Summary: Since September 11th our nation has been in a state of high anxiety. God has the solution for high anxiety.
October 7, 2001
What do all of these things have in common?
Fear to take action
Cowardice to deal with difficult situations
Withdrawal from daily life
Depression and discouragement
Distrust and unbelief
A defeatist attitude
Unwise and harmful decisions
All of these things can be caused by anxiety
After the events of September 11th, it is safe to say that we are a nation with a great deal of anxiety.
Six in 10 Americans Worried About Becoming a Victim of Terrorism:
Americans are much more worried today about becoming a victim of terrorism than they were after the Oklahoma City bombing six years ago. The current poll shows 60% of Americans saying they are either "very" or "somewhat" worried that they or someone in their family will become a victim, compared with 42% who expressed that view in April 1995, shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing. Last year, at the fifth anniversary of that bombing, only 24% said they were worried.
How can we deal with the reality of anxiety? How can we live without worry in times like these?
I. The Reason of Anxiety
Cast all your anxiety on him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
A. Our problems are opportunities
1. The simple fact is that we hang on to our difficulties
a.) We do not share our problems with others. We do not share our problems with God. Is it any wonder why we feel so overwhelmed so often?
b.) What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does empty today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it when it comes. God gives us the power to bear all the sorrow of His making, but He does not guarantee to give us strength to bear the burdens of our own making such as worry induces. Ian Maclaren
2. Our problems are opportunities to prove God’s grace
a.) When we hold onto our difficulties we rob ourselves of the blessing of God’s assistance. We fail to see miracles in our lives because we try to make through life by our own power
b.) The problems in your life are an opportunity to prove God’s guidance, love and grace. When we try to solve our problems on our own we make matters worse.
B. God desires to lift your burdens
1. God wants us to give Him our anxiety
a.) God knows everything. He knows your sins. He knows your pain and hurt. He knows your needs. He is waiting for you to come to Him.
b.) God wants you to give Him all of your anxiety. Not part of it, not some of it, not most of it but all of it! Why don’t we do just that? God can handle all of your problem better than you can. Let Him do it!
2. God cares about you
a.) God has a deep love for you. He created you. He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows all of your failures. He loves you in spite of it all. He is now calling you to enter His love
b.) God cares for you. This is so amazing. The same hand that crafted the stars wants to move in your life. The same voice that spoke light into existence is calling your name. The God over everything is concerned about you and your life.
II. The Reward of Anxiety
PR 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
A. Our worry only makes matters worse
1. Anxiety is worthless
a.) There is zero value in worry. It does nothing good for us. The words of Jesus express this truth completely: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
b.) The reality of anxiety
An average person’s anxiety is focused on :
40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can’t be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced
2. Anxiety adds distress to our difficulties
a.) Our anxiety about difficulties only creates more problems. Our anxiety adds additional stress to our lives.
b.) Worry pulls tomorrow’s cloud over today’s sunshine. C. Swindoll, Questions Christians Ask, p. 18
B. God has offered us His kind Word
1. God gives us His promises
a.) Never will I leave, Never will I forsake you
b.) For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
c.) I will be your God and you will be my people