Community Group Study Notes
Have someone in your group give a brief recap of Sunday’s message, highlighting the primary Scripture passage(s) and main idea of the message.
List out the different ways we use the term “anxiety” that were given in Sunday’s message. Which of these descriptions is actually the primary focus of Scripture, particularly Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6? (Let’s agree to keep our conversation centered on that understanding for today’s discussion.)
What reasons does Jesus give us not to be anxious? Which of these reasons have you identified in your own life?
What are the concrete steps we can take to deal with anxiety? Which of these is the hardest for you to implement?
What is one action step you can take in light of this sermon and our discussion? Pray as a group for one another to take these action steps.
- If I were to say to you this phrase, don't be anxious, how would you respond? It really depends. It depends on how you're wired. Some of you would, you're kind of wired as, you know, you're laid back. You know, you feel like, yeah, you're from Western New York, but your soul's from California, and you're just laid back about everything, right? And so I say, "Don't be anxious." And you're like, "That's what I'm saying, yes. No, just take it easy," right? And everything's just kind of chill for you, right? That may be your response. For others of you, you're wound a little tight, right? You don't need coffee in the morning. You're just wound tight. And so if I say, don't be anxious to you, then you start getting anxious about the possibility of being anxious, right? It's like, "All right, now that you brought it up, I'm feeling a little anxious about the possibility of anxiety in my life, so I wanna make sure that I combat it. And now I'm anxious about not being anxious," right? And others of you have maybe gone through significant difficulty, maybe tragedy, maybe really deep waters, and you hear this phrase, don't be anxious. And you think to yourself, "That's easy for you to say. You haven't been through what I've been through. You haven't dealt with what I've dealt with." And by the way, I wonder how people can be so flippant about this idea when I've been through the things that I've been through, and people talk about it so flippantly. It really just depends on how you're wired as to how you respond to a phrase like that, right? And we live in a culture of anxiety. It's not lessening, it's increasing. And in fact, it's increasing at younger and younger ages that children are dealing more and more with anxiety. And the last few years have kind of exacerbated that, kind of magnified it, amplified it. There are plenty of contributing factors, right? I mean, we could just start listing them all. We know that there are lots of contributing factors to the fact that people are more anxious. Certainly, the events in the world that have gone on, you know, fomented by a 24/7 outrage news cycle, that everybody is constantly being bombarded with, social media that's in our face all the time, and the opportunity to compare and to feel either more inferior, or feel like you're missing out, or feel like you're behind. All of those things, and plus a million more could probably contribute to that. And so that's the world that we live in. And sometimes we may think to ourselves, did Jesus actually speak to anxiety and worry? Did he talk about this idea? Or is this just something we've got to deal with in our culture? And if he did talk about it, what did he say? You know, and it's possible that we could even experience his shalom in such an anxiety-laden world like we live in. Well, the answer to the question, did Jesus speak about it is yes. The answer to the question is, what did he say, we're gonna look at in Matthew chapter six. And the answer to the question is can we have shalom in the midst of an anxiety-laden world is also yes. So I wanna give you hope from the very jump that even though we, and you, and I, and all of us may be experiencing and have experienced some form of anxiety in times past, that it doesn't have to be the way that we continue to walk in our lives because Jesus has talked to us about this. And if we'll listen, if we'll pay attention, I think will be helped in this. So in Matthew chapter six is the Sermon on the Mount. We've been looking at that over the last few weeks talking about this idea of shalom. And Jesus, when he starts talking about the idea of anxiety or worry, he actually bookends this passage where he talks about this idea in the Sermon on the Mount with these statements. Do not be anxious, and then at the very end, do not be anxious. Watch, I'll show you just in case you didn't believe me. Here's what it says in verse 25, Matthew chapter six. "Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life." And then when you go to verse number 34, he says, which is kind of the end of him talking about worry and anxiety, he says, "Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow." So Jesus tells, he starts out this teaching, and there's a bunch in between. He starts this teaching by saying, "Do not be anxious. And then he concludes this teaching by saying, "Do not be anxious," right? Or maybe your translation, the NRV translation, "Do not worry," right? Jesus starts and ends in that regard. And so what's he talking about when he talks about anxiety and worry? What's he saying when he says this? It's very important for us to clarify what that means when we talk about this word. When we talk about the idea of anxiety or worry, what are we saying when we say that? What is Jesus saying when he says that? What is the New Testament saying when it says that? That's important for us to understand because there are things that we term anxiety that are perfectly normal and natural. And there are things that we term anxiety that may not be so much. Maybe you've grown up in the church, and you've heard conversation around this, and you've talked with Christian friends, and you've said, "You know what? Anxiety is a sin and worry is a sin." And there's a possibility that could certainly be the case if we define it properly. But there's also ways in which maybe that's not the most helpful way to frame this conversation because there are a number of things, when we talk about the idea of anxiety in our world, that we might be meaning when we say that. For instance, it may be that we talk about anxiety as kind of the fear of impending trouble or the fear of impending difficulty, right? That's normal. Everyone experiences that. That's the human condition. And, in fact, we get distressed about things that happen in the world to, that's normal, right? You don't have to start feeling guilty. Am I sinning? Because this particular situation is distressing to me? No, Jesus felt distress over situations. It wasn't a sin. Jesus never sinned, right? But when Jesus was looking forward, looking, you know, kind of in the distance to the cross that he knew he was going to go to, listen to Luke chapter number 12 that says, Jesus says, "But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint." That word right there in the Greek actually means of distress, affliction, right? "What constraint," what compression, that's the idea there, "I am under until it is completed." He's talking about what's facing him, and he recognizes that there's a compression, there's a distress, there's a constraint that has affected him, but that's normal. That's the human condition. Paul, when he was talking about the churches, that he had planted and how they were doing, and how they were dealing, even with the persecution that they were facing. Listen to what Paul said in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. "I've labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep. I've known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food. I've been cold and naked besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches." That's not sinful. He faces the pressure of concern for the wellbeing of brothers and sisters in Christ that he has helped to launch into the ministry of the gospel. These aren't sinful kinds of things. So that may be one way when we use the term anxiety, we're talking about that. And that's not a bad thing. That's a normal thing, right? There's also a second way when we talk about anxiety and the culture that we live in, sometimes we're talking about something that is a mental issue that is physiological or psychophysiological in nature. It's not something that we necessarily want or try to control, but it's the interactivity of this organ called the mind with the body. And sometimes, that interactivity doesn't work as it should, just like other parts of the body, by the way, don't sometimes work as they should. And do you know what happens when we have other parts of our body that don't work as they should? We go to a professional to get some help. And sometimes, in the culture that we live in, it's okay if we've got something going on in our head and we need a professional to give us some help. That's okay. Just like doctors help to set bones, sometimes, they have to deal with other muscles like the mind, and that's okay, right? So sometimes when we talk about the idea of anxiety, that's what we're referring to, right? And that's not something that's the fault of someone. It may just be the way in which they are wired, right? And that's not necessarily their fault. So we're not talking about something that's sinned at this point, we're just talking about the human condition and what happens. I remember Charles Spurgeon, who was the great Baptist British preacher and theologian in the 1800s. He himself dealt with some mental health conditions, particularly depression and anxiety. And what he recognized is this, is he recognized that the body can actually handle a lot more wounds than the mind and the soul. Here's what Charles Spurgeon said. He said, "The mind can descend far lower than the body for in it, there are bottomless pits. The flesh can bear only a certain number of wounds and no more, but the soul can bleed in 10,000 ways and die over and over again each hour." You see, we know this to be true, and he knew this to be true in his own life. And sometimes that's the nature of what we're talking about when we talk about anxiety. The third way that maybe we could be talking about anxiety is that it's the outcome of a bad or sinful decision. So in other words, the anxiety may be self-imposed. So person A chooses to be unfaithful in their marriage, and as a result, tears up the family. The children now don't speak to person A, whether it's husband or the wife, whatever. And now they're feeling ridden with anxiety because they are now not in relationship with their kids and their family's all broken up, but it all came from a decision that they made. A sinful, harmful, bad decision that they made. So the anxiety was brought on themselves. It's an outcome of bad decision-making or sinful decision-making. Then there's a fourth way. And I think this is predominantly the way that Jesus is talking about it, predominantly the way that the New Testament talks about it. Not solely the way it does, but predominantly, is that anxiety is the unwillingness to trust in God's provision, God's omniscience, and God's care. It's just the unwillingness to trust in God's sovereign, good provision, and omniscience, and care over our lives. This is predominantly what Jesus is talking about here in the Sermon on the Mount, okay? And that's why I want us to have some context for when Jesus says, "Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious or do not worry." And then he ends that passage of teaching by saying, "Do not be anxious, do not worry." I want you to understand what we're talking about when we talk about that. We're talking about an unwillingness to trust in God's provision, his omniscience, and his care. So understanding that context here in Matthew chapter six, what reasons does Jesus give us not to be anxious? I wanna walk through a handful of them real quick as I just, I literally am gonna unpack the text right before us, okay? We're gonna walk through one by one how Jesus gives us reasons why not to be anxious. And then after we go through those, I'm going to tell you what we can do in terms of concrete steps to deal with anxiety, all right? Let's see some reasons. Here's reason number one. Anxiety can feed idolatry. Anxiety can feed idolatry. Let me show you what I mean by that. In verse 24 and 25, notice what it says. This is back to what I was teaching last week for those of you who are paying attention. "No one can serve two masters. Either you'll hate the one and love the other, or you'll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Therefore." Remember, whenever we see a therefore, we always ask, what is it therefore? It is therefore, it is connecting the thought that came before it to the thought that is coming after it, right? He says, "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 than food, and the body more than clothes." So he says, you cannot serve two masters. You cannot say, "I love God, and I love money. I'm serving God, and I'm serving money." He says you can't do that. Then he says, "Therefore, do not be anxious about your life. Do not worry about your life what you will eat or drink." You see, what can happen to us is that anxiety can actually feed idolatry. It can feed us wanting to serve a different master like we talked about last week. Secondly, though, anxiety can confuse our value. It can confuse our value. Let me show you what Jesus says here in verse 26. He says, "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?" You see, what anxiety does is it confuses us about our value. You see, listen to me. You're an image-bearer of God. You have been created in the image of God. As a human being, you are unique to everything that has been created. You are not a plant. You are not like the other animals. You are an image-bearer of God. And here's what Jesus says. If God will take care of the birds, do you think he's gonna take care of you? Are you not much more valuable than they? You see, sometimes what anxiety does is it confuses us about our value in the context of everything related to God. God has a special affection and a special love for those that he has created in his image. And you and I would be well-served to remember that because anxiety wants to confuse us. It wants to confuse that notion of our value. Thirdly, anxiety's a waste of time and energy. Huh, Jesus gets really practical right here. Anxiety is a waste of time and energy. Look at verse number 27. "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Answer, nope, you cannot. So with all of your anxiety, and all of your worry, and all of your concern, have you added any time to your life? No. Have you probably stolen time from your life? Yes. Have you added any height to yourself? Have you gotten taller as a result of this? No. Have you added hair to your head? No. Have you lost hair? Maybe, I don't know, right? It is a waste of time and energy because you can probably hear it, right? Fear and anxiety are really, they're twin brothers of the same emotion. Maybe we could say it that way. Fear and anxiety are twins. They just have a difference in timing. Fear is about something that's happening right now. A situation that we are having to deal with in the moment. Anxiety is our fear of what is to come that we may not know of, right? So really, they're twins. It's a twin emotion, but it's just a function of different timing. Fear is in the right now and anxiety is in the soon to be possibly, right? But what we do is we waste our time and energy being anxious, first of all, over things we don't even know about what may or may not come of that. And have you ever been so anxious for such a long period of time and then you realized afterwards it didn't materialize, and you thought to yourself, I have lived in grief for all of this period of time? Jesus is saying, "You think you're gonna add to your life by worrying and being anxious?" That's not gonna help you at all. It does nothing. It doesn't change the situation. It doesn't change the outcome of it. It doesn't help you. It is a waste of time and energy. Jesus also teaches us this. Anxiety shrinks faith. Anxiety shrinks our faith. Look in verse number 28. Jesus says, "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that's how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, you of little faith?" You see, Jesus is reminding us that what anxiety does is it shrinks our faith, that we start getting into a position where we're not even paying attention. He says, "Have you paid attention to the flowers? They are clothed beautifully. Not even Solomon the king was clothed as beautifully as this." And do you think that these flowers, which are here today and tomorrow are burned up, they're thrown into the fire. In other words, they're temporary. Do you think that God is going to go to the trouble of taking care of the temporary things that will burn up in the fire and not even give any consideration to eternal beings created in his image that he wants to provide for them? You see, what faith does is faith believes that God is and that God is good, and that God does as God is. And when we trust God for who he is, we recognize that what God will do as our gracious Father is he will be our provision. He will be our help. He will take care of his kids. We can just look around and we can see that he takes care of the world, and our value is different than the world that he has created. And we're not temporary. We're eternal in nature. And so we've got to be careful that our faith doesn't shrink because of anxiety and worry. Next, anxiety over temporary needs is what unbelievers do. Anxiety over temporary needs is what unbelievers do. Let me show you what Jesus said in verses 31 and 32. He said, "So do not worry saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things," right? In other words, what he's saying is this. Is he saying unbelievers have a tendency to make everything about the now. It's all about having their stuff because for them, this is it. This is all there is. So I've got to make sure that I've got everything, and I've got to hustle around for everything because there's not a God who's providing for me. I have to do this all myself. And he says, "This is what unbelievers do." You see we, as the people of Jesus, who trust our Father because Jesus has taught us who the Father actually is. Us, we, this kind of people, we ought to be different in the way that we handle life circumstances. That life circumstances look different to us. If we're always running around with like a chicken with our heads cut off, ah, the sky is falling and everything looks like that, we are no different than the unbelievers that run around saying the same things. We are different in nature as the children of God. And what anxiety wants to do is it wants to make us look like people who don't believe in God. Some of us have a functional atheism. We say that we know Jesus, and we say that we follow after Jesus, but we are functional atheists when we get put into places and positions where we've really got to trust him. When we've really got to trust him, we act like he doesn't exist. That's functional atheism. But as the people of God, we should be different than that. Next, Jesus says this. Anxiety makes wrong assumptions about God. Jesus teaches us that anxiety makes wrong assumptions about God. Look in the full of verse 32. He says, "For the pagans run after all these things and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them." You see, what anxiety convinces us of is this, is that we've got to panically shout at the top of our lungs to God about everything that's going on in our . As if God is slumbering somewhere, and it's our job to wake him up. God, don't you see what's happening in the world? God, don't you see what's happening in my life? Jesus says he already knows. He knows everything. He knows what's going on in the world. He knows what's going on in your life. And what anxiety has a tendency to do in our lives is it causes us to make wrong assumptions about God. The assumption that God's not paying attention. But Jesus tells us, "Oh, he already knows. He sees it. He knows everything." And I'll tell you what else anxiety does. Is anxiety distorts our priorities. This is what Jesus is reminding us of in verse number 33. He says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." You see, what's beautiful about that verse is that it begins with that word but. In other words, what that does is it's a contrast term, right? He's saying, here's what the unbelievers and the pagans do. And then he says, but here's what you do. Because he's contrasting two kingdoms. The kingdom of self that is motivated by personal control and the kingdom of God that is more real to us than even what we are seeing and knowing right now in this place. The kingdom of God, even though unseen is as real as we can imagine. And he says that we are to seek first the kingdom and the righteousness of God, and God is going to make sure that he is taking care of his people. That's not a promise, by the way, that you won't experience hardship. Jesus never said that. "In this world, you'll have trouble," he said, right? I'll show you that in just a minute. In this world, you will have trouble. Jesus had trouble, Paul had trouble, all the disciples had trouble. Trusting God does not mean the absence of trouble. But it means we can experience the life of shalom in the midst of it. That's what it means, right? So these are all reasons that Jesus gave us in that passage of Scripture not to be anxious. And that's good. We need to be able to hold onto that teaching and understand what it said. So let me ask you a question. What are some steps that we can take in kind of real ways? What do we do as a result of that? Well, first, we need to be acquainted with what Jesus said and the reasons that He gave us for not being anxious, and the promises that are tied to those teachings about anxiety.
- But how do we take maybe some concrete steps forward in dealing with the anxiety that we sometimes struggle with and that we sometimes feel? Because it's real, it affects us all. Everybody's been in those spaces and places, everybody has. Let me give you three things to consider. Here's the first. Ask God to search and identify. Ask God to search and identify. You know, David did this. Listen to what he said in Psalm 139. He said, "Search me God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts." This is what David said. Search me and identify my anxieties, my anxious thoughts. You know, I have dealt with this myself. I'm not a machine. Sometimes people think that people that do what I do, that we're immune to all the things that everybody else in the world is not immune to. Well, that's not true. Can my heart get broken? Absolutely. Can I be hurt? Of course, I can. Can I experience anxiety? You better believe it. I've experienced anxiety in my ministry timeframe such that at some times in that timeframe of ministry, I've been doing ministry vocationally full time for 30 years. And there have been times where the burden was so heavy, it was almost incapacitating. It's probably been true of you too, right? I'm not immune. In one particular timeframe, I was going through an extended season of being overwhelmed, anxious. Not this kind of anxiety because you don't see it on me. But what you don't know is that in one of those timeframes, it was during a timeframe where, you know, Good Friday and Easter, I struggled to get out of bed on Good Friday, even though I preached to you. And on that Easter Sunday between every service, I was in a bathroom because my body was breaking down. That level of hardship. That level of being overwhelmed. It happens to me too, just like it happens to you. And what we have to ask God is to search us and to identify what's going on with those anxious thoughts. What's going on with that anxiety that we feel? We ask him to search us and identify that. In fact, I jotted down in a little looked like a Hobbit book that I've got right here from The Shire. But I jotted something down here when I was writing this. I had the date on there, it doesn't matter when it was. And I was just chronicling this before the Lord. Said, Lord, you've been so faithful to shape me more into the image of Jesus. On Saturday, and then I put the date, my time with you was precious. As I waited on you, you shaped me. You lifted the cover of my heart, and you showed me my fears. Fears of people's thoughts of me, fears of bad outcomes, fears of my own image, and how all of them were rooted in pride. And you are gracious to lead me to humility and repentance, to repent for places in my heart I didn't know existed. And repenting and trusting led my heart to rest and strength. That's just from my world. My guess is that your world has experienced some of that as well. What we need is we need for our lives to be put before God and ask him to search and identify where that anxiety is coming from 'cause that's the difficulty that we face. Sometimes we're so full of anxious thoughts, and our hearts and our minds are so consumed with that, that we can't get beyond it, but we haven't taken the time to ask the Lord to search it out. And show us what's at the root here. Because what he does is he brings those to the surface. And listen, sometimes he brings our anxieties to the surface to show us what we must do. We can actually act. And there's other times that he brings up those anxieties to console us because they may be things that we can't control, and he wants to console us. In fact, listen again to David. Psalm 94, "Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Sometimes, when we ask God to search us and identify, sometimes that will be so that we can act. Maybe that's repenting. Maybe that's literally putting our trust in him where we weren't doing that, right? Other times, it may be outside of our control. And what he wants to do is he wants to show it to us so that he can console us in the midst of it. So the first thing that we can do is we can ask God to search and identify. Secondly, what we do is we then hand it over to God. So he identifies this for us, he searches this out in our hearts. And then once we recognize this, we need to hand it over to him. Just give it to him. Listen to how Peter stressed this in 1 Peter 5. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." Cast all your anxiety on him. Do you realize that... Listen to this. What Jesus is asking for is for you to place all your anxieties, and all your worries, and all your fears on him. Give 'em to him. He's not overwhelmed by them. He's dealt with them. He's big enough to handle them. He knows already, by the way. He wants you to take that burden off of you and place it onto him. Cast it upon him. And then listen to how Paul said this in Philippians chapter four. He said, "Do not be anxious about anything." He's just now quoting Jesus. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." We give it to him. We're not anxious for anything, but we give it to him. We take it before him in our requests and our petitions while we are thanking him with hearts of gratitude. And we hand it over to him and he says, "What I will do is I will guard your mind, and I will guard your heart in my shalom. That's what I'll do." So we ask him to search and identify, we hand it over to him, and then we receive Jesus' peace, and we use it to serve others. This is when we now we receive his peace and we use it to serve others. Remember, Jesus when he was dealing with and he was talking to those who were his disciples right before his crucifixion, they were overwhelmed with anxiety. Jesus was talking to them about what was coming, and they were scared, right? They were anxious. But notice what Jesus says to them in John 16:33. He said, "I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." And do you know that Jesus, actually, he told them that before his crucifixion. But do you know what happened after his resurrection? On the night, that Sunday after he had resurrected from the dead, all the disciples were still freaking out, by the way. They're still anxious, they're still nervous, they're still scared, by the way, of the Jews because they know that now Jesus isn't in the grave, they don't know what's gonna happen. Are they gonna come after us, and they've locked themselves in a room. And they're probably more anxious than they are praying. And the resurrected Jesus shows up in their midst. And what does he say? John 20 says, "On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace. Peace be with you.' After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. And the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. And again, Jesus said, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I'm sending you.'" Isn't it remarkable that right before he's crucified, what he speaks to those who are filled with anxiety is shalom? After he rises from the dead and he shows up to them that are filled with anxiety, what does he speak to them? Shalom. What Jesus is reminding us is that what we need more than anything is his presence. That's what we need. If you want to experience his peace, you need that in the form of his presence. We receive Jesus' peace by being in Jesus' presence. And then do you know what he does? When he makes us, informs us into these people of shalom in his presence, he releases us to be people who are bringing his life and his peace into the world around us to serve it. "It's a peace I give to you. As the Father has sent me, I'm sending you." Now he's unloading through you his peace into the world that we exist in. That's a beautiful reminder because what anxiety does, Listen, what anxiety does is it keeps us focused on ourselves. That's what it does. It keeps us locked in where we can't see past our belly button. But Jesus says, "I come to bring you shalom in the midst of your anxieties. And as I do that, you're going to be able to now serve the world that you live in. You will think outside of yourself, right? There is hope for us in the midst of our anxiety, my brothers and sisters. And I just remind you of this statement, the shalom of Jesus is bigger and better than our anxieties. The shalom of Jesus is bigger and better than any anxieties that we may have. So I don't know what you're carrying. Some of you that are here, maybe we can see it on your face. Maybe you're watching online and when people are around you that they can see it on your face. They know you're carrying something. Others of you, you hide it really well. Nobody sees it, right? They can't pick it up on your face. But I wanna remind you whether somebody can see it or whether they can't see it, whatever your anxieties, your worries, and your fears are, Jesus can bring shalom into that. You think maybe sometimes, I'm anxious because I'm not sure that I really matter. You are created in the of God, and your value is above all the rest of the materially created things. As a human being, you are valuable to God. And God has demonstrated that value in the cross of Christ. You do matter. You always have. Sometimes you're anxious over your circumstances. Well understand this. He knows them and he cares in the midst of your circumstances. Maybe you're anxious over money and stuff, possessions. Well, know this. God, he's not broke. He's a god of abundance, not a god of scarcity. He has what you need. Maybe you're anxious over the future. We'll know this. If you're anxious over tomorrow, just let me remind you, he's already there. I'm nervous about what tomorrow holds. Well, God's already in tomorrow. It's all the same to him. You will never be alone in your tomorrows or in your future ever. Maybe your anxiety is really about death, kind of the mortality that we all have. Well, know this. He's conquered it, and he will walk you through the valley of the shadow of it. Jesus will bring this kind of shalom into your lives, even in the midst of our anxious thoughts. Let's bow our heads together. We're not going quite yet. What I'm going to do and what we're going to do in just a moment is I'm gonna give you a moment to reflect, wherever you are, whatever campus, if you're watching online, if you're here in this room, we're gonna give you a moment to reflect. And I'm going to pray for you in just a moment, but we're gonna have a song sung just over you so that you can have that opportunity to be able to reflect, to think. Maybe you'll be asking the Lord what he needs to uncover, to search and identify. Maybe you'll have to think about what it means to turn that over to him, right? Whatever that is, I want to let the Holy Spirit do that in your life, so when I say amen, at all of our campuses, you're gonna hear a song that's just gonna be sung over you, and you reflect and you take time. Maybe sit on the words of that song. Sit on the words of the Word of God that has been poured over you. And then as that song concludes, we'll come back up and take a moment to finish out as we dismiss. Father, I pray in the name of Jesus that you would speak your truth, and your life, and your peace into our world, into our hearts. Father, I pray that even as we sit for a moment and we reflect and we pause to meditate on your word and what you wanna say by your Spirit to each of our hearts, I pray that you would speak deeply into our lives 'cause we know we live in an anxiety and a worry-laden culture and we all have to deal with it. But I pray that we would take your word seriously, Jesus, because we take you seriously. We trust you. So would you speak to us in these moments now for your namesake, we pray, amen. ♪ When my mind is like a battlefield ♪ ♪ And my heart is overcome by fear ♪ ♪ And hope seems like a ship that's lost at sea ♪ ♪ My enemies on every side ♪ ♪ And I'm tempted to run and hide ♪ ♪ Your gentle whisper reaches out to me ♪ ♪ Peace ♪ ♪ Holds me when I'm broken ♪ ♪ Sweet peace ♪ ♪ That passes understanding ♪ ♪ When the whole wide world is crashing down ♪ ♪ I fall to my knees ♪ ♪ And breathe in your peace ♪ ♪ Whoa ♪ ♪ The fiery arrows whistling ♪ ♪ The terror of the night sets in ♪ ♪ But I can feel your angels all around ♪ ♪ I am resting underneath ♪ ♪ The shelter of your mighty wings ♪ ♪ Your promises are where my hope is found ♪ ♪ Peace ♪ ♪ Holds me when I'm broken ♪ ♪ Sweet peace ♪ ♪ That passes understanding ♪ ♪ When the whole wide world is crashing down ♪ ♪ I fall to my knees ♪ ♪ And breathe in your peace ♪ ♪ I remember who you are ♪ ♪ You're the God who's never far ♪ ♪ So I will not be afraid ♪ ♪ 'Cause you always keep me safe ♪ ♪ In your arms ♪ ♪ I remember who you are ♪ ♪ You're the God who's never far ♪ ♪ So I will not be afraid ♪ ♪ God, you always keep me safe ♪ ♪ In your peace ♪ ♪ That holds me when I'm broken ♪ ♪ Sweet peace ♪ ♪ That passes understanding ♪ ♪ When the whole wide world is crashing down ♪ ♪ I fall to my knees ♪ ♪ And breathe in your peace ♪ ♪ Oh, I breathe in your peace, Jesus ♪ ♪ Oh oh ♪
- As our heads are bow, in this moment, I pray that the peace of God would be breathed out on you. God's Spirit is alive and active among us. And in one moment, he can breathe peace into your life as you acknowledge your own anxieties where you failed to trust him as a good, faithful, omniscient, providing, caring Father. So just give it to him. Maybe you're here watching online. Maybe you're in the room, and you've never before entrusted your life to God through his Son Jesus. If you can trust your soul to him, you can trust everything to him. And he came and he died on across for our sins so that we could be reconciled to the Father. And by putting your faith in what Jesus has done through his death and his resurrection, you can experience the new life. A regenerated life, a life where you can know forgiveness of sins, and you can know the very life of God in you by his Spirit. If you've never before come to that place, if you're here in the room, when I say amen in just a moment, there'll be some folks that'll be standing down front, and I pray that you'll come and speak to one of them and say, you know, I wanna give my life to Christ. Or maybe it's, I just need somebody to pray with me about a circumstance in my life. And we'd love to be able to do that as well. And I wanna remind all of you, whether you're online or whether you're here, that you can also have additional resources if you go to thechapel.com/shalom. And there, you can find some resources from last week and some for this week that may encourage you how to deal with anxiety, some helps with financial shalom. You can even access all of the other teaching that we've done this series. So Father, I pray that you would do your good work among your people by your Spirit. Thank you Lord Jesus, that your shalom is bigger, and better than any of our anxieties. Help us to be a people who trust you, who trust you, that the world may see that we trust a good, providing, caring, omniscient, gracious Father. We trust you to do that now in Jesus' name. Amen.