Posts Tagged ‘Worry’

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Colossians 3:2 (NIV) “Set your minds on things above, not on
earthly things.”

God tells us to think about things above. To me that means to think
about Heaven and what it is going to be like for us someday. Those are
good thoughts. In Heaven there will be no more tears, sorrow, death,
sickness, panic attacks, fear, anxiety, or diseases. We will have strong, healthy,
brand new bodies.

God doesn’t want us to dwell on our feelings. Do you know that your feelings
can’t hurt you? When we dwell on them we increase the amount of adrenaline
that is released in our bodies and other uncomfortable feelings crop up. God
doesn’t want us to go over and over again in our minds how someone has hurt
us. He doesn’t want us to worry about tomorrow and the things we will have to
face. He doesn’t even want us to be consumed with getting material possessions.
God knows that these things are not healthy for us to constantly think about.
Setting our thoughts on things above also means to think about Jesus, what
he is like and all about his life while he was here on earth.

Many times in the past when I could not go to sleep, I’d make myself think
about Jesus instead of concentrating on the noises outside. I’d start with his birth
and try to remember all I could about him; how he taught and healed people,
how he died and rose again. I never got through his whole life because
somewhere along the line I’d fall asleep.

You see, that was far better for me to think about then to fret over the next
day, or about myself and my feelings. Isn’t it wonderful how God helps us to
know how we should think?

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Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


This week Pastor Ron Lewis continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” as we focus on Ephesians 6:16,”in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”  Have you ever wondered how we are to extinguish the flaming arrows that the devil hurls against us?  How do we do that?

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Notes:

c.  Exactly what are these flaming arrows…?

1.)__________________thoughts

2.)__________________thoughts

3.)__________________thoughts

4.)__________________thoughts

5.)__________________thoughts

6.)__________________thoughts

7.)__________________thoughts

8.)__________________thoughts

d.  What is our defense against them…?

e.  What will the shield of faith do to them…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Extinguish the Flaming Arrows!

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Psalm 51;9-10

Spiritual Depression: #6 “Feelings,” a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

 

 


My thoughts:

In 2 Timothy 2:1:6 Paul tells Timothy to “stir up the gift of God.”

This sermon was very good and it pointed out many ways I could pursue the subject of feelings and the Christian. But, I think I’ll focus on Christian people who have panic disorder and how feelings come into play with them. I was once one of those people so I can identify with that.

What do we do with our feelings?  If you have panic attacks you know feelings play a very important part in them.  In my book, Panic Buster, I talk about that “first feeling.”  That is the feeling you get that alerts you that you might be going to have a panic attack.  For me that first feeling was a rapid and strong heart beat I became so aware of.  It made my mind race and think the “what if” thoughts.  I could not get my mind off of my feelings.  First the rapid heart rate, then the sweaty palms, then the weak legs and so on.  These were not good feelings; and guess what? They were controlling me.  My feelings were taking over my mind and I was on my way to a full-blown panic attack. Feelings!  It seemed they were my worst enemy!

I never really did understand my feelings back then.  I didn’t know they could not be trusted.  I didn’t know they were controlling me.  Now, in looking back, I can see it clearly.  My feelings took over and caused me to be an unproductive Christian person.  I was at their beck and call.  I was their slave.  I was a slave to fear!

Feelings aren’t bad really.  God created us with feelings, and God even has feelings.  He can be angry, loving, kind, and jealous.  These are all feelings or emotions.  He made us that way.  It is only when our feelings get out of control that they are bad.

So my take-away from this sermon is that we need self-control over our feelings.  The good new is  we as believers have the Holy Spirit living in us therefore we can have self-control because it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He supplies it.

Gal 5:22-23 NASB But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Do you realize a believer has a big edge over an unbeliever in conquering panic attacks?  That’s right!  We are not the same at all.  They do not have the Holy Spirit in their lives and the power He supplies.  They are left to their own resources to battle fear.  It is a losing battle!  I know I tried it before I was a Christian, and I hit bottom. We have been blessed with the power which comes from on high.  It is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  Isn’t that wonderful?  If you suffer from anxiety, stress, and panic attacks and are a Christian than you have hope.  You can get better!

It was after I became a Christian that I began to get well.  I read and studied my Bible.  I learned what the God of all creation was telling his children and there were many lessons for me.  I put them to work in my life and I did get well again.

If there is any sin in our lives we must admit it, confess it to God, and turn from it.  We need to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

Mat 5:6 KJV Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

What does this mean?  We need to desire deeply to please God.  And, the only way we can do that is by studying the Word and then obeying it.  Do you know that worry is a sin?  Again, here we need self-control over our thoughts and feelings.  The person who has panic disorder worries.  Worry won’t help anything and is in fact a waste of time.  It makes us more anxious and contributes to take us down the road to more panic attacks.  So, this is a sin that we must confess, and repent of.  Seek God’s face and turn from your sin and you can again have self-control over your feelings.

Learn to enjoy your feelings!  There are many good ones.

 

 

 

 

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Dread

Does the word dread ever enter your mind or conversation?  It does mine. Sometimes when I’m tired I dread having to go to the store for groceries, or I dread the housework facing me that day, or I dread an appointment; especially the dentist or doctor.  Sometimes I even dread having to get up and start my day. I thought to myself, “Why do I dread things?”  “What is dread anyway?”  So, I looked it up in the dictionary and here is what I found: Dread: “To be in terror of; fear greatly.  Fearful anticipation.”

Wait a minute!  Fearful anticipation!  What?  I thought fear was out of my life.  I didn’t know that dreading something was being fearful.  So, is it sinful to dread things?  I don’t want to sin against God!

I looked up “fear.”  Here are some synonyms for fear:  anxiety, dread, panic, trepidation, worry, stress.  Oh no!  I’m not liking what I’m reading! What does the Bible say about anxiety?

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Mat 6:25-34 MKJV Therefore I say to you, Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? (26) Behold the birds of the air; for they sow not, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them; are you not much better than they are? (27) Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his stature? (28) And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They do not toil, nor do they spin, (29) but I say to you that even Solomon in his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (30) Therefore if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much rather clothe you, little-faiths? (31) Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? (32) For the nations seek after all these things. For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (34) Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow shall be anxious for its own things. Sufficient to the day is the evil of it. (Emphasis mine)

In these verses I count the phrase “do not be anxious,” three times.  Just think about it, these words came out of the lips of Jesus himself!  Amazing!  And, when He says something we can take it to the bank.  This is a command!  Do not be anxious!  There is no other way to look at this than anxiety (and all those other terms we use, like dread, and fear) is  sin.  In these verses Jesus Christ has told us not to be anxious about anything:  our life, our immediate needs, and our future.  If I dread things then I am also being anxious, and anxiety is definitely sin.  I need to confess to God that I have sinned and repent of it.  Repent means to turn away from.  I need to turn away from any dreadful thoughts and turn them over to God.

Doubt

Doubt and dread are first cousins. What is doubt?  Doubt is to be unsure, or distrust, or something uncertainexodus6_30 or unsettled.  Yes, when we are uncertain and unsettled in our minds about something than that thing becomes bigger than us and we begin to dread it.  Our minds go over the situation time and again, and sometimes we blow it out of proportion. We doubt that we can do the thing that lies before us, or we feel it will make us feel uncomfortable, and we dread it more and more until we are paralyzed.

Jas 1:6 MKJV But let him ask in faith, doubting nothing. For he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. (Emphasis mine)

Picture the waves of the sea crashing upon the seashore.  The wind drives the waves against the shore and then back out to sea again to be driven in again.  We are like a tiny boat on that sea and when doubt enters our minds we are tossed all about not being able to make decisions or function.  We need an anchor.  The Bible is our anchor and we can find our answers there.  Don’t be tossed about by everything you hear or think.  The mind is the devil’s playground, and dread and doubt can keep us from doing the work God has called us to. Satan is happy when we are full of worry and stress.  Are you experiencing this?  Is there something you know God wants you to do but you are full of dread when you think of doing it?  Cheer up!  There is an answer.2 Timothy 1;7

Discipline

So, what is the antidote for dread and doubt?  It is another word that starts with “d.”  It’s discipline. According to the dictionary discipline is, “training that develops self-control.”  That’s it!  We need to discipline or train our minds in order to be in control of our thoughts.  “How do we do that?” you may ask. Let’s look to our anchor the Bible for the way out of the storm. Do you know that God loves us so much that He told us what to even think about? It’s true!

Php 4:8 NASB Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. (Emphasis mine)

It’s right there in the Bible.  We have to discipline our thought life.  Think about what you think about! Examine your thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  Are you thinking rightly? Or, are your thoughts anxious?  If you catch yourself thinking about something you truly dread, or perhaps a doctor’s report you are about to receive, then check out your thoughts.  Are you blowing them out of proportion? Are they true?  Or, are you jumping ahead to the “what ifs,” or “what might be.” These words are also a picture of Jesus.  He is all of these things.  Set you mind on things above.

Col 3:2 NASB Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.

Our minds can be renewed.  As we study, read the Word and pray God will renew our minds and it will change us.  We don’t have to be the way we used to be.  We don’t have to think all those awful thoughts that drag us down.

Rom 12:2 MKJV And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, in order to prove by you what is that good and pleasing and perfect will of God.

Deliverance

Deliverance is to “set free.”  I like those words.  If I can just get my mind to be rid of any fearful, dreadful, anxious thoughts, than I would not feel stressed and I’d be free!psalm3_8

2Co 10:5 MKJV pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; (Emphasis mine)

Let’s not be captives of our thoughts!  Let’s be free! Who is in charge?  You or your mind? Take control and set yourself free.  God says in the above verse that we can take captive every thought.  If He says we can than we can!  With God’s help, prayer and keeping in the Word we can be disciplined and overcome dread and doubt.

How do we do this?  Here’s how.

Php 4:6 MKJV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. (Emphasis mine)

Checking your thoughts and then prayer.  Ask God for help, and be thankful.  Tell Him things that you are thankful for.  He is waiting.  He is right there all the time ready to help us if we will only call on Him.

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If you change what you think about do you know what will happen?

Php 4:7 MKJV And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Isn’t that wonderful?  We can have a peace which we cannot even describe.  I know this is possible because I’ve had this peace.  I still have to be careful every day and monitor my thoughts according to Philippians 4:8.  I can’t let them get away from me.  It is very easy to fall back into the bad thought habits that were once an everyday part of me.  I must be on guard.

In summary we see:

Dread: It keeps us from doing God’s will in our lives.

Doubt: When we doubt we are not trusting.  It is Satan’s tool to trip us up.

Discipline: Be aware. We need to break old bad thinking habits and acquire new ones according to the Word.

Deliverance: Depend on God to set us free.

If you have trouble in this area I would suggest you take a 3×5 card and write out Philippians 4:8. Put it where it is easy for you to see or get too.  You could place it on your desk, in your purse, on your visor in the car; wherever it is handy for you. It would also be a great scripture verse to memorize so you wouldn’t have to depend on finding your card.  Also memorize Philippians 4:6-7

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Wow!  As I read this post, by John MacArthur,  I thought about how much our God really does love us.  He has made promises to us and He tells us in the Bible what He expects from us. If only we would listen, our lives would be so much easier.  If He takes care of the birds, we can rest asured the He will take care of us too.  Often I forget that I’m a child of the King and that I don’t have to live like unbelievers. Isn’t that wonderful?


One of the most hopeless aspects of unrepentant sinners’ lives is that they have no answer for anxiety. They’re forced to put their hopes in flimsy, fallible plans and institutions. They aren’t able to rest firmly in the unchanging promises of God—they have to ride out every wave of calamity, every unexpected disaster.

Click on the link below to read the rest of this post.

Our Father Overcomes Our Anxiety, Part 1.

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I have to admit I sometimes get my mind too much on the temporary things of this world. I wonder what might happen if our economy gets worse.  We are retired so I don’t have to worry if we’d get laid off, but I am concerned about our income. We’re on a fixed income and the future isn’t very bright right now.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these posts by John MacArthur as he helps us see what is really important and why worry is not part of who we are as Christians.  I hope you read them and learn along with me.


You probably remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” trend from the late ’90s. It seemed everywhere you looked, plastered across T-shirts, hats, jewelry, and all kinds of other merchandise, the WWJD slogan was a blithe, shallow reminder to live up to Christ’s moral code..

Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

What Did Jesus Say About Worry?.

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Are you a worrier?  I was for a long time.  It wasn’t until I became a Christian and got into the Word that I discovered that it was not God’s will that I should worry.  When He tells us something we need to sit up and take notice.  And, Jesus plainly tells us that He will take care of us and that we do not need to be anxious about anything.  It took me some time to break the worry habit, but I did with His help and so can you.  In this article John MacArthur continues to teach us about God’s view of worry.


English: Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John B. W...Sherlock Holmes (r) and Dr. John H. Watson. Illustration by Sidney Paget from the Sherlock Holmes story The Greek Interpreter.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes, is one of the most intriguing creations of literary fiction. He is, quite simply, extraordinary. His famous cohort, Dr. John Watson, is ordinary, at least by comparison. Watson has often been erroneously portrayed as a bumbling fool, but that flies in the face of Doyle’s attempt to make the average reader relate to Watson.

Click on the link below to read the rest of this article by John MacArthur.

Observing God’s Care.

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