In this sermon, Pastor Mark tells how to rejoice in all circumstances, even when you’re stressed about the past, present, and future and how to move forward with faith replacing your fear.
Find Joy Even When You Feel Stressed: Philippians 3:17-4:7
With holidays over, everyone is dealing with stress
Travel, weight, spending, family, work
- What are you anxious about?
- What keeps you up at night?
- What is the first thing on your mind in the morning?
- What signs is your body giving you (fight or flight)
Mood swings, exhaustion, nervous twitch, brain fog, canker sores, weight gain or loss, panic moments feeling overwhelmed, fantasies about dying or running away, bad sleep patterns, high blood pressure, self medicating, grumpiness, aggressive driving, heart or stomach issues
My testimony until recently
- Lose –escalates to panic attacks & isolation (vs solitude)
- Win – try to overcome anxiety on my own (self help/self savior)
- Worship – inviting God into my anxiety
Are You Living Hell Up or Heaven Down?
Philippians 3:17-4:1 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
- Residence – where we are today
- Citizenship – where we will be forever
Option 1 – Hell Up
- Enemies Jesus, destruction, god belly/pleasure, glory shame, mind blind God/Heaven
- Paul has “tears” like God who does not rejoice in death of the wicked
Option 2 – Heaven Down
- Follow Jesus until we see Jesus
Which Relationships Are Strained?
Philippians 4:2-3 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
- Two good godly women who had some relational strain
- Invite in a godly person to help mend the relationships
- Not necessarily a sin issue (sin never mentioned in the book)
- Much of our stress anxiety is relational w/family and friends
Find Joy Even When You Feel Stressed
Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- the most popular You Version Bible verse from this year: Philippians 4:6
- Grace’s life verse (and annual verse) e.g. Isaiah
- Why? Stress, fear, worry, anxiety an epidemic
- Paul understands – in jail, uncertain future, no family, far from friends, critics
1. Make every day Thanksgiving.
Find how you can “Rejoice in the Lord always” “with thanksgiving”
2. Make your will your rudder.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” -mental reasoning to make wise, faith-filled decisions that drive you forward into God’s will. This is the opposite of being unreasonable and allowing your emotions and circum-stances to steer you toward rocks that will sink you.
3. When you start to panic, stop to pray.
Spirit of fear
4. When you fear what you don’t want, figure out what you do want.
“let your requests be known to God”
5. Remove the spirit of fear by remembering the presence of God.
#1 command/invitation “Fear not,” – few hundred times, we forget God reminds
“the Lord is at hand”
The peace of God’s presence will guard/soldier your heart (emotions) mind (thoughts)
3 Reasons Fear is a Fraud
1). What you fear may not happen
2). Your fear may be more harmful to you than what you fear
3). Even if what you fear happens, you might be fine
Jesus Gethsemane – fear, anxiety, prayer, “if”, “your will be done”
Jesus endured all of our worst fears