Summary: God says to fret not, but how do we do that? (Material adapted from Adrian Rogers at: https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/love-worth-finding/read/articles/too-blessed-to-be-stressed-8863.html) Preached on 1/3/2021- first Sunday in New Year of 2021
Driving along and I saw this bumper sticker- “Too blessed to be stressed.” Puzzled me? One definition of stress is the degree of pressure exerted on a material object measured in units of force per unit area. For instance, too much stress on metals causes them to deform. This deformation is the visible sign of metal stress called metal strain. In much the same way, stress in our lives is our response to demands placed upon our lives. Too little stress means that we have few demands placed upon us and this leads to boredom, a lack of satisfaction in our lives. Most of the time, when we are talking about stress it is excessive stress that leads to mental exhaustion and poor health. This stress leads to strain that causes us to be wore out (deformed).
Do not fret means do not worry. Christians Standard Bible says, “Do not be agitated by evildoers; do not envy those who do wrong.” To fret is to be agitated.
Do not fret is what bumper sticker is basically saying. The ignorant fret because they don’t know enough. The educated fret because they know too much. The poor fret because they don’t have any money. The rich fret because they’re afraid they’re going to lose what they have. The old fret because they’re facing end. The young fret because they’re facing an uncertain future.
Thesis: And yet God says to fret not, but how do we do that?
I. Trust in the Lord when resources vanish
Vs. 3 tells us to trust in the Lord and do good. The literal translation of this word “trust” is that we are face down on the ground with no visible means of support. Some of us may have come close to that this year. Sometimes God puts us in a place where have few options. The only thing we can do is trust God. Like David in the wilderness we have no choice but to trust God. “If the LORD had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.” Psalms 124:2-5
The second part of vs. 3 tells us to do good. When things look bleak, that is when people withdraw or retreat, stop doing good. This is the opposite of the what the psalmist tells us to do. We are to move forward and keep doing good, doing God’s will. At times God puts us in school. God will keep us there until we pass the test. IF we flunk out, God will enroll us again. “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” 1 Peter 4:19, NIV.
An owner of a ranch needed a good ranch hand. The owner asked the first applicant, “What kind of work do you do?” The young man said, “I can sleep well on a stormy night.” The owner was puzzled by this strange answer, but he needed help badly so he hired him. A few nights later a storm swept across the prairie. The rancher arose hastily and began to worry about the effects of the storm. He found the windmill properly adjusted to ride out the storm. He found the gate tied with the extra rope. He found a tarpaulin tied securely over the haystack and pegged down tightly. The horses had been moved from the corral to the barn and the door was secured with great care. When the owner reached the bunkhouse, he found the newly hired hand sound asleep. Then he understood the meaning of the young man’s words when he said, “I can sleep on a stormy night.” We don’t have to worry when we trust in the Lord and do good.
Trust and obey for theirs no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.
II. Delight in the Lord when dreams dissolve
Vs. 4. Our dreams for a great year have dissolved. How many challenges have their been this past year? When our dreams dissolve it is tempting to fret. Why? Because our joy is threatened. The only answer is to find a source of joy that cannot be threatened, and that source is the Lord.
How can we delight ourselves in the Lord? 3 things:
1. Delight ourselves in his Word. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalms 1:1, 2. How much do we delight in the Word of God? Reading the Bible or looking at the news? Mention Bible bowl.