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003 - What me worry? – Combatting anxiety

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin
The Truth Network Radio
August 15, 2020 2:00 pm

003 - What me worry? – Combatting anxiety

More Than Ink / Pastor Jim Catlin & Dorothy Catlin

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August 15, 2020 2:00 pm

Episode 003 - What me worry? – Combatting anxiety

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You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the eye? Is there something here for me? I mean, it's just words printed on paper. Right. Well, it may look like just print on a page, but it's more than ink.

Join us for the next half hour as we explore God's word together, as we learn how to explore it on our own. As we ask God to meet us there in its pages. Welcome to more than.

I just read the news and it makes me more more anxious. Every day, you know, looks like everything's going bad. So stop listening to social media. Now, I could do that, but I need to read something else instead. Yeah, something solid. How about the plane? Oh, what is gonna have to say about anxiety? Oh, let's talk about that today. Morning. Yeah. Oh, we're glad you're back with us, this is more than Jim. And I'm Dorothy.

And today we're going to talk about a topic that is on a lot of people's minds is because the state of the nation. And and that topic is anxiety. Anxiety. Not like we don't have enough to be anxious about to start with just in our personal lives. But this would be a really good example for you if you're not really familiar with using the Bible to be reassured in times of anxiety, uncertainty, we're going to we're going to do some exploration in that area. Because God is very straightforward about issues of anxiety. And so so let's just start talking about winning's ideas, because there's there's one form of anxiety really not going to touch on this one. We're going to touch on a lot on. So want to help us separate those.

OK. So what is anxiety? It comes with a whole set of physical symptoms. Right. That palpitating heart, the gut wrenching read cold sweat, the feeling out of control, shortness of breath, all of those are physical symptoms and they connect a real physical symptoms. And those are connected to our heart and our mind and our spirit. But we are not going to address that medical condition that is now labeled anxiety. Right. Which has a real kind of physiological physiological root. Right. But it is connected. There is always a spiritual component to it. But we're really not going to deal with that. We're going to talk about that condition of the mind and the heart where we dwell then. Right.

Yeah. It's the stuff I talk about that if you you know, if you go to bed at night and you had a nice long day in your head, hits the pillow and suddenly you just can't go to sleep because something is just right. Like Inya. Right.

And cause my anxious thoughts are multiplying within me, as the song says.

And then, you know, we're masters of being able to put together future fiction for how bad it could get. So, you know, that's what we want to talk about because that ends. Excuse me.

That ends up troubling your soul tremendously well in that future fiction. That's a great way to put it. We we make stuff up. Right. And I. Exactly. I had a friend. I am out of touch with her now. But many years ago, she used to say, you know, we're just not smart enough to know really what to worry about. So why waste the energy? Because the stuff we imagine only so much worse than legality.

But we're much better or much better coming up with what could go wrong than we are about what could go right. And it's and I also think it's it's an interesting incise, the fact that when you start fictionalizing about how bad it could be, you don't go to the mild bed. You go to the worst of the worst scenario because because that takes you in an area of your life where you're at. Out of control the most. I mean, you really have no control over that. So you suddenly start thinking about how bad it could be. And you think, yeah, that clearly outstrips my ability, even with my foresight here lingham, my bill and doing thing about it. So that's what drive your heart into this place that God says you really don't want to go there and you don't have to go there. You don't have to go there. So know.

Right. It's it is a normal part of human experience, a normal part. You feel anxious. Everybody does at some time or other. In some degree or other. So God's word speaks to it because he knows that that's going to we're going to have that emotion.

Well, and he gave his brains to be able to to look forward. Right. And also, you know, he said it's right for you. You don't want to start a project unless you count the costs. Right. So we we're able to actually plan ahead. And there's nothing wrong with that is the fact that when you do plan ahead or you do look forward and you say, oh, my gosh, I don't have any assurances that I'm going to be alive after this catastrophe comes. Right. And so. So it's that care. It's it's not. Not having cares because we have cares and there's nothing wrong with having cares and seeing that's something that's actually wise to have those cares. But but as this word we're gonna look at, Matthew six says, it's when your care is turning into a source of troubling. So when you're troubled with your cares rather than just, you know, normally handling your cares. So it goes an extra step beyond just using foresight and using Kerry that actually goes to, oh, my gosh, Robin and die.

Well, and when we cultivate living in that condition of doom. Yes. And feeding those thoughts of what if what if what if I'm a feeding myself on the what ifs. And repeating to myself the most horrific scenario I can imagine. And then that becomes my perception of reality.

Yeah, exactly. And Jesus says, don't don't dwell there. Yeah. You don't do that. Don't dwell. So let's let's get some solid tips that Jesus wants to help us out with this kind of stuff because he really doesn't want us to be all twisted up with that kind of problem all the time. And we'd mentioned in a previous show that I've been doing a reading in the Sermon on the Mount, but I called the hillside homily. And so we're gonna go back there because he's very straightforward in this. There's there's one section in the Sermon on the Mount where he had this is his topic. This is his topic. It's anxiety. And he says, don't be anxious about your life. So if you are anxious about your life from where things are going, let's sit down around. Kitchen table here and let's just read what Jesus has to say about anxiety. And we're talking about the kind of anxiety that comes from when you are so troubled about future care, is it you just can't sleep at night. So what do you do with that? So then just when you want to start reading off part of this, you have that there. I mean, what? Go ahead and read. Okay. All right. Because I've got I've got a friend. Yeah. So this is in Matthew six, Sermon on the Mount for 25. I'm reading from from the English standard version. So here we go, as high as 25. Therefore, I tell you, this is Jesus speaking. Don't be anxious about your life. Oh, OK. Just stop that. OK. So if he's going to tell you to stop that, I'm hoping he gives us some tips and he actually does. So don't be anxious about your life. What you going to eat? What you'll drink. Nor about your body. What you'll put on is not life more than food in the body, more than clothing. I mean, look at the bird to the years. He gives us some good cases to say, OK. Let's think about this. Look at the birds in there. They need the sewn or read together into barns. And yet you're Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not more value to them than them? And of course, the answers. Yeah. And then if you give us another example in which of you being anxious can at a single hour to the span of his life. Anybody. Anybody. Ferris Bueller style. Anyone. Anyone. Anyone. And. And why are you anxious about clothing now before we keep going on the clothing? I realize. Clothing was the way you stayed alive during your drag covering your contacts. You're exposed. I mean, think about camping and not having a coat in the wintertime. So this is this is the anxiety about clothing. So why are you why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They neither toil nor spin. Yet, I tell you, even Solomon, in all his glory was not a raid like one of the.

But if God so close to the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow it's thrown into the oven. That's how they used to prime Robinson's time was bring grass. So if he's throwing them Willy now much more clothed, you or you have a little faith. Therefore, don't be anxious saying, what shall we eat? What shall we drink, which shall we wear? Coats the gentile's seek after these things. And your heavenly father knows that you need them. And then he gives us a fascinating direction to go. This is verse 33 of Matthew six. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. And all these things will be added to. Therefore, don't be anxious about tomorrow. Tomorrow we'll be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. So that's Matthew six, 25, 34. So if you're suffering with anxiety, what is Jesus telling us? Where do we start here these days?

Isn't it amazing? He just says, don't be, don't be, don't live there. Because in another place, he said, actually, that gospel Johnny said, you know it. My words are spirit in life. The spirit gives life, the flesh prophets and nothing. Your Heavenly Father knows you need these things. He designed your body with these needs. And he will take care of you. Yeah. So don't live there imagining what's going to happen if you are without something that you need. Yeah.

Yeah. And you know where we're gonna go with this is that this this really does betray your sense of trust in God or your lack of trust in God. Because I know when I'm when my head's on my pill in a morning about these anxious things that trouble me, the only person in the picture who can solve the problem is me. And that's why it caused me to be so trouble, because I know I can't because. Yeah. So I look at my own capacity go. I can't do anything about that. And they broke. Well, you're all going to die. But but when you leave God out of that picture, you know, you're bound to be deeply troubled by the things that care for you.

OK. There's the key when you leave God out of the picture. Right. Right. Because the scripture says the fool says in his heart there is no God. And right. That that God is irrelevant. God's not in this picture. And we so frequently ask people in our conversations, you know, we listen to their tale of woe and then say, you know, so where is God in this picture? Because you're thinking like a fool. You have backed God out of the equation. And so that's probably where we have to start as soon as we recognize we are feeding our anxiety. Right.

And so we're not trusting God very clearly. I mean, if you're having that kind of anxiety, you're not trusting God. And so he actually goes in this passage. Scuse me. Frog in the throat. He goes in the passage and he gives us some Brigg, some really straightforward examples. I mean, he talks about the birds. And, you know, I think when I first read this, I thought, yeah, you know, I've never seen a bird build a little barn and store up for the future. He seems to just stay alive based on what he gets every day.

And then God provides for him. And and that seems to work. And same for the you know, the lilies of the field closed. And, you know, it seems like there's this there's this intimate daily trusting that these things can go through, that we don't. And if God takes care of them, Mortimore, take care of us. I think it's a great argument.

Yeah. But it speaks to our our tendency to live in the future. Right. God says, no, I want you just live in today. I'm going to provide for you what you need for today. And I just spent three weeks into the country in a country where you don't have a very big fridge and you can only fit in it what you need to eat today and you only buy what you can carry home from Europe two blocks away.

That's right. No.

And so that kind of was an interesting place for me to kind of recalibrate and go, oh, really? I have to just think about today's needs. I can walk to the market again tomorrow and bring home another bag of stuff. So it it kind of became a very current thought for me of dealing with what is my real need today in order to satisfy this rather than Linnean.

Two weeks of food. Right. Which is the American thing we do and where we live. People actually have two years worth of food in their basement. So, yeah, well, when we go to the grocery store with big old cars, we can bring back to grab the food brand. You're walking in. You're right. You can't carry to rectify the Lord Jesus says, you know.

Now, don't be anxious about that because I'm going to give you what you need on a daily basis. Right.

And I think that's that's another key thing right here, is that God deliberately designed us to have daily needs. We have daily needs for food, daily news, for everything. We are not self-sufficient herself, generating herself self, anything, really. We have we are built physiologically to have needs every single day that have to be met. And that's deliberate on God's part. He didn't give us a Campbell's home so we could eat food in the night. You have to eat four.

Yeah. And we're actually going to talk about that in the next diagram. Exactly. So.

So because we are a daily needy, daily needy. God's doing this, Dilip. Certainly to two. So we ask ourselves, do we realize that we're daily needy maybe for more than just food? And that is what I'll talk about next time.

But so let's circle back to the seeking his righteousness. Seeking the kingdom.

Right. Right. Seek first his kingdom and in his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. So Jesus is pointing out that your hunger is kind of messed up.

Well, has placed our anger is for something deeper than our stomach. But like that's we're getting ahead of ourselves. That's really the next conversation. Next time, what we probably need to talk about today is what isn't? What am I sinking my deep roots into, where my drawing my first nourishment from? Because Jesus said, you know, your heavenly father knows you need all these things. Do you trust him? Yeah. So it becomes a trust battle of the mind, a battle of what do I believe by God? Is he going to give me what I need?

Exactly. You know, and I've often use the idea of what if you had what if you were in a family that had tremendous riches? You had a super rich uncle. And, you know, in the super rich uncle said, you know, if you ever need, just let me know. I can help you out. You know, if I if I put my head to my pillow at night and I'm coming up against financial woes or different, you know, calamities of a C come up on the horizon, I can always say, well, you know, Uncle Bill, he'll he'll bail me out. And then you go to sleep because you have behind you this tremendous resource. I mean, this limitless resource that is also said, anytime you need anything, just call.

OK, well, we talk about the limitless resource, because before we started recording today, we were talking a little bit about Jeremiah, 17, ran. And before I get into that, let me just say I came here the other day by means of a concordant search, a word, anxieties or anxious. And if you I would encourage you to do that because you're going to turn up. Not an unmanageable number of verses, but some incredibly worthwhile ones. So take your concordance and look up the words anxious and anxiety. And one of the passages you're going to come to is Jeremiah 17. And before we read that, I is want to say those passages you're going to turn up are going to fall basically into two categories. You're going to find a whole bunch of passages that are descriptive, that talk about the condition of anxiety and its effects on your life. And then you're going to find a whole bunch of passages that are prescriptive that say, OK, if you have this condition, here's the antidote. And so that I would just encourage you, take your concordance and look up those two words, anxious and anxiety. Now, depending on your translation, you're going to turn up some different things and you might find a synonym of worry. Right. But start there, start there and just begin to read what the scripture says, because God knows we have this condition. He knows it occurs in all of us. And so he speaks to it.

So now let me let me read to you from doing the same thing over here, though, is we need to explain maybe slightly what a concordance is.

Oh, OK. Because we're realizing a lot of people might be total newbies here. Concordance is just basically a book that catalogs every single word in the book. Right. Every and every. If every everything. Every single thing. And they are in alphabetical order. OK.

And depending on what you're looking up, you might turn up thousands of reference exact.

So what you really want to look up is those key words, the most important word that you're after.

Right. So that that's one of the tools we'll actually use more later on. When you say does that, does the Bible have anything to say about anxiety? Well, you go to Thien Corden's and you look under a free anxiety and I'll tell you all the verses that that word is translated into English. So that's a right. Do JEREMI 17 well-defined.

So this is powerful and we're going to come to the word anxious toward the end of what I'm reading. Jeremiah says in verse 17, verse seven of Chapter 17. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. He will be like a tree planted by the water that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes are and its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a year of drought or a whole season as drought, nor ceased to yield fruit.

So the question there is what that what is this tree rooted in? It's got this deep, deep tap root that sinks down below the daily weather occurrences.

And Jeremiah says two things about this guy. He says, the one who trusts in the Lord.

Well, that's a verb. That's an active thing that he's doing. Placing his trust in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. Now, that's a noun. That's like an estate. That's like a bank account with you. Like when you hold something in trust for someone is something that you're holding for a particular time. So he's. So this idea of sinking a deep tap root into the inexhaustible resource. Out of the water that God provides is what gives us the stability to stand and continue to bear fruit even in a whole season, a season of drought.

Right. Right. Yeah. And this picture has always been profound to me. I remember thinking about apple trees in Washington State first time when I moved to Washington State. You know, you've famous apples and stuff like that and finally went to where most of the apples are grown in Washington state are right next to the Columbia River. Almost all the apples are right next the Columbia River. And they're down in most in the center of the state, this deep gorge that's in the desert, the center of the state's a desert. I mean, it really is a desert. And then you you look down from the top of the gorges. You look down to the river, the Columbia River, and there's this green strip that follows on both sides, the Columbia River, for miles and miles and miles. And that's the famous Washington apples that look like they're growing on the moon. And the reason it works is because those those trees have roots that go down that actually tap directly into the river. They don't rely on daily daily water. So this is Zack with Jeremiahs talking about in his area. There is very much desert as well. And those everyone knows, trees that are planted by rivers survive the worst circumstances because the river is always wet.

OK. So we need to circle back now to seeking first his kingdom and his righteousness. Right. What does that mean? That means that my primary source of nourishment, of water. Well, living water I need is not coming from my daily circumstances. It's coming from that deeply rooted a drawing on who God is in his provision and his purpose for which doesn't change in my circle, which doesn't change in my circumstance. So some ninety four nineteen says when my anxious thoughts multiply within me via constellations to light my soul.

Right. So there's a shift there. When my anxious thoughts are multiplying, I'm. Where am I going to turn for the antidote to that. Take God's consolations. And then let me just add to that. This is Proverbs twelve twenty five. Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad. So, you know, the battle against anxiety is in the mind. What am I not feeding my mind about? All those thoughts are multiplying within me. Do I turn to the good, solid foundational word of the one who created me and loves me? Or do I continue to feed on those anxious thoughts?

Yeah, exactly. I mean, it's all a battle for the mind. I mean, when I'm having this problem on my pillow and I'm worrying about stuff, I have to consciously say, well, mind, it's time to stop dwelling right at and then go back and talk about this ever flowing stream. And, you know, and I'm going to put my tap root down next to him and say, but God, does God have this? It is he is a true to what his promises are to me. That's a really quick cognitive way to kind of switch gears and say, well, I can take my trust and I'll put it in the Lord and I'll stop trying to trust in me, which terrifies me.

Well, and stop feeding on the what ifs the what if. Stop repeating it to myself and stop repeating it to everybody who will listen to my tale of woe.

Yeah, that happens a lot with people we talk to, you know. Let me say how bad life is. They'll say and you go, well, OK, that's fine. But still, you know where he's gotten all this never considered his role in all of this. There's a good support verse, too, in Isaiah 26, exactly like this. So, so practical. Isaiah 26, three and four.

And he says you keep him in perfect peace. Whose mind is stayed on you? Because he trusts in you. So he says trust in the Lord forever for the Lord. God is an everlasting rock. So even if your circumstances are shifting back and forth and threatening and not threatening him, it doesn't affect him is an everlasting rock. So if you want to be in perfect peace, stay your mind on him and trust in him.

And that suddenly or sometimes means a very conscious act of the will to turn to my thoughts. And that leads us into the fearful stuff just messes up. And we don't like to think about the fact that we actually can't apply a discipline to our minds. Many of us are just led willy nilly by whatever thought pops into our mind, while those thoughts can come from a lot of different sources. Right. Right. But God's word is unchanging, and we always have the option of abandoning that thought that has emerged in our mind from whatever from last night's pizza or from somebody saying something terrifying to us. We can turn from that right to the found and then start to say these aren't valid threat.

No, they. That's true. But the issue is, what are you going to dwell on? Right. What am I going to feed my mind? Is, is the future in your hands or is the shooter content? That's the real big difference. That's how your care is turned. Troubling cares if you just place your trust in the wrong place. So Philippians four. You're going to read, though. You know, you read it. All right, just ready cause cause Paul says the same things when he writes to Philip II, Philippians four verses. I'll read six and seven. So he says, don't be anxious about anything.

Oh, wow. Well, that's real helpful. Don't be anxious about anything. But just about the dentist is so. So he said, okay, but here's the deal.

Don't be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving. Oh shucks. Let your requests be made known to God to this the trust part. And here's the result. And the peace of God, which Isaiah 26 talked about and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. We'll guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So what do you do? In everything. Prayer, supplication, Thanksgiving. Take it to God and trust in him. That's what he says with Thanksgiving as well. You need to actually pre thank him for the answered prayer. Why you're praying for it, OK.

But he also goes on to give more information. He says, finally, bretheren in verse eight. What ever hear? Here's where he says now, if you haven't got it yet, actively set your mind on these things. Whatever's honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good reputation. If there's any excellence, anything worthy of praise.

Let your mind dwell on these things. Okay. Dwelling place is where you live.

It's where you come home to. So he says, you know, you're going to be subject to the passing attack of anxiety. But that's not where you live. Come back to where you do. Well, you really want to. Goodness of God.

You really want to dwell on that house that's on fire or you want to your own house of God.

Really? Yeah. But you know, how many people do we talked to her dwelling in their houses on fire. Right.

Yeah. If your house is on fire, you run out of the house and you run to a place of safety. Well, that scripture is filled with the imagery of fleeing to a safe place.

Exactly. Exactly.

Well, you know, we're getting close on time here. We have has opened so many boxes. I read one more, please, because this is great.

Hebrews 416. Because. Because God's God's are waiting for you. He says, let us then with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace. Why that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. So God's door is always open. His throne is always there. And we can confidently come to him and say, God, this thing is messing me up. I want to give it to you. And you can come with confidence and find grace and mercy and help in time of need.

Okay. And let me just follow that with the end of someone 39, which is a way you can do that. Here's a prayer and it's prayer. David. Search me. Oh, God. And know my heart. This is verse 23 of someone 39. Try me and know my anxious thoughts, because sometimes we don't even know. Don't know what's making us messes up.

See if there be any hurtful way in me.

Any painful way. Anything that's producing this pain or that I am producing pain by. And lead me in your everlasting way. Right. Right.

Yeah. It gets. It gets down to the part that sometimes you don't even know what's messin with us.

And so we can cultivate the discipline of turning our minds away from that thing that is causing us anxiety and arresting it in the foundational truth of God's goodness and care for us as he does care for you.

And his love is infinite and his resources are infinite. So what are you doing worrying about. So we hope to see next time on more than eight bindis. More than Ink is a production of Main Street Church of Brigham City and is solely responsible for its content to contact us with your questions or comments. Just go to our Web site. More than Dettori. The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword.

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