Summary: Worry has become a national obsession in our world today.Unfortunately, believers are not exempt from worry. We try to hide our worry calling it Christian Concern. In reality, worry is the secret sin for believers. Not only is needless worry a sin, it is
Introduction: (Video Clip – Wounded in Iraq) Worry has become a national obsession in our world today. You do not have to have a loved one overseas in combat to worry. We are a nation of worriers and we worry about everything…
Parents worry about their children
Adult children worry about their aging parents
There are finance issues
And we worry about what others think of us
Hospitals and doctor’s offices are full with people who have physical problems brought on by overwhelming anxiety.
When we worry, we overeat, get depressed, lose sleep and have an uneasy anxiety about life in general.
Is worry necessary? Psychologists are discovering more and more most worries are not legitimate. Consider the following…
40% of our worries never happen. Anxiety is the result of a tired mind.
30% of our worries concerns past decisions which cannot be changed
12% of our worries centers on criticism by others, meant to make us feel inferior
10% is related to health, which only worsens as we worry
8% of our worries are legitimate, showing that life does have real problems which can be met head on when I eliminate senseless worry.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made a brief, but comprehensive statement regarding worry.
25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Unfortunately, believers are not exempt from worry. We try to hide our worry calling it Christian Concern. In reality, worry is the secret sin for believers. Not only is needless worry a sin, it is a joy stealer – and like the joy stealers we have mentioned before worry rob us of the abundant life Christ promised.
Today as we close out this series from Philippians, I want us to discover how we can be victorious over anxiety and worry.
Before we look at Paul’s solutions let us understand what is worry
What is worry? Our English word for worry comes from the word – meaning to “To strangle” That describes worry pretty well, for worry has a way of strangling us physically and mentally. The biblical word for worry literally means, “to be torn apart” Worry comes when the thoughts of our mind and the feelings of our emotions pull is in direct directions and “tear us a part”
For Example - The mind thinks about the problem, our emotions wrestle with the problem creating a vicious cycle that wrecks our emotional state. Our minds tell us not to worry, but our emotions if uncontrolled stir us up and thus we worry.
Once we define worry, we can begin to understand the solutions Paul has for us. In Philippians 4, Paul shares with us THREE RIGHT PRACTICES we must do to defeat this Joy Stealer.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
To conquer worry, we must get three things right…
The Right Kind of Praying
Paul said, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
How is your prayer life?
How often do you spend time in prayer? Paul tells us if we are to keep worry at bay, we must first, not be anxious and second in everything go to God in prayer.
Too often prayer is viewed as a last resort; we try to fix, mold, and mend people or situation and then when all of our efforts fail we go to God. Is it any wonder we turn to worry before we turn to God?
As Paul writes to this young church, he gives a 3-fold formula for an effective prayer life.
The word Paul uses for prayer in this text means adoration carries with it the idea of praise or worship. The key to overcoming worry it focus on God, through worship. Listen to the words of the Psalmist and you begin to understand the power of worship when it comes to overcoming worry.