Summary: God wants to replace our anxiety with confidence. God wants us to trust Him more than we fear people or circumstances.
Intro: According to the February 10, 2015 Huffington Post blot Valentine’s Day is big business. It grosses 17 Billion dollars. That is somewhere near 140.00 per person.
I am so glad that God didn’t just buy us chocolate and flowers to show that He loved us. When we hear the most precious word chosen we know He chose us in Christ. That cost him much more than $140.00. It cost Him pain and suffering and sacrifice. When we have the most precious attitude contentment we know it costs Him daily giving Himself to people who struggle with sin and selfishness.
John 3:16 tells us very clearly that God loved us so much that He gave us a valentine of Himself. He gave us the most precious word chosen, the most precious attitude contentment. Now for Valentine’s Day the most precious perspective confidence! What does God want to give you for Valentine’s Day is confidence! Confidence in His love for you, confidence in His care for you.
Maybe you face the worry or anxiety of treating your sweetheart just right on this Valentine’s Day. Maybe you anxiety and worry are about not having a sweetheart or having lost your sweetheart and having no one to share this day with. Maybe you anxieties and worries have nothing to do with the day but your children, the economy, the election in November. Regardless of what your fear Jesus has a clear word for you this morning. Confidence! (Everyone say that – Confidence)
If we have allowed our worries to cast a long shadow on our lives then this is a very powerful and personal word.
First we have to understand this is a letter that Paul wrote to the Philippians so that their joy would be full. It is a letter written from prison. So Paul is not sharing pie in the sky he is sharing the reality of what God desires to do for His children.
First we are given a command. Don’t worry. Wait a minute bro Bill, do you know what my life is like daily?! However the command is quickly followed with the capability to follow it.
First what is worry? A person, place, thing or idea that you are no longer dictating to it is now dictating to you!
Concern is some person, place, thing or idea that needs to be addressed. So you are in control of concern while worry is in control of you!
Paul gives us clear instruction destroy the mental monster of fear, worry or anxiety.
We will have to ask ourselves some questions in order to begin.
I. Should I ever be concerned?
There is legitimate concern and illegitimate anxiety. Paul’s command is be anxious for nothing. How does this compare to the rest of scripture?
A) Concern for others
1 Corinthians 7:33, 34 concern that a husband and wife have for each other.
1 Corinthians 12:25, 26 a concern that believers have according to God “equal concern for each other.”
B) Concern for the things of God
Matthew 6:33 Seek – be concerned about His rule and reign in your life and the lives of others.
When do concerns cross over into anxieties or fears? It is when concern of any kind begins to consume us. When a person, place, thing or idea begins to dominate your desires and decisions you have moved from concern to worry and anxiety. God loves you so much that He gave roadmap in this passage to a life that is not controlled by the cares of this world! So it’s time to ask another question.
II. Do I believe God can handle my fears (anxieties, worries)?
Do you really believe that God wants to step directly into your life and give you peace?
What is the sitz im leben. What is your situation in life? What are you going through? As you begin to trust God and look to His word you will learn how he rescues people.
1) He will rescue you out of it. Jonah
To be rescued means to be delivered. So God will deliver you from whatever is holding you down or holding you in bondage.
2) He will rescue in it -- Paul my grace is sufficent.
God does not want to pamper or please you! God is in the process of purifying you as you trust Him.
3) He will rescue you through it.
III. Am I willing to accept His answer to my fears? (His answer is His presence)
Do you notice that your fears aren’t taken care of because of God’s answers? There is no mention of God answering there is only mention of us asking!
Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” The Message