Pastor Steve Williams : Taming the Anxiety Monster

Back to Normal · 46:15 · Recorded May 17, 2020

Taming the Anxiety Monster

Psalm 55:4-7 (CSB) “My heart shudders within me; terrors of death sweep over me. Fear and trembling grip me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘If only I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and find rest. How far away I would flee; I would stay in the wilderness.’”

Jesus on worrying:

Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT) “I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

It’s unnatural.

It’s unproductive.

It’s unhealthy.

It’s unbecoming.

It’s unnecessary.

When anxiety attacks:

1. Shift the load onto the Lord.

Psalm 55:22 (AMP) Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it, and he will sustain you.

1 Peter 5:7 (Phi) You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.

Philippians 4:6-7 (MSG) Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s whole-ness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

2. Remember what your job description is.

CONCERN: Giving needed attention to a legitimate responsibility.

WORRY: Assuming a responsibility God doesn’t expect me to carry.

3. Determine what you can do about it today.

Proverbs 22:3 (TLB) A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them.

Psalm 16:7-8 (CSB) “I will bless the Lord who counsels me— even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

Psalm 4:8 (CSB) “I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.”

Psalm 121:3-5 (NIV) He will not let your foot slip — he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you.

4. Maintain a God-centered mindset.

Psalm 112:1, 6-8 (TLB) All who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression. Yes, happy is the man who delights in doing his commands…Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that the LORD will take care of him. That is why he is not afraid but can calmly face his foes.

  • Can you recall one of your earliest experiences of worry over something as a child?

  • What’s one idea from this message that you’ve found yourself giving a lot of thought to?

  • Read Matthew 6:25-34 again. Describe the emotional tone you imagine Jesus expressing as he spoke these words.

  • Try to come up with the best justifications you can think of (making a list of them) to give in to anxiety and really worry about things. What’s obvious to you about these things listed?

  • Which of the reasons Jesus gave NOT to worry do you feel speaks to you the loudest? Is there a particular “trigger” that prompts you to worry excessively, or an area that you worry about easily? What are the signs for you that help you know you’re worrying too much?

  • Read Psalm 55:22 in several translations if possible. What mental images does this verse elicit for you? Read Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7. Why pray when we could worry instead? Finish up with a time of thanking and praising God.

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at northpointe.org/kids where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

  • Great Things

  • P E A C E

  • Nothing Else

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