Topic: Sunday Message Verse: John 14:27, Matthew 6:25–6:34
It Is Well: Week two of a seven week series about finding peace in an anxious world.
The Problem of Anxiety
We live in anxious times. While we all deal with worry, now more than ever, record numbers of people are suffering serious anxiety issues. As a recent Los Angeles Times headline proclaimed: It’s not just you, we’re all living in the United States of Anxiety. A new survey from the American Psychiatric Association reveals that about 4 out of 10 of us are feel more anxious now than we did last year. We all wrestle with worry and anxiety to some degree or another. That's why it’s so important for us to talk about this together as a church.
Four Foundations for our Series
1. Anxiety is a common experience.
We're not the only one struggling with anxiety even though it can feel that way. No one is exempt from anxiety this side of heaven.
2. Anxious people aren’t always faithless people.
While a lack of faith could be the cause of our anxiety, it doesn’t automatically mean that a lack of faith must be the cause of our anxiety. The same goes for others who we're often quick to judge, assuming we know why they are the way that are.
3. There are no magic fixes for anxiety.
We're complex creatures, wonderfully made by God. Because the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social sides to who we are all woven together and affect our anxiousness, the reality is that there’s no one magic fix out there that’s going take away all our anxiety right away.
4. Jesus offer genuine peace for our anxiety.
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah looked into the future at the coming Messiah and foretold that He would be “the Prince of Peace.” This same Jesus spoke often about worry and anxiety because He knew that this was a universal, human experience. So in the midst this anxious world of ours, Jesus pointed to Himself as the only source and solution for genuine, lasting, and prevailing peace.
John 14:27 NIV
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The Heart of Peace
Jesus cares for you and He is in control.
Jesus wants you to invite Him into your anxiety and to trust in His care and control so He can provide His prevailing peace to your anxious heart
Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1. Name Your Worry
Get specific about what and why you’re anxious.
Anxieties feel endless and infinite, but in reality they’re finite and specific. Jesus gets specific about the things we worry about, so should we. Do some digging and diagnose what's at the root of your worry.
2. Seek Your God
Make God your priority and passion, both in the moment and over time.
We worry over the things we treasure. God wants us to treasure Him above all else--it is for His glory and for our good. We’re directing our mental, emotional, and spiritual energy somewhere. We’re going to chase after something, so what’s it going to be? Jesus says, “Take it off your worry and redirect it toward your God.” This seeking is not just for the moment, but it's meant to be an on-going pursuit over our lifetime.
3. Do Your Part
Do what you can and let go of the rest... no more, no less.
Own what is yours and leave the rest to God. Some of us will take on more than we should, while others of us will take on less than we should. So yes, it begins with God and His supernatural peace—that’s ultimately the key to victory. And yet we also have to take responsibility for those things we need to do ourselves. What do you need to start doing? Stop doing? Change? Continue? Then what do you need to let go of and leave to God?
4. Trust His Care
Rest in God's greatness & goodness.
Your Heavenly Father knows. He will give you what you need when you need it. He cares for you and He is in control.
With Community Groups winding down this month, our Connections study guide will take a break for the summer. Connections will resume in September.