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I Choose Peace - In Anxious Moments, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 6, 2023 5:00 am

I Choose Peace - In Anxious Moments, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 6, 2023 5:00 am

When life gets hard, really hard, we have two options. We can become consumed with worry – which is what most people do, OR we can trust God, who tells us not to worry or be anxious. Chip shares that even though that sounds nearly impossible, God has promised to help us do just that. 

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How much would you pay someone if they could absolutely guarantee a solution to all your words? In other words, you would never, ever have to worry again about anything.

Sound impossible? It's not, and that's today. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

We're in the middle of our series, I Choose Peace, how to quiet your heart in the chaos of life. And let me tell you, today's message is one that will speak to all of us. Chip's going to dive into one of the more notable passages in the New Testament and reveal how, in the most painful, intense, agonizing moments of life, we can find the peace that only God can offer.

If you're ready to learn more about that, get your Bibles out and go to Philippians chapter 4 verse 6 for Chip's talk in anxious moments. It is well with my soul. It is well with my soul. You can't sing a song like that and not pause just to ask, how's it going with your soul? I mean, is it well?

When you think of the fears, the frustrations, the thoughts about the future, how are you doing? Song's really powerful, but the story behind it might be more powerful. It was first sung in 1876. It was written by Horatio Spadford. He was an attorney that did well in investments in Chicago. He was a close personal friend of a guy named D.L. Moody, who was an evangelist of an earlier century. In 1871, there was a fire in Chicago.

It's called the Great Chicago Fire. And he lost almost all of his holdings, all of investments. So any of you that have ever gone broke, that's where he was. And as he began to build his life up again, he just felt like, you know, we need to pause for a moment. He said to his wife, and he had four daughters, I want you to get on the ship. We'll all go together.

Let's get a couple months away to get perspective in Europe. I'm just ready to get on the ship. And there was a zoning problem with some property. And so he had to stay behind for a few days. He says, I'll catch the next ship.

It is now a famous telegraph. The ship with his wife and his four daughters was hit by another ship at sea. It went down, and he received from his wife a telegram that says, saved alone. All four of his daughters died in that shipwreck.

Very few weeks later, he was on a second ship to meet his wife. And when he came to the place where the two ships collided, the captain brought him and said, this is about the place where you lost your daughters. And the words that we sang earlier is as he looked out over the ocean, with the Spirit of God speaking into the deepest parts of his hurt and his pain and his loss, he said, when peace like a river, it's well with my soul. Like sea billows roll, it is well with my soul. And I don't know about you, but it seems humanly impossible to lose everything financially, lose four of your daughters, and to honestly and sincerely say, it is well with your soul. And yet, if you'll notice on the front of your teaching handout, that is exactly what Jesus promised his early disciples, and Horatio Spafford is just one person among millions over the last couple millennia, have experienced the Spirit of God to do something inside of them that is beyond any human understanding. The last night, Jesus with his disciples said to them, I've told you these things so to me that you might have peace. In the world, you'll have trouble, tribulations. But take heart. I've overcome the world.

This isn't theory here. We've had 10 memorial services in the last 30 days in our church. There's people all around you that have lost a mom, a dad, a grandpa, a child. And that's not unique.

Everyone in this room, right? We have our issues. But we can choose peace. But how do you choose peace in moments of extraordinary anxiety? That's what we're going to learn. As we do, sometimes you have to learn a little bit about the problem before you can solve it.

So let's do a little research together. What exactly is anxiety? A textbook definition, it's an uneasiness, apprehension, dread, concern, tension, restlessness, and worry. The anxious individual often anticipates misfortune, danger, or doom. We don't need that definition.

That kind of describes where a lot of us are multiple times a week at times. The biblical word for anxiety literally means to take thought. It can be used in a positive way like taking thought for something positively. But mostly it's used in the New Testament for taking thought as being obsessed with something. You can't get your mind off of it.

The German word comes from the word to choke or to strangle. And anxiety at its heart has the idea inside your mind of being pulled in two different directions. What makes us anxious or causes it is fear of the future.

This is probably the most common one. Fear of failure, fear of another terrorist attack, fear of an economic downturn, fear that your kids won't turn out right, fear you'll be single the rest of your life, fear that the marriage that you're in is never going to get any better, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, you name it. For others, anxiety is produced by conflict in the present, conflict in your marriage, conflict with a friend, conflict at work, conflict with a neighbor, conflict with one of your kids, conflict with your in-laws. A third cause for anxiety is in the past, regret.

There's times when things are just going well and you're just driving in your car and out of the blue you remember, oh my, what you did back then that you hope no one ever finds out. For some of us, we came to know Christ later in life and we made some mistakes and there's issues with some of our kids or some things about our life that we can't change and we just start getting overwhelmed with I blew it, I blew it, I blew it and it produces this anxiety. Anxiety isn't just a little thing to take a pill. Anxiety can ruin your life. I have a friend who's a professor, a medical doctor and he wrote a textbook on psychological disorders. Here's a list of things that anxiety produces in us mentally, spiritually and emotionally. It makes people hyper-alert, irritable, fidgety, over-dependent, insomnia, talkative, poor memory, fainting episodes, excessive perspiration, muscle tension, headaches, including migraines, quivering voice, hyperventilation, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, high blood pressure.

I don't know about you but that list alone tells me. I don't know how to get rid of anxiety but I want to get rid of it in a hurry, right? So that's the issue. How do you overcome anxiety? There's many of you this last week, you woke up at 2.11 and then 3.05 or 4.07 and you're thinking about the future and your mind, it goes over and over and over again and you're very fearful about something or you're in conflict with someone and the stomach acid is going around. How does that change? That's what we're going to learn.

Open your notes. I want to tell you that you simply do not have to live as an anxious person. It is possible to absolutely be at peace in the midst of horrendous, difficult and uncertain times. Jesus promised it.

My peace I give to you. You might jot on the very top of your notes 1 Peter 5.7. Peter would make a command and he would say, cast all your burdens upon the Lord because He cares for you.

And the burdens are cares. It's the picture of like a nine or ten-year-old boy coming home on Friday and he's got his backpack and he takes his backpack and he throws it to the corner and goes, wow, no homework. Weekend. Literally. And you know what? He doesn't go and go, oh, I wonder if I've got something to do later. He's eight years old. He just takes it off.

There's no homework. Man, it's going to be fun. That's the picture of casting all your burdens on the Lord.

Why? He really cares for you. You give your problems, your struggles and anxiety to a personal God who is in control, who's all wise, who's loving, who's powerful and you're the object of His affection. And in Philippians chapter 4 verses 6 and 7, He will give you a specific game plan that every time anxiety comes and knocks on the door of your heart, this game plan will teach you that prayer can answer the door and you can run into your Father's arms and God will give peace. You're going to learn that every time anxiety knocks on the door of your heart that you literally can let prayer answer it and then run into your Father's arms.

You're going to learn, do I need to say it again? I want you to read the text silently as I read it out loud. Command, do not be anxious about anything. Second command, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your request to God. Promise and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Now if you're a little bit new, we study the Bible together and so one of the questions we always ask before we make application is what does it actually say?

And by that you need to make some observations. The Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword and it's truth. The second question is after what does it say, well what does it actually mean?

What did it mean to its first century hearers and what does it mean to us? And then the last question that's most important is, so God what do you want me to do? How do I put this into practice? So often at least when I study I will outline the text, what I've laid out here for I call it a mechanical outline. Just like when you study a poem or study Shakespeare and you want to grammatically see what's happening in it. So what I've done is I've taken it in the original language and I've just literally put it in order so you can see the grammar. You don't need to know the original language but in this particular case it's interesting that he takes a word completely out of order to make his point. So notice just when I lay it the first command is nothing be anxious about.

If you have a pen put a little arrow and write negative command in your notes. In other words, we're commanded literally it's stop being anxious, stop worrying. It's not just a little thing. It eats up your soul. It ruins your emotions. It thwarts your relationships.

It chokes the life out of you. Stop worrying. And if it's a command that means there's got to be power and a way to obey this command. Notice the positive command. But in everything he's going to give us four specific words for prayer.

After the everything put an arrow and put positive command. In everything by prayer, petition, with thanksgiving, the request of you be made known unto God. There are four words in the New Testament for prayer.

All four of them are right here. Here's what I want you to know. When anxiety knocks on the door of your heart let prayer answer it but not just any kind of prayer. He's going to give you a very clear using all four words there's a specific way to pray that when you're anxious, when you're fearful, when the stomach acid starts, when you are awake and can't fall back to sleep, when you have these scenarios where you're projecting into the future how terrible and what's going to happen and at your job and your kids aren't going to turn out right and this is going to happen and your marriage will never get better and this thing at work is never going to change and the health issue is always going to go from bad to worse. Once you start down that track there's a kind and there's a way to pray that the Spirit of God will go hush. In fact notice what the promise is. The promise is that when you pray petition with thanksgiving and you make your request known to God the peace of God that's beyond human understanding will guard your heart and your thoughts are literally your minds circle the word guard. If you've ever seen the little commercial I like this commercial it's the one where the the guys in the bank and the robbers come in and everyone's on the floor and the lady looks up says do something he goes oh I'm not a security guard I'm a security monitor. I'm just monitoring there's a problem here. That's this word. He says when you pray like this the Spirit of God that gives you a sense of peace and calm will literally guard the deepest parts of your life and your thinking and in fact what we're going to learn is there's times when you lose your peace when you when you realize there's there's something wrong that actually it's like the the red light on the dashboard of the car and what it tells you is that there's something wrong under the hood when you lose your peace there's something about your abiding in Christ your focus your mind your trust is off of Christ and onto something else and your loss of peace is like and it says he'll act as like an arbitrator a monitor so that you can get back in line with that let's get to the application negatively there's a command we've looked at him negatively and positively you'll notice there's four key words that it's the how and there's the promise which is the why in your notes where it says negatively I would like you to write stop worrying about anything part of how our minds work we see it we say it we write it it sticks I just saw a study by Harvard University recently that talked about those graduates that actually wrote down their goals were 80% more likely to succeed I want you to write down stop worrying don't just sit here and listen you're not passive this is about your life today in this moment second where it says positive command I want you to write pray about everything because we're gonna here's the thing some of us have practiced being anxious most of our lives we learned it from our parents almost everyone does it we we think that what you do you know when you worry is you take a pill for this a pill for that when you feel uptight we'll turn on the TV for others when you lose your peace you go shopping for others you know it's been really tough and you're uptight about things and you wonder and so you know one glass of wine made you feel a bit better and about three makes you feel a lot better some of you had a prescription for some back pain and when you get uptight now you actually take some of those pills even though your back pain was months ago gone and better for others some of us it's maybe a little bit more healthy you just work the moment you feel anxious you just start working because you feel like you're in control at the heart of anxiety is life is out of control and I can't handle this so you do something that gives you pseudo peace for many of us it's just a trip to the refrigerator when we're not really in need of calories but there's something about a bag of chips a bag of popcorn some chocolate that just makes you feel better for what right 15 to 30 minutes there's all kind of ways that we address our anxiety most of them aren't very helpful and then when we do a lot of those things some of you log on and surf some of you spend mindless hours not because you want to or need to because it's just a distraction is there something wrong inherently with doing some of those things absolutely not but when I'm doing that because what I'm really trying to do is get my mind off of this gnawing anxiety you're not you're not letting the peace of Christ rule in your heart and in your mind I mean my confession is my anxiety want you ESPN somehow watching other people play games makes me feel better for a half hour or get into my work or go work out bad evil I don't think so but when I do it instead of letting prayer answer the door and let God work in my life my heart neither wise nor profitable now what I want you to see is that prayer answers the door but it's a very specific kind of prayer like you I have I have lots of challenges with anxiety I think we all do and I think God would say okay I want to teach you a way to pray because I felt very anxious and oh God help help help God God God and then I just pick up the backpack and put the burdens right back on so I want to walk through these four specific words you practice this and you do not have to be anxious the first word is prayer it's the most common word of the New Testament and prayer has the idea of turning in the moment you feel anxious it's turning my thoughts and my feelings upward it's getting an upward focus it's it's adoration it's pausing and recognizing wait a second in the midst of these struggles right now I want to get my focus on who is God worship I actually have more than a few struggles with anxiety I tend to juggle a few more balls and I can really juggle trying to accomplish more than I'm really capable of and as a result of that you know I don't know about you but you can wake up and if you if you wake up and as you're waking up the first thoughts in your mind is what about this and what about that meeting and what about this and one of my kids over here and then if you get up out of bed watch your face and if you pick up your phone oh my gosh dials down 77 points and I'll just check my email while I'm walking to make coffee oh my gosh pretty you know what you're setting yourself up for disaster the first thing you need to do in the morning every every morning either Psalm 23 or the Lord's Prayer before I get out of bed I realize God if I don't see life through your lens I'm going to be in trouble because I know this life is going to bring more challenges just the ones I know about they're more than I can handle and it's interesting when Jesus taught his disciples to pray what did he say when you pray say our father oh so in the midst of all the craziness of the world the one who created all that there is the one who sent his son to die for you and rise from the dead the one who's the sovereign king who's all wise all powerful all knowing of every circumstance real possible and potential he's your papa and say to him who art in heaven you're not you're not pulled into this or that you're the creator you're in control holy is your name I can I can know a hundred percent of the time that God will never lie to me God's always going to be pure his intentions so it's this moment where you pause and you get a high clear view of God when anxiety knocks at the door of your heart let prayer answer it and the first prayer is worship and adoration you've been listening to part one of Chip's message in anxious moments which is from our series I choose peace Chip will be back with us in studio shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about what are you anxious about right now what's causing you to lose sleep financial uncertainties a tense relationship the daily demands of life whatever is robbing you of your peace right now there's an antidote through Chip's insightful teaching in Philippians chapter four we're going to learn about the peace of God which can restore calm and encourage our soul no matter what's happening around us and to help you better understand that during this series we're offering every listener a copy of Chip's popular book I choose peace at no cost we want to encourage you to completely lean on God and trust him through the highs and lows of life so to learn how to get your free copy of I choose peace go to Living on the Edge dot o-r-g or text peace to 741 41 that's the word peace p-e-a-c-e to 741 41 limit one book per customer while supplies last well chips join me in studio now with a special word for those moms and dads listening Chip thanks Dave you know as a parent and a grandparent there is nothing I'm more concerned about than my children my grandchildren and I desperately want them more than anything else to live a life where they really walk with God where they stand for the truth but what I see is it's so difficult in the world that we live in what they watch what they see is hostile to the gospel and so here at Living on the Edge we are absolutely committed to reaching the next generation to discipling them and helping them and and if you're one of those people that care about the next generation the way that I do would you be willing to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge and what I want you to know is when you invest in Living on the Edge when you pray and when you specifically financially support us it empowers us to come alongside parents and grandparents and even pastors to help them help the next generation live out their faith in a world that is so hostile to it and when that happens God does a great work I'd like to invite you to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge thanks Chip so if that idea makes sense to you we'd love for you to join us your regular dependable support multiplies our efforts and resources in ways only God can do become a monthly partner today by going to Living on the Edge org or by texting donate to 741 41 that's the word donate to 741 41 app listeners tap donate thanks in advance for doing whatever God leads you to do well with that here's Chip with some final application as we close today's program I want to ask you a question is it well with your soul and what I mean by that are you at peace or are you filled with anxiety and worry and and I know sometimes we reframe it oh I'm not worried I'm just a little frustrated or I'm not worried I'm just upset I'm just really really concerned could you just back off for just a minute right now and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a level of transparency and honesty and then let me ask you some questions that I think might really help if you don't recognize where you're anxious just certainly can't deal with it I mean this is a great passage I mean this is great truth but what's causing the anxiety in your life I mean is it a subtle or not so subtle fear of the future is it a relational conflict you know like we talked about the last few days is it money I mean you know you're just worried about money or is it a biopsy report or like in my case you know I'm now and then it just flashes through my mind is the cancer going to come back that my wife beat or is it a regret is there something that you just it comes keeps coming to your mind you think oh if I wouldn't have done that or if I if I would have done something else and or maybe it's just a big decision you made and you're living with the consequences and somehow you're living in this emotional turmoil of wanting to turn back the clock but you just can't do it here's what I want you to know when worry and anxiety knocks at the door of your heart let prayer answer it and there's just a certain kind of prayer in fact I'm gonna talk very very specifically in our next broadcast how to take this passage from oh that's a nice verse in the Bible to a very action-oriented process so that when you begin to worry how you can literally stop worrying and God will use it by the power of his spirit and his word to really help you develop over time the habit of not worrying and not being anxious until then however this is what I'd like you to do I'd like you to go to the website and get the message notes I think you need to see how I've laid out this passage second get out a three by five card or open your phone and click where it says notes and I want you to actually write out or type out Philippians chapter 4 verses 6 and 7 whatever version you want and then when you start feeling anxious and worrying just open it up and read it slowly and that will kind of help you start to make progress until our next time together and I'll give you some very practical ways to absolutely stop worrying looking forward to that message chip and as we close would you pray for those feeling challenged to respond to chips encouragement right now there's always a spiritual battle when we feel prompted to draw near to God thanks for taking a minute to do that and if there's a way we can pray for you let us know call 888-333-6003 or email chip at livingontheedge.org we'd love to hear from you well until next time this is Dave Drewy saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-06 04:52:38 / 2023-03-06 05:02:40 / 10

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