Summary: First in a series on dealing with Stress in your life. All the sermons come from Psalm 23. God’s Antidote For Worry.
How to Deal With Worry
We begin a new series today I’m calling Stressbusters. We’re going to look at seven sources of stress and see how you can successfully deal with them. Our text for this series is the 23rd Psalm.
The first cause of stress we are going to look at is Worry. We all have pet worries: finances, jobs, relationships, kids, health issues, etc. But there are three problems with worry. Worry is unhelpful, it’s unreasonable and it’s unhealthy.
It’s unhelpful because it never accomplishes anything, worry does not solve the problem. Worry cannot change the past. It cannot control the future. It can only make us miserable today. It is unhelpful.
It’s unreasonable. It magnifies the problem. It makes mountains out of molehills. Worry makes your problems seem bigger then they really are. To worry about something you can’t change is useless. To worry about something you can change is stupid – just go ahead and change it. Worry is unreasonable.
Worry is unhealthy. The body is not made for worry. Worry can cause ulcers, backaches, headaches, insomnia. It’s unnatural. Plants and animals don’t worry. The only thing in creation that worries is people. The old English word for worry means “to strangle” or “to choke”. Worry is not natural and it’s unhealthy.
What Is God’s Antidote For Worry?
Believe God will TAKE CARE OF ME.
Let’s look at Psalm 23 verse one.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalms 23:1 (NKJV)
If I really believe that God is going to take care of me, I’m not going to worry. I’m going to trust in God for all my needs. David called God his shepherd. What do shepherds do?
1. A shepherd PROVIDES. Food, shelter, the basic necessities.
2. A shepherd PROTECTS. Against enemy attacks.
3. A shepherd GUIDES. Leads when you don’t know the path.
4. A shepherd GATHERS. When we head in the wrong direction.
The amazing thing is that God promised to do these four things in your life if you’ll trust Him. He says, “I’ll provide for you. I’ll protect you. I’ll guide you. I’ll gather you to my side if you’ll let me be your shepherd. Look at what it says in Isaiah 40:11.
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. Isaiah 40:11 (NKJV)
Philippians 4:19 gets even more specific.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (HCSB)
Circle the word will. The verse doesn’t say might – doesn’t say I’ll think about it – it says He will. He’s either going to supply my needs or He is a liar.
God says “I will meet all your needs.” What does all include? Doctor payments? Mortgage payments? Spiritual needs? Financial needs? Relational needs? Yes – everything.
Worry is not only unhelpful, unreasonable, unhealthy – but it’s unnecessary if Jesus is your shepherd. Any time you worry you’re acting like an atheist. In essence you are saying: God is not going to take care of my needs. I don’t think He can. I don’t think He’s big enough – in fact I’m not sure He is even there. The antidote for worry though is make God your shepherd.
How Do I Make God My Shepherd?
God is not the Shepherd for everybody. He’s only the Shepherd of those who let Him be the Shepherd.
Here is what we all need to do.
Accept Jesus as my LORD.
The Lord is my shepherd; Psalms 23:1a (NKJV)
The Lord does not become your shepherd automatically. You have to ask Him to be your shepherd. You have to ask Him to be your Lord. What does it mean to be Lord? It means to be in control. Lord simply means to be in charge. Today instead of Lord we might say, the boss, the manager, the owner. Lord means under His control. The person on top calling the shots.
Jesus is Lord of your life when you put Him in control. If He’s not calling the shots in your life – He is not your Lord. If He’s not Lord in your life – He is not your shepherd. Because Lord means Shepherd.
In John chapter 10 Jesus says that three things happen when you make Jesus your Shepherd. You hear His voice – you have a relationship with Him – and you follow Him. In other words you put Him in control.
My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 (HCSB)
All worry is about is a control issue. Who is really in control? Worry is nothing more then trying to control what you can’t control - trying to control the uncontrollable. Worry is a warning light that you have not put God in control.