Summary: This sermon discusses the repercussions of anxiety and how to have victory over that sin in our lives.
How to overcome anxiety Breaking Free Series - Part 3
(Acknowledgments - Rick Warren’s series Breaking Free; Charles Stanley’s book ’Peace With God’)
We are in a series called Breaking Free. We talked about breaking free from strong temptations, pride, and this week anxiety. Have you every felt you’re going to have an anxiety attack? This is a huge issue. Were worried about life, our relationships, kids, the church, our future.
In researching this topic I went to the American Association of Christian Counselors. They said women worry, and this is the number one thing they worry about. Am I good enough as a wife, as a mother, as a Christian? Will people accept me?
They worry about their marriages. Will it last, will my husband stop loving me?
What do you worry abut the most? Finances? Your job? School? Kids? Your weight? Your schedule? This church? This is the age of anxiety. People seem to be uptight about everything. Everywhere I go and almost everyone I meet is stressed and uptight about life.
We want to control everything
The doctor told his patient ‘I’m afraid you only have three weeks to live,"
Okay then, " the patient replied, "I’ll take the last two weeks of July and the week between Christmas and New Year’s."
The Bible says in Proverbs, "The anxiety in a heart brings a man down" -- it weighs a heart down. The old English word for "worry" literally means to choke, to strangle. That’s what worry does to us. Worry does not work. It is like the motor in neutral – going nowhere. It just doesn’t work. It’s useless.
Research has shown that 40% of all our worries are about the future and they never happen; 30% of our worries are about the past and they can’t be changed; 12% are needless worries about our health; 10% are petty worries, not worth worrying about; 8% are legitimate concerns.
You say Pastor what is the difference between worry and concern? I think I am not overly worried, just concerned about things? What is the difference? I am glad that you asked.
Concern is not a sin, but constant anxiety is? What is concern? Concern has its root in caring. We are to be concerned about our families, workplaces, community, church, neighbors. Concern:
o Says I care! Concern involves wanting to see things done well so God receives the glory in our lives
o Is rooted in obedience. Nowhere does the Bible tell us to be responsible.
o We should live and be concerned about people living honest and moral lives
o We should be responsible to pay our bills, tell the truth, give an honest days work for our pay
o But concern is not the same as anxiety
o Supposing you walk into work one day and the boss says its game over
o Your not working here
o You may think this is a time for anxiety
o Not according to the Bible
o Yes you should be concerned about providing for your family and where to find another job, but were not to be anxious
Is there an antidote to anxiety? Yes. Philippians 4:6 (LB) “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything, and tell God your needs." That’s the message in a sentence. God says, “Don’t worry, pray!” Jesus also says ‘don’t worry; seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.” Jesus and Paul said the same thing – don’t worry, trust God.
In a few minutes were going to look at solutions to anxiety, but first let’s look at five results of anxiety in our lives.
1. A divided mind
o Many people cannot focus on one task at a time
o They are working on something but at the back of their mind is another problem or situation that has centre stage
o This problem becomes all consuming
o You are a prisoner of this problem and your only hurting yourself
o A person says ‘my first thought in the morning and my last thought at night is I am overwhelmed’
o Take the woman is overly anxious about her husbands employment situation (you fill it in; my anxiety _______________
o It is shaky at best so she should be concerned, but not anxious
o Instead of praying to our Almighty God anxiety is driving her
o God knows all things; He does not allow anything to come into our lives except for our ultimate good
o She needs to seek the Lord God, claim the promises in the Bible, and regain her peace, but she is anxious
2. Anxiety lowers her productivity
o Lets follow this through logically
o Now this woman takes matters into her own hands