Anxiety and Concerns - Part 1

SERMON TOPIC: Anxiety and Concerns - Part 1

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 4 September 2022

Topic Groups: STRESS

Sermon synopsis: Scripture refers to this as “The Cares of this life”.
Doctors attribute much illness to “Stress”.
What does the Word of God say on this subject?

- Download notes (4.65 MB, 81 downloads)

- Download audio (15.95 MB, 80 downloads)

- Download Video (48.41 MB, 61 downloads)

- All sermons by Ken Paynter

- All sermons on STRESS

- All sermons in ENGLISH

The purpose of the Church.

Scripture refers to this as “The Cares of this life”.

Doctors attribute much illness to “Stress”.

What does the Word of God say on this subject?

Matthew 11:28-29.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The good news is that Jesus promises all who come to Him that He will give them rest from the heavy burden of trying to earn their way into heaven and rest from the oppressive yoke of self-righteousness and legalism.

Jesus encourages those who are “heavy laden” to take His yoke upon them, and in so doing they will find rest for their souls. The yoke of Jesus is light and easy to carry because it is the yoke of repentance and faith followed by a singular commitment to follow Him.

As the apostle John says,

1 John 5:3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

The commands of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) go above and beyond the requirements of the Mosaic Law and even deal with our inner thoughts.

However, the Christian, who in faith, has surrendered his/her will to the Will of God, can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfil God’s will and purposes.

Romans 8:3-5.

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.

And so, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The Lord has promised to empower us and enable us to do His work.

To be able to carry the concerns and burdens that are part of “Our Calling” or “Ministry”.

He has not promised us the strength and ability to carry the burdens of our daily lives.

He has told us to cast those upon Him and lay them aside in faith, relying upon Him as our source and provider.

Matthew 16:24.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Hebrews 12:1.

Since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Have you ever felt that you are getting nowhere, that you are weighed down with all sorts of baggage and are not making any spiritual progress?

God says we should cast all of our cares and concerns on Him.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (Amp)

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Consider what it says?

Humble yourselves Casting all your care on Him.

Both those thoughts are one and the same sentence.

They are not separate actions, but the same action carried out to it’s ultimate end.

According to God’s Word, the best way to humble ourselves is to cast all our care on Him, to recognise and admit that we are not capable of bearing it or finding solutions for it.

Most people seem to think that being “humble” means that they are willing and even glad to carry all their own problems and burdens, willing to suffer with them, willing to have to find solutions for them on their own.

The World’s view is that a humble person won’t strive to make things easier on himself.

But God’s definition of the humble man is the opposite.

If we want to be truly “humble” as God defines humility, we must decide that we will not carry our own burdens or work out the solutions to them. Rather, we will cast them into his loving hands and rejoice in being care-free and unburdened. After all, he has promised the following in His Word.

Luke 24:22-34.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap; they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

1 Kings 17:2-6.

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan.

You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.

1 Kings 17:2-6.

So, he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there.

The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

Luke 12:22-34.

Consider how the wildflowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, you of little faith!

And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Luke 12:22-34.

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

When you worry, your body responds to your anxiety the same way it would react to physical danger. To help you cope with the physical demands you are about to ask your body to perform, your brain releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. They trigger a range of physical reactions that will equip your body for action.

Your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes heavier and you may sweat more. You may also become pale as the blood moves away from the skin towards the muscles to help them prepare for the 'fight or flight' situation your worry has created. The 'fight or flight' response is your body's instinctive reaction to danger. Unconsciously your body prepares itself to either run away from danger or becomes very alert in order to fight predators.

But many of the things we worry about today cannot be dealt with by fighting or running away. Credit card bills, bad relationships or stress at work cannot be dealt with physically, so our body remains in a state of anxiety, ready for action.

This means the stress hormones are still circulating in the blood stream. Theresa Francis-Cheung says over a prolonged period of time, raised levels of these chemicals can start to have a toxic effect on the glands, nervous system and the heart, eventually leading to heart attacks, increased risk of stroke and stomach ulcers.

Worrying also has an effect on our brains. Excessive worry disturbs your peace of mind making it harder for you to concentrate on one task at a time.

This means it may also be difficult for you to fall asleep at night. Once you are suffering from insomnia, many worriers start to worry about that as well making their symptoms even worse.

Worry may also make you absent minded or neglectful of your health. You may feel too stressed to eat properly so you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. This could speed up the ageing process as you are not replenishing your skin, muscles or brain with the right nutrients from your food.

Excessive worry could even lead into depression. If you start to worry about everyone and everything day and night, feel that life is unfair and justice does not exist or become paranoid that people will betray you, these could be the first warning signs of depression.

Philippians 4:6-7.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

Point your will in the direction that God wants you to go and your mind and emotions will follow.

Set your minds on things above.

We hear the Word of God preached every Sunday, why is it then that it produces little or no fruit in our lives? Why is it that we don’t retain the Word and have seemingly forgotten it when Monday comes?

Is it because we have set our hearts on our job or material things rather than on seeking God and knowing Him.

We must be careful that the cares that overwhelm us, don’t steal our life away from God! His Word will produce no fruit in our life if it can’t take root through all the clutter in our heart.

John 15:1-2

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

Matthew 13:18-23.

  Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:

When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.

Matthew 13:18-23.

  The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.

But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

Seed that fall among thorns must compete for sunlight and nutrients. Weeds will choke healthy plants, leaving them weak and stunted by sapping them of their sources of nourishment.

Thorny soil represents one who is made alive by the gospel but is suffocated by temporal concerns and pleasures.

This believer's faith does not produce the fruit required due to a divided heart.

(Jam 1:18,21-25; 1 Pet 1:13-2:2; Matt 6:22-24)

The heart of man, all too often, is deadened by busyness and immersion in the world, preoccupation with the journey here and now, with things to do and places to go to, that are mundane and of this world which is passing.

A heart in this condition does not receive God’s Word into good soil. His word stays on the surface, where it is quickly taken away and forgotten. The soil needs to be ploughed and prepared for sowing and that is often a painful process.

One thing that may stop you from totally surrendering to God’s will are peer pressures. Friends may come into town to visit you at that same time you were to go to church or a Bible study.

You may disobey God by refusing to give up unsaved boy or girlfriends, or other friends. So you live in disobedience to God, and yet pray to God to help you with this or that. Are your prayers bouncing off the walls?

Children may keep you from obeying God or even your wife or husband. If you obey God, your husband or wife may threaten to leave you. Do you love wife, or husband, or children more than God?

When these and other things hinder or stop you from doing the "WILL OF GOD," there is no doubt they are being used by Satan to accomplish his purposes.

  Family problems may arise. You may need to go on a honeymoon, or go and see a house, land, merchandise, or an automobile you want to buy. Perhaps you have to sign papers to buy it, and it just happens to be when the church service is being held or a Bible study.

Or perhaps you need to paint your house, repair a faucet, wash the dog, mow the grass, clean the swimming pool, wash the car, and cook meals.

Do these things stop you from going to church, prayer meetings, Bible studies, fellowshipping with other strong believers, studying your Bible, memorizing Scripture, witnessing for Jesus, serving Jesus, and doing the will of God?

Luke 14:13-21.

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.

Luke 14:13-21.

Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready.

But they all alike began to make excuses.

Luke 14:13-21.

The first said, I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it.

Please excuse me.

Luke 14:13-21.

Another said, I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out.

Please excuse me.

Luke 14:13-21.

The servant came back and reported this to his master.

Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.

Luke 21:34-35.

Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.

For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.

In Song of Solomon 2:15, Solomon calls to our attention that it is the little foxes that spoil the vine. This appears to be a warning to you and me. It is the little things in life that get us down, that commence to destruct our homes, destroy our relationships, stagnate our local churches.

Perhaps we spend necessary time praying and are prepared when Satan enters as a roaring Lion, we are equipped with our spiritual armour, we expect that, however, when Satan arrives as a Little Fox, we find we are not adequately prepared.

We tend to underestimate the smaller things in life. More deaths are caused in Africa by mosquitoes than by sharks, hippos and crocodiles, but we don’t view them as deadly.

The children of God generally do not fall into great and well known sins, but there are sins that we commit regularly that are like little foxes which spoil the vine. Solomon warns of the “Little foxes”.

If we ignore the little things they will someday grow up and become “big things”, and our lives and we become fruitless. One of these (Little Foxes) sins is fear and worry.

Jesus is the vine and we are grafted into him, but the little foxes will spoil our relationship with him by eroding our time in his presence, in his Word and in his service.

Have you ever heard men who worked too long all of their lives say, “I wish I had spent more time with my kids?” 

Will you one day say: “I wish I had spent more time with God. I chased things that did not last for eternity.  I chased money. I chased fame. I chased pleasure. It is all gone and it meant nothing.” 

And yet those things that looked so big at the time, like fame or position or power; in the long term, with God, they were just little foxes nipping away at the most important things in life.

Life with God is more important than anything you will ever do. Life with God is done on a daily basis, it is not done on a monthly or weekly basis. 

I knelt to pray but not for long I had too much to do. I had to hurry and get to work for bills would soon be due. So I knelt and said a hurried prayer and jumped up off my knees. My Christian duty was now done my soul could rest at ease.

All day long I had no time to spread a word of cheer. No time to speak of Christ to friends, they'd laugh at me I'd fear. No time, no time, too much to do, that was my constant cry, No time to give to souls in need but at last the time, the time to die.

I went before the Lord, I came, I stood with downcast eyes. For in his hands God held a book; it was the book of life. God looked into his book and said "Your name I cannot find. I once was going to write it down... But never found the time"

Psalm 55:22.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained too deeply for mirth and song; As the burdens press, and the cares distress and the way grows weary and long ?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark with a nameless dread and fear ? As the daylight fades into deep night shades, does He care enough to be near ?

Does Jesus care when I've tried and failed to resist some temptation strong; When for my deep grief I find no relief, though my tears flow all the night long ?

Does Jesus care when I've said, "goodbye“ to the dearest on earth to me And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks, Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

Oh, yes. He cares; I know He cares His heart is touched with my grief When the days are weary, the long nights dreary I know my Saviour cares

Hebrews 4:15-16.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

John 14:27.

Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.