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Summary: Jesus had something to say about the serious issues that plague us, Anxiety, Worry and Fear. Only one of which is warranted. Which one? Find out!

“Jesus Said”

What Jesus to His Followers

“Anxiety, Worry and Fear”

Michael Wiley

March 01, 2009

Matthew 6:25-34

Matthew 14: 22-27

John 14:1-20, 27

Introduction:

A young woman brought her fiancé home to meet her parents for thanksgiving dinner. After dinner, her mother told her father to find out about the young man. The father invited the fiancé to his study for a talk. "So what are your plans?" the father asked the young man. "I am a biblical scholar," he replied. "A Biblical scholar. Hmmm," the father said. "Admirable, but what will you do to provide a nice house for my daughter to live in?" "I will study," the young man replied, "and God will provide for us." "And how will you buy her a beautiful engagement ring, such as she deserves?" asked the father. "I will concentrate on my studies," the young man replied, "God will provide for us." "And children?" asked the father. "How will you support children?" "Don’t worry, sir, God will provide," replied the fiancé. The conversation proceeded like this, and each time the father questioned, the young idealist insisted that God would provide. Later, the mother asked, "How did it go, Honey?" The father answered, "He has no job and no plans, and he thinks I’m God!"

A balance must be struck between our reliance on God and God’s call on our lives.

As with many things, both extremes are too far in one direction.

Transition:

Today we switch gears in our series, “Jesus Said.” For several weeks we have looked at “What Jesus Said about the Father” today we will begin a short click, on “What Jesus said to His followers.”

Today specifically, What Jesus said to us about a few extremes, Anxiety, Worry, and Fear.

We will look at this list inverted,

Turn to Matthew 14:22-27 to see what Jesus said about Fear. READ

The Disciples saw what they believe to be a ghost walking on the water. They were afraid.

Fear is a disturbing emotion aroused by impending danger, real or imagined. It is caused by an external threat. Something in your environment is happening and your body is reacting in fear.

Scientists and psychologists have studied what causes our bodies to react to fear for many years.

When we experience threatening or fearful psychological situations, our body reacts physically.

Psychology professor Joseph Bilotta says,

“A part of our brain called the hypothalamus, which controls our basic drives like hunger and thirst, sends a signal that activates our sympathetic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system releases hormones that allow the body to deal with emergency situations.”

When fear strikes an individual, a response often called "fight-or-flight" occurs.

The body prepares the muscles to fight off the danger or run from it.

The heart rate increases, the lungs dilate or widen to allow more air flow, goose bumps rise on the skin as a defense mechanism and the digestive system shuts down.

A hormone called epinephrine or adrenaline is released, causing the body to trigger all these responses. Epinephrine is the main chemical used during the body’s reaction to fear.

(http://media.www.wkuherald.com/media/storage/paper603/news/2005/11/27/Diversions/FearCauses.Physical.Mental.Reaction-1038838.shtml)

Fear is a very normal response to a situation. Jesus assured them that night, that they had no reason to fear for there was no real threat.

The second extreme emotion Jesus has something to say about comes from Matthew 6:25-34 --- Do not worry, READ out of the Message

Worry should not be in our lives. The word “worry” comes from the Middle English word, weren, which literally means “to struggle, to bite, to harass.”

It was used to describe what happened when the hound caught the fox!

So today, worry means to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts.

Worry and Anxiety are so closely related I’m not sure why we use two different terms to describe the same thing. But when you study the term “anxiety” it has a little different nuance of meaning.

And, Anxiety is the word that people of the medical profession use to describe a mood state. Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, or before taking a test or making an important decision.

Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life.

For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

When you ask medical professionals about the physiological cause, they preface everything by the words possibly, may, and might. Even they don’t know.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 4 million suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) each year.

To combat anxiety professionals prescribe two lines of attack

Get off drugs, especially caffeine, heat a healthy diet, and exercise.

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