Summary: God's will for believers is peace and joy, not worry and fear. his message is a practical approach to moving from the former to the latter. Let's bring our actual experience into line with God's word in these matters.

Instead of Worrying…

Pastor Eric J. Hanson

July 11, 2010

Read Philippians 4:6-7, I Peter 5:6-7, & Luke 12:27-31.

It is a real struggle for many or even most people to walk free of worrying about tomorrow, carrying crushing emotional burdens today, and feeling that things will never get better. Many who are single fear that they will never find a loving caring spouse. Some are eaten up with this concern. Others thought that they had indeed found such a love, only to be torn up by heartbreak.

For some people, it seems that their work situation will never improve and that they will never have any money. Some other folks have made serious financial or other mistakes in the past and have reaped a destructive result in their lives and their homes.

Too many have major health concerns, and live with pain or with severe disease or horrible injuries. Some suffer, watching a loved one dealing with such a crushing situation.

All too often, there are those who struggle with major problems in their marriage, or with being handed dreaded divorce papers. Along the same lines too, are those whose children have gone down destructive pathways, spurning Mom and Dad’s advice. Some of our kids are married to abusive and unreasonable spouses, causing ongoing pain in Mom and Dad’s hearts.

On top of this, more than a few people, even believers in Jesus Christ, are just given over to worry and anxiety. They worry that they might get laid off at work. They worry that they might get cancer. They are sad because they imagine that people don’t like them. They get worked up and even become miserable about things that are beyond their control.

Many people, who are here in this gathering today, really are facing giants in your life. You may be up against some of the very things mentioned above. You may well be falling into anxiety, worry, sleepless nights, and general misery.

Today, I am going to give an opportunity to each one here to do a wonderful exercise that Anne Cetas recently wrote about in the Our Daily Bread devotional book. She learned this from an article in the Denver Seminary’s publication Focal Point.

Here is what we are going to do here today. Take the notebook and pencil that you were given this morning, and get ready to write. This book is yours to keep, so be sure to write your name on it somewhere.

Now write down the important things you tend to worry about or be burdened down by. Think of any overwhelming things such as oversized bills, your job situation, your loved ones, health challenges, the future, etc.

(Break for a few minutes.)

Now that we have written down each area of concern, let’s stop and really listen to today’s Bible passages once again. Please note that it is clearly not God’s will for believers to be worriers. He desires for us to have peace of mind, even during the storms of life. (Read the scriptures.)

Now let’s turn these lists of concerns into prayer lists. I challenge each of you, for the next week, to pray over each and every item on your list, and add new ones if they come to mind.

Thirdly, as the Lord gives you any impressions or insights about anything for you to do about any of these, write down those thoughts and impressions. Then make plans to obey the Lord in any part He gives you to play in dealing with these matters. Also record any answers to your prayers, right there in your new notebook.

Bring these back with you to church next Sunday, and let’s hear from some people about how the Lord spoke to you or answered a prayer directly. We will also take some time to pray for needs next Sunday morning. Bring people to church with you next week too, especially people who are struggling with major problems.

Now, let’s pray, and then go and follow through on these things.

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