Summary: We know we can face the stress and anxiety and worry of this world with God’s help… We can place all of that in His hands… We don’t have to carry it around with us.
What causes you stress / anxiety? Spiders? Snakes? Earthquakes? Work? School / Homework / Tests? Darkness? Lightning? Typhoons? Threat of war? Driving in Taipei? Relationship/family problems? Illness? Public speaking? Moving? Finances / Money? Concerns about the future?
All of us have times of anxiety & stress. That is just part of life. The question is how we choose to respond to these times of anxiety and stress.
A very frequent command or teaching in the Bible is to not worry… have no fear… don’t be anxious. Some people have said there are so many verses in the Bible on this topic…that you could read a different verse every day of the year. I can’t verify if that is true or not, but I do know that God repeats this message to us over and over again throughout the Bible.
God knows we are human and frail… Our natural tendency is to see things with our eyes and not with the eyes of faith… So God continues to remind us… Do not fear… Do not worry… Do not be anxious.
25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
This is a weight we were never designed to carry. It not only drains your emotional energy, but it can make you sick and cause health problems. Some fear is natural and keeps us safe… Like the fear of snakes… or fear of heights, for example. But when we hold onto stress / anxiety / fear… when our thoughts are consumed by worry… This is not how God desires us to live. So today, we’re going to see how to face life with God’s help.
But before we get too much farther, I want to give you a disclaimer… The Bible has much to say about how we should handle anxiety and stress… But there are some people that need professional help. God has given us His word to guide us and help us… But He has also given us doctors and medicine to help make life better as well. There are many people who struggle with anxiety or depression due to chemical imbalances and need medication. There are others who are dealing with traumatic experiences and need professional counseling (and sometimes medication) to help them process and learn how to cope with what has happened.
Also, anxiety / fear / worry / stress can be caused by spiritual influences. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then what we will cover in today’s message will help you. But if you have never placed your faith in Jesus and surrendered your life to Him… then you are on your own when these spiritual forces come against you. Give yourself to Jesus… He is the only One who can bring you peace and love and joy… He is the only One who can carry your load of worry and stress and anxiety and fear.
The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 10 that all you need to do is believe that Jesus is the Son of the one true living God… That Jesus took your punishment and paid the price for all the bad things you have ever done… The price was death… Jesus died to set you free from sin and darkness… Then He rose from the dead on the third day and promises to also give you eternal life… Just put your faith in Jesus and confess Him as Lord, and you will be saved. If you have never done that before, will you do it right now? Will you believe in Jesus and ask Him to forgive you of the bad you have done and to give you a new start… a new life?
Verse 1 sets the tone or the theme for the rest of this Psalm.
Listen to the first verse again, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." The Hebrew word "trouble" that he used means "pressed in." There is a saying that when we are under pressure… when we are being squeezed… then what’s inside of us is what comes out. The psalmist says that God is our “refuge”… our place of safety… of security… our mighty fortress. Regardless of what happens in the world there is still the strength & power & might of God on our side.
There are 3 sections to this Psalm, each ending with the word “Selah” (which is most likely some kind of musical notation). We’ll see that we can be at peace because
1. God Helps Us in Times of Trouble
2. God Helps Us in Times of Conflict
3. God is God… In Whom Else Can We Trust?