Share This Episode
The Truth Pulpit Don Green Logo

Jesus' Cure for Your Anxiety #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
October 4, 2022 8:00 am

Jesus' Cure for Your Anxiety #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 832 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Summit Life
J.D. Greear
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Love Worth Finding
Adrian Rogers
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie

How do you define anxiety? Anxiety is a controlling distress over circumstances that distracts your mind from trusting the Lord for whatever is to come in your life.

Welcome to The Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Pharmacists dispense all kinds of medications, but anti-anxiety meds might keep them the busiest. You know, we enjoy more comforts and relative security than maybe any civilization in history, yet it seems we're more anxious than ever. Today, Don's going to address this problem and propose a biblical solution. And Don, you sympathize with those who suffer anxiety.

I sure do, Bill. You know, friend, Jesus taught these things to help people just like you. He's a sympathetic Savior who understands your weakness. This passage of Scripture that we're studying, it changed my life, and it's helped my family and our friends as well. I know for sure that it's going to help you too as you listen today. Stay with us, and then I'll have an invitation for you on the other side of the program.

Bill? Turn to Matthew chapter 6 in your Bible, and let's join Don now as he teaches God's people God's Word with part one of a message titled Jesus' Cure for Your Anxiety. I did a Google search with the simple search terms, how to overcome anxiety.

I thought that might be interesting to see what the world has to say about it. That search returned 1.9 million web pages designed to help you. I looked at just the first two pages, the first 20 results that came back, and got a slight education on how the world deals with anxiety. Just in those two first pages, those first 20 results, 10 results per page, the internet would give you this invitation to consider solutions to your anxiety. Number one, I saw an advertisement for an anxiety coach. I want out of my anxiety. I don't need coached in it, but whatever.

They didn't ask my opinion. Number two, hypnosis therapy. Number three, diaphragm breathing.

Everybody all together. Number four, cognitive behavior treatment. That sounds a little ominous. Nutrition, psychology, support groups, and others too numerous to mention. All of those just within the first 20 results, taking you a lot of different directions on dealing with your anxiety. It occurred to me, it's funny, how so many of those so-called solutions involve people making money off of your anxiety.

I wonder how much incentive they have to truly help you. The longer you're anxious, the better it is for them. I think that about psychiatry and psychology too.

But beloved, these peddlers of emotional potions cannot bring anyone true relief. Ultimately, they leave you worse off than where you were before you began, because they direct your attention away from the truth that is found alone in the Word of God. We have so many things that make us anxious, don't we? Our health, our loved ones, our finances, our jobs. And we would all like to have a sense of abiding peace in the midst of it. Praise God. The Bible understands the challenge and the effect of anxiety.

It's one of the reasons why we should love the Word of God is that it just so greatly meets us right where we're at. Proverbs 12 verse 25 says, anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down. Proverbs 15 verse 13 says, when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

You know about that, don't you? Either from past experience or from present troubles that you're feeling. The weight and the internal drag on your spirit that anxiety causes is something that we all would love to be free from. When we talk about anxiety, just to kind of give a definition that I'm using here. It's not a technical one really, but just to think through what we're talking about when we say anxiety. We're talking about that feeling of apprehension that comes in the face of possible danger or misfortune. You look to the future and you're anxious about it. You fear what the future might bring and it weighs on you. Anxiety is a controlling distress over circumstances that distracts your mind from trusting the Lord for whatever is to come in your life.

That's what we're talking about today and you hardly need me to give you a lexical definition of it. You can define it from the things that you've dealt with in your own heart over the years. Here's the question for you as a Christian. How important is it that you get a handle on your anxieties?

You can measure the answer to that question. You can measure the significance of this issue by the attention that Jesus gives to it in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus in these three chapters of Matthew 5, 6, and 7, this will surprise you, but just go and read the Sermon on the Mount and you can verify this. Jesus devotes more attention to anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount than he does any other subject.

Prayer is about equal. Give or take a few words here or there, he gives equal attention to anxiety and prayer, but other than that, there is no other subject that receives such attention from him in the opening sermon that he delivered at the start of his public ministry as he explained to his disciples what it meant to live out a life of repentance. He speaks about anxiety in the Sermon on the Mount more than he does murder and hatred, more than he does adultery and lust, far more than he does about divorce and remarriage, far more than he does about the significance of loving your enemies. All of those hot-button issues, either theologically or personally, that we devote most of our time to, Jesus treated shorter with less attention in detail than he did with the subject of anxiety.

Jesus put a premium on this. I think in part it's because Jesus understands that anxiety is going to be a continual threat to the life of his disciples as they go through this life. What that should bring to you is a sense of encouragement of coming to Christ because he has the answer to the problem. But beloved, here's the opening salvo in this message. You do not have to live in a life full of anxiety. You don't.

In fact, you're not supposed to. The Christian life is not supposed to be that way. The Christian life is about transcending the things of this world.

Whether it's the daily anxieties that Jesus addresses here of food and clothing and so forth, or whether it's the more significant issues that are included in the intent of what he is saying, you are not supposed to be living in a life full of anxiety. Jesus gives us this teaching to deliver us from it decisively. That is a glorious thing that should make your heart welcome what he has to say in this passage. Whenever Jesus speaks, we should listen.

When he speaks at length about a single topic, we should be listening all the more. Let me read the passage to set it in front of you, and then we will go through it in kind of an overview fashion today. I'm going to begin at verse 24. Matthew chapter 6, beginning in verse 24. Jesus says, read along with me, Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you, by being worried, can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith? Do not worry then, saying, What will we eat? Or what will we drink?

Or what will we wear for clothing? For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But you seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.

Each day has enough trouble of its own. Now, as we approach this passage, it's very important for you to realize that Jesus is giving instruction to his disciples, not to the world at large. Jesus distinguishes repeatedly in the Sermon on the Mount those who are in his kingdom from those who are not. And in this matter of dealing with anxiety, the cure for anxiety that Jesus lays out is the exclusive privilege of his children.

It does not belong to the world at large. And I want to show you this and take just a moment to speak to any unbelievers that may be in here. Look at Matthew chapter 7 verse 21. This speaks not only to known and professing non-Christians, but perhaps to some that think they're Christians when they're truly not. Jesus says in verse 21, Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? And in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles. And then I will declare to them, I never knew you.

Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness. Now, why am I pointing that out at this early juncture in the message? Listen, the cure for anxiety is completely different depending on whether you are a Christian or not. If you are not a Christian, hear me carefully. You have a far greater issue, a far greater matter of concern than anything that you came in here anxious about. The passage that I just read shows that judgment is coming, and you face the fearful prospect of Jesus turning you away from heaven when you die.

In Revelation 21, verse 8, the Bible expands on this destiny of the lost when it says, For the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. My non-Christian friend, can I tell you that your earthly anxieties absolutely fade into insignificance compared to the eternal judgment in hell that awaits you as the just punishment for your sins? If you think you had anxieties coming in here, wait until you get a grasp of the eternal hell that awaits you when judgment comes upon you if you do not repent and receive Christ. That is a far greater concern than anything earthly that might trouble your soul. My friend, if you're not a Christian, your only concern in life is to seek the grace of God that would teach your heart to mourn over your sins and to fear Him, and the grace that would lead you to the saving truth found in John 3.16, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. If you are not a Christian, that is the only issue that matters. Forget about your other anxieties.

Here's a real reason to be nervous. So my friend, I invite you, I beg of you to repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ who died and rose again so that your sins could be forgiven. You need to seek salvation until you find it and humbly ask Christ to save you. That's the only thing that matters to you if you're not a believer.

And until you deal with that issue, nothing about Jesus' teaching on anxiety applies to you. You're left on your own. You're stranded.

You're lost. But for the saving mercy of God that is found in Jesus Christ. But for the Christians that are here, the analysis for you is different. You have a wealth of spiritual resources, a wealth of spiritual truth at your disposal that you need to take and apply to your anxious heart. And that's what we're going to start to look at.

But I want you to see this. Your anxieties that you carry around, especially those prolonged, persistent anxieties that you just can't seem to get rid of, those anxieties are a symptom of a spiritual disease in your heart. Just like a high fever is a symptom of physical disease that needs treatment, anxiety is a symptom of deeper spiritual issues. It is not about your circumstances at all.

It has nothing to do with whether your circumstances are negative or not. Your anxious response to that exposes a spiritual disease in your heart. The good news is that anxiety can be cured. Jesus lays it all out for how to cure anxiety in this passage that is before us. So if you are prone to anxiety, especially as a pattern of your life, beloved, I want to lay out for you three areas of your life that you need to examine so that you can cure that anxiety. Three areas of your life that you need to examine that go to the root of why you are anxious. But point number one here, the first step in addressing your anxieties is going to probably surprise you.

But point number one is this. You need to examine your priorities. You need to examine what your priorities are, the things that you hold precious, the things that you hold dear. Examine your priorities.

Overcoming anxiety requires you to have the right priorities. If you value the kingdom of heaven more than you do earthly treasures, then earthly matters will be less of a distraction to you in your walk with Christ. Matthew chapter 6, verse 19, just for fun. Jesus said in verse 19, store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in or steal, for where your treasure is, there also will be your heart.

Your heart, what your priorities are, what you love, influences what you're concerned about. Now look at verse 24. Jesus says, no one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

You cannot serve God and wealth. Now, as you come to this section on the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus is teaching on anxiety, understand very carefully to get the full impact of what Jesus is saying is, that he's teaching on anxiety in the context of addressing your life priorities. He started out talking about where you store up your treasures, on earth or in heaven, what you serve, what you're devoted to. And at the conclusion of the section, look at verse 33.

I'm getting a little ahead of myself, but that's okay, I'll figure it out. At verse 33, he says, but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness. He says it's the matter of the utmost extreme priority in your mind, first, as the most important matter in your heart, seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. He's addressing your priorities. He started out addressing your priorities, he ends up in this passage addressing your priorities, and in the middle is all of this great teaching about anxiety. What you have to understand is, the significance of that is, is that your anxieties flow out of what your priorities are, what your life priorities are. Now, notice at the start of verse 25, as Jesus starts to teach on anxiety, he says, for this reason. For what reason? What Jesus is doing here is he is connecting his previous teaching on life priorities to what he is about to say about anxiety.

You must see that link. It is crucial for you to unlock the key to cure your anxieties on a permanent basis. Listen, it would be really easy to try to come up and just apply a superficial salve, at least for some teachers it would be, to just try to apply a superficial salve, say a few things that kind of cheer you up and boost you up, and you walk out feeling good, you've laughed a few times and you're feeling okay, but by the time Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning comes around, you're back in the same pit that you were before, and what the silly preacher said on Sunday doesn't do you any good, because it was just a superficial approach to the problem. What you have to understand is Jesus does not teach superficially. Jesus teaches at a deep, profound level that addresses the deepest part of your hearts, your deepest motivations, your deepest priorities in life, and he addresses anxiety from that perspective.

And so we can't treat this superficially, even though I could probably get a few more laughs if I did. Listen, I don't want a few laughs for you, I want your life to be transformed by what Jesus has to say here. I want to see you living out a permanent change from what Jesus teaches on anxiety, and that requires you to go to the very depths of what you consider to be most important in life. Because, beloved, if you try to deal with anxiety without thinking through what your priorities are, you're going to end up right back where you started sooner or later. No question about it. Diaphragm breathing.

Give me a break. Because, beloved, here's the truth of what Jesus just said in verses 19 through 21, and it's just the reality of life. If your priorities are built around earthly matters, then yes, you will be anxious, because intrinsically you know and understand that those things are subject to loss. The things that you treasure the most, if they're tied to this life in any way, if they're tied to this world in any way, sooner or later God will pull back your fingers which are clutched around them and you will let it go one way or another. If by no other means by when they plant you in the grave, your earthly priorities are not what you can build your life around. If you try it, you're doomed to an anxious life. What Jesus says here is, make the kingdom and righteousness of God your first priority, and in the process, as an overflow, God in His great faithfulness and goodness will supply those earthly needs.

He just says, get your priorities straight. Now, how does that help you overcome anxiety? Anxiety flows from what you value. Beloved, you do not get anxious over anything that you do not care about.

I'll prove that to you pretty simply, I think. How many of you today came to church, parked in the parking lot, and you were greatly worried about the price that farmers in Kansas are getting for their corn? Show of hands. Not one. I have relatives in Kansas that that's important to, but for you, it's not important here in California. You don't worry about that.

You don't even think about that. It's just not important to you. But, if I asked a different question, if I asked who of you came in anxious about your personal finances, or your appearance, or your work, or your ministry, or your school, or whatever, those other such things, I think the response would be a whole lot different. I won't ask for a show of hands on that one because that's just too personal.

But you know that your hand would be going up if I did, in great likelihood. You see, beloved, your anxieties reveal what you treasure. You get anxious over things that are important to you.

And so, here's the point. Here's where you can become your own spiritual doctor and be able to apply the cure to your own soul, because I can't do it for you. Your earthly anxieties expose your earthly priorities. What you're anxious about shows what you think is important. Maybe it's good things, maybe it's your family, maybe whatever. All we're saying is that your anxieties are a quick barometer.

They're the shortcut to see what you think is important in life. Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, with part one of the message called, Jesus' Cure for Your Anxiety. Don? I want to invite you to turn this voice of mine into a relationship in the future. If you're in range of the Cincinnati area, come visit us sometime at Truth Community Church. We meet on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings, and I would love to meet you personally and hear that you found us through the radio broadcast.

If we're too far away for you, we still don't want you to be a stranger. You can watch our services on our live stream. We broadcast each of our services over the internet, and you can find our live stream link at our website. Thanks, Don. And friend, thank you for joining us. Don't forget to visit thetruthpulpit.com. There you'll find church service times, a complete sermon archive, a link to Don on Facebook, and much more. Plus, you can get a free download of the message you heard today. Again, that's all at thetruthpulpit.com. And now for Don Green, I'm Bill Wright, inviting you back next time as Don teaches God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-27 08:23:52 / 2022-12-27 08:32:49 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime