going to a cross, and he would say you don't even understand. You have no comprehension of what you're talking about.

Friend, listen. Your life is not by dumb chance like like like you're not. You're not somebody who has to live by silly rabbit's feet or knocking on wood or hoping you get lucky. You die the day God appointed you to die. When my wife's brother died in a car wreck, left behind a two year old and a two month old, it was the day appointed for Chad Fowles to go home to be with the Lord.

It was it was the day for that. Or you have to conclude God is out of control. The world's all by good luck or bad luck or Satan is in charge. I don't know about you, but the Bible I read tells us it's not any of those others. It's God sits on the throne and he does whatever he wills. He said, I make the dumb, the blind, the seeing. It is I, the Lord. I created all. I uphold it all.

Everything continues because I keep it going. And Romans eight twenty eight is always true for us. It says and we know that some things work together for some good to them that love God. To them that love God. Is that what it says? The Greek word is positive.

It's an all encompassing superlative. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. In verse twenty nine, for whom he did foreknow, that doesn't mean he knew the decision we were going to make in the future. That means he chose beforehand to have a relationship with us, whom he did foreknow. He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his son. He might be the firstborn among many brethren. You need to understand God's sovereignty is the pillow that you rest your soul upon instead of looking at a fearful world and saying, I'm so worried about the world that my kids are going to grow up in.

I see all these precious little souls up here singing on the stage and it just melts my heart and I look at them. And all I was thinking is that's why you must be faithful, Josh. That's why you must preach the word. That's why you can't ever quit. These young souls need godly people in their life to lead them.

Parents need to have godly examples for their kids. We can never quit. Amen. We can't throw in the towel. This generation looks to us. What are we going to do? Back off and get scared and isolate ourselves?

No. We stand up with courage in the word of God and say, for me and my house will serve God. America doesn't define me. Christ defines me. I'll even go so far to say Fauci doesn't define me.

God defines me. Oh, did I say that out loud? We don't have to be fearful of the future our kids are raised in this country. You know why? Because God created them for such a time as this, they were made for this year. And the grace that sustained all the people in the Bible will be given to our children in this generation to be lights in this world. We have no reason to fear. We can stand on these truths. Oh, you think your kids are in your hands?

Really? You think they're up to you? You think you're now there are things you can do and there are things that God can do.

And I'm going to talk about that in just a moment. But you need to understand what God's able to do and what you're not able to do. I can't save my kids.

I can't make them turn out right. I can teach them. I can love them. I can share the gospel with them. I can point them to the truth. Only God saves. Only God sanctifies. Only God will glorify. He's the only one that can do that work in my family's hearts. It is all of his grace.

It is all of his mercy. I still remember the day that God gripped my soul with this. I remember having little children and my precious little girls. We were living out in the country. We had like a back porch wrapped around.

And it was a high porch is like 10 feet, 10, 15 feet off the ground. And and all I could think of is my girl's going to run out there. She's going to somehow go through those two little wooden things and she's going to die. You know, she's going to fall down, break her arm and break her neck. And I'm like, don't think that. And then we'd have we had a wood burning stove on the inside. Now that all she's going to hit that block on the side and crack her head open.

All she's going to run in that stove and like melt her face. I mean, just horrible thoughts. I'm like, no. And I'm like, oh, were anybody else have racing thoughts of worry over your kids? And I'm like, they're going to die in 50000 ways.

I'd be out on the on a on a porch with a two foot drop. I'm like, stay back. You know, watch yourself. And you know, your first couple of kids, you're all worried about this. You know, when my first child I had like you get the Bose system into your room, you put a little baby monitor right by him. You got that little baby monitor right by their mouth.

And you got surround sound in your room case. Anything goes on, you know, because every every there's always a lady in the church or in your life that wants to tell you of all the way SIDS happens. The sudden infant death syndrome. They want to come and tell, you know, babies will die if you lay them on their face. You're like, oh, I can't lay on my face. And then those over if you lay on their back, they're going to suffocate. They're like, ah, I can't do that either.

But on their side, they're definitely goners. And I'm like, ah. So you're like, and all night long, it's like the kraken next door.

I mean, the surround sounds just like, you know, and then this child screams out. You're like, ah, you know, you're running. Are you alive? They're alive.

Well, thank God. But it's two in the morning, you know. And you live with this worry.

And it sounds crazy, but I'm telling you, it can get real in your life. I remember the day that God said, Josh, why are you so worried? He didn't verbally speak to me, but it was into my soul through his word that that these children in my hands. And it's like he told my soul, Josh, I love these kids more than you ever will. And a peace came over me as I turned my kids over to God and I said, why on earth am I worrying? I haven't been worried like that ever since. Ever since.

Like they're his kids. Thank you, God, for reminding me. So. So lost without you. So lost. I live like a fool.

Being strangled by fear. I'm not worried about the world my kids are grown up in. I'm thrilled to see what God could do in their life through them to reach a lost world who meets Christ. Don't have to live with fear instead of looking at life's trials and feeling overwhelmed by a world is being pulled apart in center where evil is promoted and righteousness is being suppressed. We can say, praise God, I know who's on the throne. We can we can say with David and Psalms forty two or some forty six. God is our refuge and strength, the very present help in trouble. Therefore, will not we fear that the earth be removed, that the mountains be carried in the midst of the sea, that the waters there of war and be troubled?

It says in verse number 10, God says, Be still. Know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen.

I will be exalted in the earth. Oh, the Lord is our refuge and strength. We don't have to live with fear. We can rejoice with the psalmist in Chapter two that as the world rages against God, that he sits in the heaven and laughs at their foolishness. When rulers are evil, we can still worship God and declare that. Praise God. God sets up rulers and brings them down.

We don't have to say, well, I don't like this president or the former president get all worked up and stressed out every day and hanging on every word and everything they do and just overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. You know, when Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate said, Don't you know I have the ability to kill you? And Jesus said, You would have no authority over me except that we're giving you from my father, which is in heaven. Pilate is God's man. Trump was God's man. Biden is God's man.

Putin is pointed by God. Did you hear that? Did you hear that?

That may be the first time you've ever heard. That's true. Hitler was appointed by God.

Is that stunning? You say, But what Hitler did was so evil. Yeah, but when you read Isaiah and Jeremiah, God said, Israel in the last days, I will send fishers for you and they will call out to you.

But if you will not listen, I will send hunters after you. And there were men who came and cried out to the Jewish people. Come back to Israel.

Come back. It was before they were nation in 1948. They cried out to the Jews. The Jews would not return. And God sent hunters after them, men like Hitler, who hunted the Jews like the clefts of the rock. And what birthed out of the horrors of the Holocaust, the evil, wicked wretchedness of the Holocaust.

The nation of Israel was born May 15th, 1948. That is the miracle of a sovereign God. You say, Well, how on earth can you justify that?

How on earth can you justify that? Don't ever point to your injustice until you look at his. And it is out sometimes the greatest earthly tragedies that God produces the greatest earthly goods.

All friends, if we keep our minds around the sovereignty of God. Is Hitler? Well, then Hitler is not accountable. If God put him up, all Hitler's accountable. Jesus said of Judas, it's better if that man was never born. I can tell you, God will bring eternal judgment to those who have rebelled against him.

It is on their own heads. God just wins every time. Well, I'm so thankful for the sovereignty of God.

You know how you rest well at night? Oh, God's driving. God's driving, isn't it? You can also look at the challenging people that come into your life, whether at work next door. Maybe you have that neighbor. I have good neighbors.

My neighbors are like the Catholic cemetery over there. My own home, people in your own home, people at church, wherever you have challenging situation or people, you can look at them and say, praise God, because God allowed them to come in my life for a reason. The challenge me to keep me humble, to remove pride from my life, to test me, to strengthen my faith. You know, Paul prayed three times. He says, say he says, God, there is a messenger of Satan that is buffeting me. God, can you remove this? And he prayed three times.

Remove this, remove this, remove this. And Jesus responds in second Corinthians twelve nine. My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect and weakness. Peter or Paul. Look how Paul responds most gladly.

Therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities or my weaknesses that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in literally what he was begging God to remove. But he's now praising God for. Nothing in his life changed it circumstantially. The only thing that changed was his perspective. He got heaven's view on Earth's trials, and it turned him from being one who sought to have those things removed to now praising God for them.

When you can praise God for messengers of Satan buffeting you, that's someone who surrendered to the sovereignty of God. You know what we're like? We're like a little three year old child. Who hears their mother screaming and rushes around the door to see their pregnant mother on a bed, but has no understanding of pregnancy, has no understanding of what's going on. But all she sees is mom screaming in painful agony and some man is standing near her and she's screaming out. So get somebody away from my mom. Somebody help my mom. And they're pulling that little girl away as she's screaming out.

Mommy, Mommy, don't let them hurt you, Mommy. And she has no understanding of what's going on. She comes back in the room. She's so devastated, so overwhelmed. She thinks her mom could be dying. She has no idea what's going on.

But she comes back in the room to see her mom smiling a few hours later, holding that little precious baby. I'm going to tell you, friends, there are things in our life that we look at and we are so overwhelmed with. And God says, don't you know that I've been the one turning those dials?

Don't you know I know how to set the temperature? Don't you know that I'm in charge? I am not only sovereign, but I am providential and I will work all things together for good.

You may not understand it now, but you will understand it later. And what you would be upset and even curse me for now, you will worship me for later. He is so supremely glorious. I tell you, the key to walking on the water of life's trials and not sinking in feeders to cast your eyes on God's sovereignty. Worship him. Turn with me to Philippians four, just want to highlight this verse.

We're going to wrap up very quick. Philippians four. There is one way to test this for you. There is one way to test whether you have submitted to God's sovereignty.

There is one test very clearly that will elevate this reality. Whenever we try to control something, it produces anger and anxiety every time. Control is an illusion. How much can you control in life yourself?

Barely right. Anybody have trouble controlling yourself? Raise your hand. Okay. Yeah, I see your spouse helping you pull your hand up right now.

Yeah. Yet we think we can control other people. From leaderships to presidents to other people in our house, our spouse.

Well, that's an illusion. You think you can control your spouse? We think you can control other people, other circumstances. We drive down the road and we say, don't you know this says 55, but you're allowed to go 60.

Why are you going 52 in this lane? Remove yourself, wicked one. And because we try to control that person, it always produces anger and anxiety immediately. And the problem is not outside of us. The problem is inside of us. It is just that the external issue is revealing an internal problem. I'm not playing psychologist here.

I'm not playing whatever. I'm just telling you these are biblical realities. God turns temperatures up. He puts people in our life. He slows down traffic. He puts somebody at the register who doesn't know what they're doing sometimes.

He does these things. I could go onto that rabbit trail going down restaurant the other day. I'm like, don't you know how to count change?

It's broken. It's only 15 cents. Like, don't you? And then back in my mind is I'm sovereign. I'm like, you're right.

God's testing me right here. Three minutes later. Yes, 15 cents. Get your get your phone out there, honey. Phone out there at one dollar minus 85 cents. It'll get there. Two minutes.

How do you anyway? World's not in a good place right now, friends. But it's exactly where God has brought it to be. Now, here in Philippians four. He says in verse number six, be careful for nothing. The word careful there is mere not.

Oh, it's the same Greek word you seven times in Matthew six. Be anxious for nothing. Be worried about nothing. And the word nothing.

There is a media. It means not even one thing. Be anxious, worried for not even one thing. So what do I do if I if I don't worry, Pastor, I don't even I have all day long. I mean, I don't even know what to do with my whole day if I got rid of my worry.

Like consumes 23 hours a day. Well, look what he says. But. In every thing by prayer and supplication, everything is is, again, the same word pass, it means everything without exception, but in everything by two things prayer, which is general request and supplications is a different Greek word.

It means specific requests. So don't be anxious. It's not even for one thing, but turn them all into prayers and then specific prayers. And here's the kicker with Thanksgiving.

That's not normal. Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you thanked God for the anxieties and worries of your life? Go.

Last time. In his words, say it. If the Bible says, be thankful and we're not being thankful. Why do you think we're living with worry and anxiety? Why do you think it's controlling us?

Because we are disobedient to the known word of God. With Thanksgiving, let your requests be known unto God. Well, how can I be thankful for? Well, Jesus said in Matthew 5 11, blessed are you when men revile, you persecute, you say all manner of evil against you. Falsely rejoice, be exceeding bad because great is your reward in heaven.

I mean, you can rejoice when people are killing you. Like, be glad this this is this is to live transcendent. This is to live beyond circumstance.

You hear that? How do you live? So if the world's like this, God says, live like this.

The world will continue to be crazy. If your life goes like this with the news, I can tell you it doesn't do that when you're with God. Those who can be thankful for the worries and anxieties of life have proven they have submitted to the sovereignty of God. It's exactly what happened in in First Corinthians 12, when Paul began to thank God for what he was once begging God to remove. When your prayer request turns into a prayer request, you get it. Doesn't mean you don't stop praying, but it means you start praising.

And what's the fruit? What does God give you? Look at verse seven and the peace of God. The word peace there is from a Greek word that means literally to put back together what was torn apart. We use it in today's phrase, man, that person's really got it put together.

He will put you back together. And the peace of God literally, which passes all understanding, it's a word that means it's beyond human ability to get to that, like it's beyond human ability. We run to drugs and alcohol and addictive things. We run to everything in the world and not to God. Just as the Lord could give peace in a supernatural way to the waves at sea, so the Lord gives supernatural peace to the worries of our mind. That's why the day before Jesus died, he said in John 14, he said, peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Charles Spurgeon said, never keep trouble half an hour. The longer the frost last, the more thick the pond will be frozen. Your frost will last until you bring it to the sun. A thankful prayer is the response of the soul that has been gripped by the truth of God's sovereignty. It'll it'll transform you. It'll transform you when you can wake up and you can see a challenge from your child, your spouse, or your boss, or the work, or whatever else, and you can say, God thank you for putting that in my life today. Because I know you're going to do something through this that's going to be better than what I would have chosen. Thank you.

It'll literally transform your life. And let me say this, not only is God sovereign and providential, but Jesus tells us here back in Matthew 6, that that sovereign God is friends. He's your father. Oh, my goodness.

That's that's incredible. He is your father. So why don't we worry? Because if your father feeds the birds, he is providentially sovereign and caring for birds. I don't think he's going to care for you. And the Gentiles worry about all these other things. You don't have to worry like them because you have a father in heaven who cares for you.

He refers to God, his father, like some 18 times in Matthew 6. Let me let me close with a couple of thoughts here. There are two categories.

I just need to close this down. There are two categories. There's always more that I need to say than I have time. There's just so much here.

There are two categories that worry can be put in. And you need to get what I'm about to tell you. This will help the rest of your life.

There's a there's I would encourage you to do this. Draw two circles when you go home today, if you're dealing with much stress, anxiety or ever have or ever will. And write your name in one and write God's name in the other. And then you need to look at all the things you're dealing with in life and say which one are in which ones are in the category that only God could change and which ones are in the category that I could change. Now, listen to me very close. We can only work on the circle that we're in. I can only I can barely change myself. My spouse isn't in that circle.

I can't change them. My kids aren't in that circle. Their salvation is not in that circle. My boss isn't in that circle.

The country is not in that circle. I can't change any of that. My financials are not in my circle. I can go to work. I can I can humble myself. I can share the gospel.

I can there's some things I can do, but I can't. There's so so you put those you write down all those things in God's circle and then you have yours over here. You got a little tiny circle, too.

You'll find there's a whole lot you can do. It's like this little tiny little wee wee thing over here, right? Now, over here is God's great circle.

Listen to me very close. Whenever you try to grab something in God's circle, it will immediately become your master. The very moment that you grab something that only God can do, it will own your life. It will control your mind, your actions, your attitudes, your behavior. You become controlled by that thing. And you always think it's something that needs to change outside. And God says, no, the problem is your hands on my stuff. Get out of my seat.

You're in a chair that's too big for you, boy. You think your kids are your concern? I care for them more than you. You think the country's in your hands? I care for America more than you ever will.

I died for those souls in that country. Praise God, I can turn all that over to you, God. You know, when I was growing up, I was always concerned when my brothers were driving. They get their permit. They're like, I want to drive. I'm like, I don't want him to drive. I can't. I'm in the back seat.

These maniacs are up there. I'm gonna die. You know, when Dad was driving, I could always rest good in the back. He fell asleep. It reminds me of a true story.

And I close with this. There was a pastor who was on a large passenger plane. He said the plane was filled with people. He said we hit such hard turbulence. People were literally bouncing out of their seat. They were putting seatbelts on. He said people began to pray and cry out to God. They were so scared.

He said, I mean, it was horrible and it lasted a long time. And he said through all of this, I looked over and he said, there's a little five year old girl sitting in this seat. And she's bouncing around. She's just peaceful as can be. She's like laughing sometimes and she's drawing. And he's like, this is insane.

Like this is a pastor. He's like, I was scared. And this little girl's like, he couldn't believe we couldn't believe his eyes. He said once they landed, he said he noticed the girl stayed in her seat.

And so he stayed in his. He's like, I need to ask this girl, like, how do you do this? He said, everybody got off the plane and he walked up to that little girl and he said, young lady, I'm a pastor. He said, and I noticed that you were smiling and laughing and everybody else is screaming and scared to death.

What, what was the difference? Aren't you afraid? And she's what she said. She looked up that pastor and said, my daddy's the pilot and he's taking me home. I'm going to tell you, friends, God is the pilot. He's taking us home and he's our dad.

Why are you so fearful? Oh ye of little faith. We get to go home today and say, praise God, he's sovereign.

Praise God that there's a driver and he brings everything to pass according to his will and no one can thwart it. You want to lay your head on your bed at night and sleep well? That is the pillow to rest your head on the sovereignty of God. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your savior, we're going to have men and women stand down front. Why don't you come today and say, I want to know him. I want to know him. I want to know the God who died and rose again.

I want to know the one who these little children were singing of. You can do that today. Maybe today you're filled with anxiety. You could come and just say, God, take these strains of my heart. Take these worries. Take my husband, my wife, take my children, take my grandparents' health, take this nation, take these pressures of finances, whatever they are and say, God, I'm turning them back over to you. I've been holding on to these things and it's killing me.

God said they were never created for you to hold. Let's all stand this morning. The altar is open. If God so moved in your heart that you would like to come and pray, you're welcome to do that. Father, we do thank you for your word. We thank you for its truths. Praise your name. How could we not worship you for your greatness? Everyone thought you lost on the cross.

Everyone thought you had lost. But three days later, heaven rejoiced and hell shook. We praise you today. Forgive us for our fear, our worry, our doubts.

We have a sovereign God who is sovereignly glorious and who is also our Father. Let us rest upon your arms and praise. Thank you today for the trials. Thank you for the pains. Thank you that nothing is wasted in our life.

All pain is for a cause greater than what we realize. Give us faith to believe and trust when we cannot understand the full answer. I pray right now for the husband, the wife, the dad, the mom, the grandparent that may not know Jesus, that if they were to stand before you and you asked, why should I let you into heaven, they wouldn't know what to say. I pray today that they might come and have someone talk to them and find out how they can know when life's over they'd be in heaven. Bring salvation to that soul today. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-21 14:40:22 / 2022-12-21 15:03:53 / 24

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