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I Choose Peace - In Anxious Moments, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2023 5:00 am

I Choose Peace - In Anxious Moments, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 7, 2023 5:00 am

When you have a loved one in intensive care, or the house hasn’t sold, or the job hasn’t come through, or the news is full of things that make you fearful – are you able to trust God’s goodness, or does the anxiety just seem too overwhelming? Chip explains how we can actually turn our upsetting circumstances back to God and experience His supernatural peace.

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Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram

It's one thing for someone to say, hey, don't worry. But the reality is disease, finances, the future, uncertainty, we're all living in a worrisome world. Today, I want to show you from scripture how God can give you a tool that when worry knocks on the door of your heart, prayer can answer.

Stay with me. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. In this program, Chip continues his series, I Choose Peace. Now last time, he unpacked how worry can utterly consume our hope and joy.

Today, he'll describe what it looks like to put our entire trust in God even when our circumstances threaten to overwhelm us. But before we get started, let me encourage you to try using our message notes while you listen. They contain Chip's outline, scripture references, and a few key fill-ins to help you remember what you hear.

Download them under the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org. App listeners tap fill-in notes. Well, with that, let's join Chip for part two of his message in anxious moments from Philippians chapter four. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, what did he say? When you pray, say, our father. 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, and all knowing of every circumstance, real, possible, and potential, he's your papa. And say to him, who art in heaven, you're not pulled into this or that. You're the creator.

You're in control. Holy is your name. I can know 100% 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. So I have a habit. As I'm laying in bed, I either pray slowly through Psalm 23 or the Lord's Prayer or parts of it. And then I don't look at my phone.

I don't check my email. I have coffee already made because that's a very important part of my early morning. And the dog and I are friends. So I let the dog out.

And every morning I take my cup of coffee and my dog's out running around and I stand in my patio like I did this morning. And I look up and I see these stars and I, and I force myself out loud, almighty, ever living creator. Little people like me have stared at this guy for thousands and thousands of years and you created him. And this is just the Milky Way. There's 100, maybe 200 billion stars in this little galaxy. And they didn't know there's another couple hundred billion galaxies. And the one that placed these in the sky at this moment on this day, I am the object of your affection.

I don't know how to pull off or what's going to happen, but I'm going to go in and I'm going to talk to you and read what you want to say to me. But I'm going with you, the creator of the world at my back. Here's what I can tell you. As you get a really big God, you will get really small problems. If you have really big problems, you have a very small God. See what happens, what the take thought of, it means to focus on, get obsessed with. Okay, here's a problem. Okay, maybe 85% or 90% of your marriage is pretty good or at work you really do have a good job but there's a supervisor. Or maybe, you know, you're single but you have some really good friends but, you know, but whatever the part that really makes you anxious or there's uncertainty, here's what you do. You focus on it, you focus on it, you focus on it, you focus on it, you focus on it, and pretty soon you look at all of life through this thing, this anxiety.

And then as you look at all in life, the way we're made is then your emotions and your physiology begin to respond and then your body and your world gets messed up because you think this is the world. He says when anxiety knocks at the door of your heart, let prayer answer it and the first thing you do, this is the God that can deal with that. You think God can heal someone of cancer?

We've seen it. You think God can give people grace to go through cancer? You think God can actually take someone that you love to heaven and you recover from it and be okay knowing you're gonna see them later?

You bet. You think God can give you a new job if you don't have it? You think God can get into the heart of one of your kids that's not walking with God? Do you think God can?

Of course He can. Intellectually you believe that but it doesn't experience it until you worship Him. Put a little A, the left of where it says prayer and circle it and I'll tell you why later. The second is petition. This is the second most common word in the New Testament. It's focusing on your need. It's a prayer that expresses my need or my want before I ask. It's a sense that I, it's the awareness that I am unable, that I have limitations in this situation that I need you God. I can't handle this.

Much of anxiety is about here's a problem or here's an issue and the resource you unconsciously look to is what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? How do I fix it? How do I fix it? And the more it's overwhelming or the more it's out of your control and the more you realize you can't fix it, guess what happens? It just grows and grows and grows.

And so the kind of prayer that answers the door when anxiety knocks and causes you to run to your father is first adoration and this is confession. God, I can't handle this. I don't know what to do in this marriage.

I've tried everything under the sun. I can't get one of my kids attention for the life of me. You know what? Unless you like transfer my supervisor to Siberia, I don't, you know, he doesn't like me.

She doesn't like me. I feel like I can't handle this. Lord, I need you. You know what that is called in scripture? Humility. Dependency.

And you know what? You can't cast your cares on Jesus as long as you're holding on to him and assuming that some way, somehow, my ability, my moxie, my personality, my brains, I'm going to solve this. And so the kind of prayer is first worship and then confession. And you say, you care for me.

I can't handle this. And then it positions you to begin to ask him, to really ask him for help. The third word is thanksgiving. It's a very interesting compound word. It means to be good or well and combined with grace.

I love one commentator. He says the way this is phrased, it's like sprinkling like salt and pepper into the rest of your prayers where you're constantly giving thanks. I mean, I find myself when I look at the stars, when I'm worshiping God, all of a sudden he'll just bring to my mind, you know, you've got almost 40 years with your wife after all that you guys have been through.

And, you know, think about what that day when your one son was an ICU or, you know, you thought this was impossible problem. God, thanks. So I'm worshiping, but I just sort of fall into thanksgiving. Or how about when you're confessing, I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this. You know what God reminds me?

Hey, remember like two years ago or three months ago when it was an impossible situation and you couldn't do it. Do you remember what I did? Oh yeah.

You were faithful. Thank you. In fact, let me show you a little tool. And I know some of you are not writers. You're not verbal processors.

I don't think people need to keep a journal to be godly. Okay. But if you're a little ADD, if I'm going to, you know, you know, like in services like this, sometimes we say, I want to ask you a question, but don't raise your hand.

Can I try the opposite? I'm going to ask you a question and I'm going to ask you to raise your hand. Does anybody else except me, does your mind wander when you pray? Oh my gosh. It's just, and then I feel so guilty. I mean, I've been out on the stars.

I've washed them. I'm reading the Bible. God, I can't do this. And then my mind's all the way over to here and then it's over to here. Then it's over to here. And what I realize is I can't concentrate very well. So when it comes to, I'm just, and then I get paralyzed and then I feel bad that I can't concentrate. And then I tell God I'm sorry.

And then it's like confession. Sometimes I just give up. And the anxiety doesn't leave.

And here's what I've learned to do. I've learned when I'm going through that, I realize that anxiety and biblical prayer cannot coexist. And anxiety can't live with thankfulness. So for example, I just couldn't concentrate. Lord, I'm overly aware of what I am not in varying degrees of what awaits me. I was away for a few days and what I returned, you know, I had like right anxiety, like 200 emails, three meetings. Holy Father, please forgive me for my self-focus and please renew my heart and my mind.

I'm viewing things through a negative lens and it's producing negative emotions. And so this is what I did. Thank you for the rest, the walks, the time to read, relax, and laugh with Teresa. Thank you for Teresa that she said she's feeling better physically than she has in a long time. Thank you for the long and beautiful pool to swim and rehab my back. Thank you that I rarely had to take Advil for the last few days. I mean, can you imagine thanking God for no Advil?

Here's what I'm trying to get. This is how life really works. It's in the details of life where you say, well, no, that's big. Thank you for the insight and encouragement to listen to the book by John Ortberg, The Life You've Always Wanted, and the resilience and encouragement it's brought to my heart. Thank you for the God impulse to help people that we've met on the streets that are poor. Thank you that despite all the unpleasantness I see in my life, my mistakes in leadership, personal struggles and failures as a Christian, as a husband, as a father, and as a leader, that you love me, delight in me, and have exceeding mercy upon me, my family, my life, my ministry, and that you're not surprised or shocked that I don't measure up. You remember even when I forget that I'm but dust. I cannot in this life measure up. I am in need of your mercy and your grace every moment of every day. The truth is many of the things that bother me about me, they bother me because they're true.

Anybody else have that? And so, but you know what? When I got done, I was at peace.

See, part of all your psyche stuff is I don't measure up, I got to do this, sometimes just being honest. And you know what? This is who God is.

I have great need. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm going to thank my way into the presence of God. And then the last word is a powerful word. And the last word He talks about is, so what do you do? It's requests. You outline your specific needs.

I mean this is like, you know why some of you don't experience much of God? You pray prayers like this, Lord bless my family. Help me have a good day. Help my children.

Help me someday, someway, somehow to meet someone. Lord, cause me to grow spiritually, somehow, someway. I mean that's like my wife sending me to the grocery store and say, could you buy some food that we will all like and that I will cook well? I mean she would go, oh my gosh. Whenever she sends me, and if she was here she'd say, she doesn't send me very often.

Man, I got a list and then it's like here's the label, it's got to be organic, it's got to be this. She wants very specific things. Once you have, this is who God is. This is your need. I'm thanking Him. What do you want? God, I ask you specifically to move in my supervisor's heart to give me favor with Him and that I would have great affirmation in this meeting. God, I'm asking you for X amount of dollars because this is what's happening in our family situation and I need that. God, I'm asking you for the best doctor in all the Bay Area. Help me bring someone in contact.

How do we deal with this cancer? Write specific things and expect specific things and then like a grocery list give them to the God who's all wise, all knowing and you're His son, His daughter and He'll help you. My little, the next thing I do in my journal is, this is my, I pray once I've gotten there, these are all little boxes.

I turn all my concerns, all my anxiety into prayers. Here's a box, here it is. Here's a box, here it is. And I'm turning them into requests. And this is a month old.

All but about two have check marks next to the box. You know what I'm experiencing? God's alive in my life. God is showing up. I'll guarantee He's showing up in your life. You just don't know it. You don't track it. You don't pray specifically.

Here's what He's saying. When anxiety knocks at the door of your heart, let prayer, this kind of prayer, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, let prayer answer it and then run into your father's arms. Run into your father's arms. It's like, remember for some of us when you had small kids or some of you have small kids, when they have a bad dream, what do they always do? Like they're four, they're three, they have a bad dream. They get up, they run and what do they do? They're at your bedside. What do they want to do? They want to get in bed with you.

So what do you do? Open the covers, you go, brother, you know, because they take up the whole bed. And then they lay next to you and 30 seconds later what do you hear?

You think that's an accident? See, they think that their parent loves them, is in control, and it's a safe place, and they're at peace. And the God of the universe says, come, come, stop fretting, stop worrying, stop trying to figure out how you can solve it all. In fact, the promise here, peace and anxiety cannot, write the word coexist. Peace and anxiety can't coexist.

Second, anxiety and biblical prayer cannot coexist. Now, I'm going to give you a little warning because, you know, I hope some of you are going, wow, now, okay, I get it. You know, this, I ask you to put an A, A, okay, anxiety is coming into my life, A, adoration. The next, put the letter C next to that one under the petition, confession, T for thanksgiving, and then S supplication, what I'm actually going to ask, so A, C, T, S. So it's just a little ax. This is my, when anxiety knocks at the door of my heart, I'm going to let an ax kind of prayer, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication, I'm going to let it answer, and I'm going to run into my father's arms.

Now, here's the deal. If you never played golf, or if you never went bowling, if you never played an instrument, or if you did it like 35 years ago, would you expect to go and roll a 300 or shoot par, or would you expect it is a skill to learn about, a skill to practice, a skill to develop, and that over time you would get better and better and better and better. You don't have to live an anxious life, but you have built, and I have built lifelong habit patterns to respond to anxiety in ways that are very dysfunctional and very painful and they're bad for you, your soul, your relationship with God, your family, and with other people.

So what I just described, you're going to have to go into training and begin to practice. So when you feel peace leaving, because, by the way, you could do all four of those kind of prayers in about three or four or five minutes, right? You can take a break. I've had situations where I've been in a situation, I'm anxious like this, and I don't know what to do. Excuse me, I've got to go to the bathroom.

I've gone to the bathroom while I'm washing my hands. God, help me to remember, and I'll just walk through that and ask the peace of Christ, because I need your power. I need to abide in you. I need your peace and your power, and Jesus said He's given it to us freely. To summarize on the very back, biblical prayer is God's antidote to anxiety. It's simple and yet profound. Biblical prayer is the antidote to anxiety. Every time you feel anxious this week, here's the word picture, when, can you fill it in even without me saying? When anxiety pounds at the door of your heart, let... Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. Okay, let's try that again. That's the most unaffirming response to someone speaking I've ever had in my whole life. And I know you were deep in thought.

Are you ready? Okay, let's try this again. When anxiety pounds at the door of your heart, let... Prayer.

Oh, they are beautiful, Lord. Answer it as you run into your Father's arms. What I understand is there might be some people that grow up like me, is if God is not your Father, if you've never received Him as your Savior, this doesn't work. Because these promises aren't for people outside of Christ. And so the prayer that relieves the biggest anxiety, it was my most amazing experience. Even though I'd been to church, even though I intellectually believed in God, I didn't realize I needed to turn from my sin, my self-will, and running my life, and I needed to turn and say, Lord Jesus, I believe that you came from heaven, that you were in fact God, and you died upon the cross, and as you hung upon the cross, you paid for my sin, and you covered or atoned for my sin. And what you've said is that as many as believe and would invite you into their heart and life, you would literally take up residence, and that's how your peace starts. If you've never done that, we would love to help you on your journey to make that decision, because He brought you here today, because you matter, and He loves you. Before we go any further today, I want to ask you exactly what I asked the people that were in the room when I taught this.

I'm not asking you if you're a nice person or whether you're trying to be moral and kind to others. What I want to ask you is, have you ever placed your faith in Christ, where you would say to God, Lord, I don't just believe in you in some generic sense, or that you're a deity out there, or there's some systems and forces at work, or there's positive or negative energy, but I believe that you are the creator of all the world and the universe, and that you, God the Son, came and lived a perfect life on this planet, and you lived upon the earth, and you helped the poor, and you spoke words of life, and you healed people to reveal and declare what God the Father is really like, and that you and the Father are one, and Jesus, what you did was to come and show me what God is like, and then to give your life on the cross to pay for my sin, but then you told me that I need to receive that as a free gift. If you have never done that, could I urge you, the greatest anxiety in the world is what happens after you die, and Jesus says, I want to give you peace.

My peace I give to you, and the peace he wants to give you first and foremost is to say, come to me, just today, right now. Call upon me. Ask for my help.

Just say, Lord Jesus, I need you. I have sinned. I know I've done things wrong. Will you forgive all my sins right now, and will you please come into my life?

I believe you died in my place. I believe you rose from the dead, and I'm receiving your gift of eternal life right now, and then thank him. In your heart of hearts, Lord, thank you so much, and then what Jesus would say to you is, you don't have to worry. You don't have to worry about what happens after you die. You don't have to worry about the economy. You don't have to worry about your family. You don't have to worry about your health. You are mine. I'm going to take care of you.

It doesn't mean that everything's going to be easy. It doesn't mean that everything's going to go your way, but I am now with you forever and ever and ever, and here's what he wants you to know. He wants to speak to you. He wants to give you power. He wants to help you, and the way he does that, he speaks to you through his word, the Bible, and so let me encourage you to open the Gospel of John and just get a New Testament and begin to read it. He wants to love you and encourage you through his people, so he wants you to find a group of fellow believers, a good Bible-teaching church, and say, hey, I just prayed to receive Christ.

I don't know much about this. I know I need love and support. Will you help me? And find a group of people that say yes.

He has them near you, I guarantee it. And then finally, go to livingontheedge.org, and I personally have some free resources just to help you understand this step you've taken. And so Lord, I pray, I pray for the courage of my new brothers and sisters who've prayed and asked you for forgiveness, and I thank you that you've granted it.

In Jesus' name, amen. Well if you just prayed with Chip, we do have a free resource we'd like to put in your hands, specifically created for new believers. It's a tool that'll help you gain a clear biblical understanding of what it means to put your faith in Jesus. Request this free New Believers resource by calling 888-333-6003, or by visiting livingontheedge.org, then clicking on the New Believers button.

That's livingontheedge.org, or call 888-333-6003. Let us help you get started in your faith journey. Well Chip's still with me in studio, and Chip, you don't have to listen to Living on the Edge very long to learn that we're very passionate about discipleship, helping Christians live like Christians. But you know, there's another exciting side to that mission we don't highlight often enough that's equally important. Can you talk about that?

Well Dave, yes. I'm not an evangelist for sure. I have a passion for evangelism.

You know, I share my faith regularly. But you know, when you teach right through the Bible like we do, is you come to multiple passages that it's the gospel. And so we share the gospel. And I don't think we let our listeners know that we have tens of thousands of people over the course of the years come to know Jesus. One of our board members came to Christ seven or eight years ago, you know, on highway five down in L.A. in his car, prayed to receive Christ, and that was the beginning of a journey. And so if you care about people that are lost, I just want you to know that at Living on the Edge, so do we. And although it's not the emphasis of the ministry, we are seeing thousands of people taken from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

And then when I think of what we do in all those countries around the world equipping pastors, we see tens of thousands of people indirectly coming to know Jesus. And in order for us to do that, it requires a band of brothers and a band of sisters who unite in prayer and in financial support. I'd just like to ask you, would you be willing to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge? See, monthly partners are so important to the ministry because it gives us a steady income. It's people who say, I don't want to just help now and then, but I believe in what you're doing, and I really want to make a difference as we partner together.

And when that happens, God does great work. I'd like to invite you to become a monthly partner with Living on the Edge. Thanks, Chip. As you prayerfully consider your role with this ministry, I want to remind you that every gift is significant.

When you partner with Living on the Edge, you multiply your efforts and resources in ways only God can do. To set up a recurring donation, go to livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app. You can also text donate to 74141.

That's the word donate to 74141. We appreciate your support. Well, before we close, anxiety, stress, and uneasiness seem to be at an all-time high. That is why choosing peace is so tough. So we want to help. During this series, we're offering Chip's book, I Choose Peace, at no cost. We want to encourage you to lean on God and completely trust Him through the highs and lows of life. To get your free copy of I Choose Peace, go to livingonttheedge.org or text peace to 74141. That's the word peace, P-E-A-C-E, to 74141. Limit one book per customer while supplies last. We'll listen in next time as we continue our series, I Choose Peace. Until then, this is Dave Druey thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-07 05:07:04 / 2023-03-07 05:18:00 / 11

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