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How to Handle Stress | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2021 7:00 am

How to Handle Stress | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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March 3, 2021 7:00 am

In stressful seasons of life, we can convince ourselves that we don’t have time to be still. But God calls His sheep to lie down in green pastures and to drink from the still waters. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals how to handle stress, according to Psalm 23.

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From the Love Word Finding Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, I'm Byron Tyler, here with Kerry Vaughn, the CEO of Love Word Finding, Kerry today, Adrian Rogers, and a series, The Secret of Satisfaction.

To start off this series, why not let's listen to Adrian Rogers. Kerry, with that understanding of satisfaction from Adrian Rogers, I really like today's message, How to Handle Stress, Part 1 out of Psalm 23. It's a great psalm, and you read it, He makes me to lie down. You know, God sometimes has to make us.

Right? Be still and know that I am God. But I think when that happens, when we are lying down, we are forced to look up, and we know that our security is in our Savior.

Number two, one of the biggest commands in the Bible, we see it over and over and over again, do not fear, do not fear, do not fear. And I think as we kind of rest in the fact that God is our anchor, you know, we may toss, we may tilt, but we will never turn over, right? Because our resting place is in Him. Well, and there's so much to get us stressed out.

You're sitting in traffic sometimes, you're late for an important meeting, watching the minutes tick away, then a tiny control center in your brain decides to send the order, send the stress hormones, you know? Right. I mean, we've all been there.

Sure. And so we need to maybe take a breath. And as beside the still waters, as the psalm says, is to relax.

Yes, and we're we've been too blessed to be stressed, right? I mean, as we look at our lives, you know, God has always been faithful. And so what God has done, what He's doing, more importantly, what He's going to do.

But here's the deal, Byron, the cross was enough. And so because of God's faithfulness, we can also rest in that because He has a proven track record. We know that God is who He is. He's God. You know, He's in control.

So why are we stressed? That's right. That's right. Carrie, we always enjoy hearing from our Love We're Finding friends all across the U.S. and around the world when they write and let us know how this program is ministering to them, how it's helping them grow in their walk with Christ.

Here's one. That's wonderful. It's Isaiah fifty five eleven. My word will not return void, but it's also the Ministry of Love We're Finding. It is profound truth, simply stated truth that is relevant for today.

Well, with how to handle stress. Part one. Here's Adrian Rogers. You know that we're preaching now through the twenty third Psalm, and this is the second message. And today we're going to be looking at verse two. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters.

That's Psalm twenty three and verse two. Now the sheep in the Middle East get up and begin to graze and to browse about four in the morning. The shepherd begins to lead them out of the sheep fold and the dew is still on the grass. It's very quiet and the sheep will graze and browse and nibble there.

And then about ten or eleven in the morning, the sun is very, very hot. And if at all possible, the shepherd will find some secluded place, hopefully some shady place with green grass and allow the sheep to lie down. And the sheep will lie down for three or four hours and just chew the cud. It's at that time when the sheep gets quiet. When the sheep gets still and begins to digest that grass that it has ingested, that is to come up and ruminate or chew the cud, it's at that time that the sheep is growing the fastest. It's at that time the sheep is putting on the fat, putting on the wool, maturing. And every shepherd knows how important it is for his sheep to have a quiet time.

He maketh me to lie down. I want to talk to you today about how to deal with stress or how to handle stress. What's ever a problem to you? So many folks I know are all stressed up and nowhere to go. You're just tense and frenetic and running around and so busy, so much in a hurry.

And sometimes we think that it's wrong, almost wrong for us to be quiet, to be still. There's a woman who called her pastor up and she said, Pastor, I tried to call you all day Monday and I couldn't get you. Well, he said, Monday's my day off. He said, I was resting.

I took a day off. She said, the devil never takes time off. He said, yes, and if I didn't, I'd be just like the devil. Listen, folks, God wants his sheep to learn how to get quiet and to lie down in the green pastures and to drink from the still waters. They tell us that sheep really don't like to drink and many of them will refuse to drink from rushing, gurgling streams. There are streams like that in the Middle East where the springs come up out of the mountainside and rush down through the ravines, but the sheep are afraid to drink of that, but they will drink when the water gets in some quiet pool.

So he leadeth me beside the still waters. Now, folks, I want to talk to you about how to handle stress. You know the reason why we're stressed? Well, that's why we're stressed, because we like sheep. You know, Psalm 100 and verse 3 says, we are the sheep of his pasture. That's how God describes us. We are the sheep of his pasture.

You say, isn't that wonderful? I'm a sheep. Well, folks, God wasn't necessarily trying to compliment us when he said we were like sheep. I mean, that's not really a compliment.

It's a description. I got to thinking about sheep and studying about sheep. I've been doing a lot of reading about sheep and I'm impressed one more time that a sheep is not the smartest animal around. As a matter of fact, a sheep is overloaded with dumbness.

It really is. You go to the circus. How many of you have ever gone to the circus and seen a trained sheep? You know, horses, lions, tigers, even pigs, but not a trained sheep. A sheep is really not a very intelligent animal. A sheep is an animal that just is not too smart. Well, you say, hey, I'm pretty smart.

As a matter of fact, I graduated the top of my class. You must understand what I'm saying. I'm talking now in spiritual realms. You see, Jesus had to say to Nicodemus, who was very intelligent, he was a master in Israel, but Jesus had to say to him, are you a master in Israel and yet you don't know these things? You see, he was intellectually up there, but spiritually he was ignorant.

The Bible says there's none that understandeth, no, not one. In the spiritual realm, we like sheep, okay? Not only is a sheep dumb, but I'll tell you something else about a sheep. Our sheep is so defenseless, so defenseless. Other animals, they can defend themselves fairly well.

A horse can run. A lion can bite. A tiger can claw. A bear can crush. A skunk, you know what he can do. A snake can strike, but a sheep, he can't run, has poor eyesight.

He doesn't have good hearing. Our sheep is pretty defenseless. As a matter of fact, the Bible speaks of as a lamb headed toward the slaughter, just kind of defenseless. You think of sheep as needing someone to defend them. And folks, that's the way we are.

That's the reason why the apostle Paul had to say to the Corinthians, our sufficiency is of God. That is, we don't have it in and of ourselves, but not only do you think of the defenselessness of a sheep and not only do you think of the ignorance of a sheep, but I'll tell you something else about a sheep. A sheep doesn't have a good sense of direction. A sheep is easily lost.

What does the Bible say in Isaiah chapter 53 verse 6? All we like sheep have done what? Gone astray. Sheep will browse here, nibble here, browse here, nibble here. He just gets further and further away. And he doesn't know he's getting further away, but he gets further away from the flock, further away from the foal, further away from the shepherd, and then he's out there and he's lost. Now, it's bad enough that he's lost, but he can't find his way home. The cows come back to the barn. The horse comes back to the stable.

Did you ever try and get rid of a cat? They come home. You hear of a homing pigeon, but never a homing sheep. They don't come back. They have to be sought.

They have to be brought. That's just the nature, folks, of a sheep. And what did God say about his people in Isaiah chapter 11 and verse 7? My people, my people are bent to backsliding from me.

You know what that means in plain English? We have a tendency to get away from God. That's the sheep nature. And when you think about these things, when you think about the ignorance of a sheep and the weakness and the defenseless nature of a sheep, and when you think about the propensity to get lost that's in a sheep, and then you think about the dependency of a sheep, a sheep needs somebody to take care of it.

A sheep is so dependent. Now, Mr. Keller, who wrote a book about sheep, said that a sheep sometimes can become what we would call cast, C-A-S-T. That is, it rolls over sometimes on its back and can't get up. Its paws are all up in the air and it doesn't have enough athletic ability. It doesn't have enough dexterity just to roll over and get up.

And sometimes when lying down it just finds itself with its paws all up in the air and cannot get back on its feet. It's vulnerable to the vultures and to the wolves and so forth, but also the gases begin to build up on the inside and the sheep gets bloated and before long it will, the circulation is cut off and the sheep that's called a cast sheep will die. I think that's what David had in mind when he said, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Oh, we get in the cast position and the shepherd needs to come and pick the sheep up and put the sheep back on its feet.

Has he ever done that for you? I mean, when you were down and couldn't get up and you couldn't get yourself up, thank God for the shepherd. You see, listen, folks. We are like sheep and because we are like sheep, that's why we have a tendency to be stressed. It's not necessarily a compliment to call us a sheep, but it's a fact. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Now, having said that, how do you handle stress? I believe verse 2 has a lot to say about how to handle stress. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want he maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. The three things that are pointed out to me in this verse, of course, many, many, many more things than three, but three that I've chosen this morning to talk about and first of all is the security we have in the shepherd. The security we have in our shepherd.

I want you to say to yourself, I am secure in Jesus. You see, he leadeth me. He maketh me.

Who is the he? Jehovah, my shepherd. And remember that we said that Jehovah of the Old Testament is the Jesus of the New Testament. Jesus said, I am the good shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd. Jesus is the great shepherd. Jesus is the chief shepherd. He's the one who makes us.

He's the one who leads us. Now, put this verse in your Bible in Matthew 9 and verse 36. The Bible says, but when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion because they fainted and were scattered abroad like sheep having no shepherd. When Jesus saw the people of his day, he saw them scattered, running, frantic here and there, failing, fainting, complaining, full of stress. The Bible says he was moved with compassion.

You know what that word moved means in Matthew 9 verse 36? It's a very powerful word. It literally means he was convulsed, convulsed.

I mean, it has the idea of just hurting right in here. He was moved with compassion. Do you know what the word compassion means?

Calm meaning with and passion meaning to feel or to suffer. Jesus was convulsed as he felt with those sheep. He saw them as sheep having no shepherd. That's what caused him to leave heaven and come and die for us. As you think of the shepherd, my dear friend, think of compassion, and then as you think of the shepherd, think also of care. We'll do one of the most beautiful verses in all of the Bible, Isaiah 40 verse 11. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd.

We're the flock. He's the shepherd. He shall gather the lambs with his arm. He shall carry them in his bosom. He shall gently lead those that are with young. Isn't that great? The Lord is so tender to us. Aren't you glad that God gives us what we need and not what we deserve?

Has he ever carried you in his bosom? You know, when the lamb is weak and he takes these little baby Christians, those are the lambs, they don't know anything, many of them, brand-new Christians, they come out of some of them, come out of almost sheer paganism. They don't know anything. They give their heart to Jesus. We're so wrong to put them through a theological test. We're so wrong to say, now, you can't do that.

You must do this, and why did you fail? Jesus doesn't do them that way. You know what Jesus does with the little lambs?

Picks them up, puts them in his bosom and carries them. And, folks, when I was a little lamb, thank God, he carried me. If he didn't, I never would have made it.

I never would have made it. He didn't just say, root hog or die. Oh, you see, he is compassionate, and he's a caring shepherd. He carries us gently, gently.

But not only, listen, is he compassionate and caring, but there's another characteristic. He's a courageous shepherd, a courageous shepherd. I love that about our Lord. You remember reading there in John chapter 10? That's the great chapter that deals with a good shepherd. Jesus said, I'm the good shepherd.

Then he said something very wonderful. In John chapter 10 and verse 11, he said, I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep, but he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and fleeth. The wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. Now, folks, the wolves were after me, and they're after you. There were many, many dangers for the sheep in that day.

There were wolves and bears, lions, thieves who would come and slaughter and steal the sheep, wild dogs and scavengers of all kinds, and Jesus said, a false shepherd, one who's only paid by the hour, a hireling, he'll flee, he'll leave the sheep, but he said, a good shepherd will fight for his sheep. I remember reading in the Bible about the disciples said, don't you go to Jerusalem. Don't go down there, Jesus. It's dangerous down there. Jesus down there, they're going to hurt you.

Jesus down there, they're going to kill you. Don't go to Jerusalem, whatever you do. The Bible says he set his face like a flint toward Jerusalem, just like that. The courage, the courage of our shepherd. My dear friend, I want to tell you that when you understand that you may be weak like a sheep, but you have a compassionate shepherd, a caring shepherd, and a courageous shepherd.

You see, the hireling flees. The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. You see, in that same chapter in verse 7, John 10, verse 7, Jesus said, I am the door of the sheep. You say, is he the shepherd or is he the door?

The answer is yes. The shepherd becomes the door. I've seen these sheepfolds. The shepherd will build an enclosure out of stones about so high, just a big circle or a square. He brings all the sheep inside. That's the sheepfold.

He counts them all and makes certain that they're all secure. And then the shepherd has an opening about that wide where the sheep come in and out. And when he gets all the sheep in and all the sheep are counted, the shepherd will lie down right across that opening.

Nobody gets in and nobody gets out without him knowing it. The shepherd is the door. I am the door. And what Jesus is saying, there's nobody can get to you except you come through me. You like that?

Brother, I like that. That's the reason he said, my sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me and I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish. You see, folks, listen.

What you need in order to deal with this stress is, number one, security. He maketh me. He leadeth me. I may be weak like a sheep, but he's the strong shepherd.

He's the good shepherd. That's the first thing I see in this verse is security. And that security helps me to deal with stress. I'll tell you what else I see.

Not only do I see security, but I see sufficiency. You see, look at it. He maketh me to lie down in brown withered pastures. Is that it? He leads me beside muddy streams, dried up water brooks.

Oh, no. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. All I need and more I find in the Lord Jesus Christ. You see, why do we get stressed? Well, we get stressed because we think our needs are not going to be met. And we just say, oh, my goodness, I'm not going to have what I need. You remember that passage over there in Matthew where our Lord is telling us not to worry? And he tells us, he says, what do people worry about? He said, well, he said, don't worry about what you're going to eat. That's food. And don't worry about what you're going to wear.

That's fashion. Don't worry about these things. Food, friends, fame, fortune, fashion, fitness. That's what people worry about. Jesus said, after all these things do the Gentiles seek?

And when he said Gentiles, he meant unsaved people. Now, he's not saying these things are not important. He didn't say any of those were not important.

But he said what? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. All these things will be added to you. These things don't even take on significance until you have your deepest needs met. You see, what is he talking about when he's talking about green grass and still waters?

Do you think he's just talking about having your bank account full? Oh, no. Listen, Psalm 22, Psalm 23, and Psalm 24 are a trinity of Psalms. Now, go back to Psalm 22 and look in verse 26. The meek shall eat and be satisfied.

What shall they eat? Well, look in the rest of that verse. They shall praise the Lord that seek him. Do you see that?

That's the food. They shall praise the Lord that seek him. Look, if you will, in verse 29. All they that be fat upon the earth shall eat and worship.

Do you see that? All that be fat. God wants healthy sheep. What does the green grass talk about? It's the green pasture of his Word. What do the still waters speak of, the still waters of his Spirit?

You're to find, my friend, your satisfaction in him, and if you don't find your satisfaction in him, you're going to be stressed, and I'll tell you why you're going to be stressed, because the deepest needs of your heart will never be met. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 4, verse 4? Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, that the Bible is to you what bread is to the natural man.

And then Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5, verse 6, Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear the insightful conclusion of this important message, but maybe you have questions regarding your faith in Jesus, how to receive the forgiveness that he's offering you right now. We're offering a resource on our website. It's called the Discover Jesus page. You'll find answers there you may need about your faith. There's also a response section where you can share how this message or others have impacted you. Simply go to lwf.org slash radio and click the tab at the top that says Discover Jesus.

Again, lwf.org slash radio. We can't wait to hear from you today. Well, I love what Adrian Rogers said about happiness in the message today. Happiness is something you never find by looking for it. It's something you stumble over on your way to serve Jesus. Take that comforting truth with you today as you hunger and thirst for righteousness and join us next time for more timeless truth right here on Love Worth Finding. .
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-19 08:56:39 / 2023-12-19 09:06:16 / 10

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