Summary: Paul gives us some tools for overcoming worry and stress.


Phil. 4:6-9

INTRO. Worry and stress. Who doesn’t experience them?

ILL.- A man went shopping for a gift for his wife and picked out a very nice sweater. After looking at it he asked the salesperson if she could show him a more expensive sweater. She said, “No, but I can put this one away and you could come back for it in a few days.”

Yes, it seems like most prices are going up and few are going down. And finances or money problems are a great stress that most people are faced with. It costs money to live! To buy food, to pay bills, to purchase anything, to eat out, go places, enjoy life, to buy gasoline, etc. FINANCIAL STRUGGLES ARE STRESSFUL!

ILL.- One father said, “My children are at the perfect age. They are too old to cry at night and too young to borrow my car.”

Well, for many parents their children are “never” at the perfect age. Raising children can be a hair-raising experience. Raising children is a stressful thing; no matter what age they are.

ILL.- I heard about a mother who said that both of her two children had been sick so long that she could only remember one month out of the last year that they weren’t sick. THAT’S STRESSFUL.

I knew of a father years ago who loved his children greatly from birth to about three years, but after that he didn’t want too much to do with them. WHY?

I don’t know for sure and I didn’t agree with him, but I guess because they become very stressful to him after the age of three. No matter how good children are, raising them is still a very stressful thing.

ILL.- A wife said to her husband, “Dear, could I have some spending money?”

Her husband replied, “Money, money, money. If you ask me I think you need brains more than you need money.”

The wife said, “Dear, I was just asking you for what I thought you had the most of.”

Needless to say, marriage can be very stressful at times. There is no perfect marriage. And many marriages are far less than ideal.

I have heard all kinds of stories about selfish husbands and selfish wives. If I told you some of the things I have heard or read, you’d choke up with emotion. No, perhaps not, because you’ve probably been there and done that. And some of you may be there right now.

ILL.- I heard about one husband who wants his coffee setting there and waiting on him when he gets up in the morning. He is laid off and is not looking for a job. He wants his food on the table at mealtime, his clothes washed and ironed, his wife to work and make all the money she can. He is negative and nasty in his attitude and actions. AND HE HAS ONE STRESSED-OUT WIFE!

You name it and there is stress in nearly every area of our lives. Marriage, family, children, work, finances, health, and so on.

And if there isn’t stress, there is most certainly worry, which goes hand-in-hand with stress.

ILL.- Someone put it this way: “If we don’t have a job, we worry about it. If we do have a job, we worry about losing it. If we don’t have a car, we worry about it. If we do have a car, we worry about it breaking down. If we don’t have any money, we worry about it. If we do have some money, we worry about losing it.

“If we are not married, we worry about it. If we are married, we worry about keeping our mate. If we don’t have an education, we worry about it. If we do have any education, we worry if it’s enough. If we are sick, worry about it. If we are not sick, we worry about getting sick.”

ILL.- Someone said, “I have so many troubles that if anything happens to me today it will be two weeks before I can get around to worrying about it.”

I had one man tell me that I worried too much about things. I said, “Worry is the least of my worries.”

ILL.- Someone said, “Worrying about the past is like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube.”

ILL.- Someone said, “One should never try to saw sawdust.” That’s worry.

All of us are faced with a certain amount of worry and stress in life. ALL OF US. We know this, but what we can do about it? We don’t need to hear more about the “bad” news. We want the “good” news of what to do about worry and stress! How to handle it. How to keep it from getting us down.

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