Sermons

Summary: Brothers and sisters, your heavenly Father does not want or desire for you anxiety and depression. With all the chaos in our world and chaos in our country and chaos in our own lives, we must, we must find the path that leads to the calm and peace that God promises.

Celebrate God’s Goodness

Philippians 4:4-5

I. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS.

II. Rejoice in the Lord’s GOODNESS.

III. Rejoice in the Lord’s SOVEREIGNTY.

According to the New York Times, Americans are among the most anxious people on earth. One study found that Americans were significantly more anxious than residents of nations like Nigeria, Lebanon, and Ukraine that are among the most dangerous places in the world to live. Americans spend billions of dollars every year on anti-anxiety medications and additional millions to fund research into the causes and cures for anxiety disorders.

Take the issue of raising children. The parents of previous generations had extended family to help them. In a rural culture, grandparents, aunts, uncles all lived pretty close to each other and could help. But with urbanization and workforce mobility, that’s not the case any more. In our own life, God called us to Albuquerque when we got married and we lived 10 hours from the closest family when we had our 1st two children. Then we moved to Mississippi and had our 3rd child and it was the same thing. No support system. Today, with two working parents and in many cases no extended family close, the challenge of raising children is absolutely overwhelming the parent.

Anxiety and depression are not limited to parenting by any stretch of the imagination. Children themselves are needing medication to deal with anxiety disorders in epidemic proportions. In 1985, 18% of college students sought counseling for anxiety and depression. Last year the # surged to 41%.

I could quote statistics all morning long, but I don’t have to because in all probability, many if not most of us here this morning struggle with anxiety and depression on a regular basis.

Brothers and sisters, this is NOT what your heavenly Father wants or desires for you. With all the chaos in our world and chaos in our country and chaos in our own lives, we must, we must find the path that leads to the calm and peace that God promises.

This series is going to steer us to real solutions for staying calm in the midst of the chaos. We’ll be using two resources: Max Lucado’s book, Anxious for Nothing (pic of book). It’s REALLY good. We’ll have copies down in our bookstore or you can get a copy on your own. Of course the best resource on this is the word of God, right? So we’ll sit down in the middle of Philippians 4:4-8 during the entire series. Let me encourage you, if you have not already, memorize this passage of Scripture. The word of God memorized will slowly but surely create a calm and peace that will transcend the chaos, anxiety, fear and worry in your life.

So let’s stand and read the passage. Philippians 4:4-8 (on screen) We’re going to focus on the 1st verse of that passage this morning, so let’s read that again.(v.4 on screen)

Now, When tackling this issue in our lives, the 1st place to start is worship. When we focus on the majesty of God, the things of this world that are causing us so much fear and worry begin to grow strangely dim. And I’ve invited my 3 best pastor friends to speak into this topic. Welcome to the stage, Gary Smith, Bill Elliff, and Stephen Davis, Marty Collier’s father in law. (let’s have 4 stools up there for us to sit on; 3 mics)

What you may not know is that Philippians is called by many: “The Joy Letter” Over and over Paul keeps challenging and reminding the reader to rejoice. He employs the word joy or rejoice 16 times in this short letter. The word rejoice (chara): a gladness of heart; the delighting of the soul. 16 times God makes sure Paul mentions this. What’s noteworthy is that Paul writes it from a Roman prison!

I. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS.

Gary, what have you learned about rejoicing in the Lord Always? Because it hasn’t been easy always, has it? (5 min) (take about 3 minutes to make a summary statement on this and then the other guys may have a point—gotta keep them short and to the point!)

II. Rejoice in the Lord’s GOODNESS.

Stephen, how do we focus on God’s goodness when there is so much badness going on in our world and even in our own lives? (5 min) (take about 3 minutes to make a summary statement on this and then the other guys may have a point—gotta keep them short and to the point!)

III. Rejoice in the Lord’s SOVEREIGNTY.

Bill, talk about the sovereignty of God in all of this. (5 min) (take about 3 minutes to make a summary statement on this and then the other guys may have a point—gotta keep them short and to the point!)

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