Faith The Stress Buster

Phil 4:6-7

6 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. NLT

This message was preached March 2, 2003, at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at ToulonBaptist.com  
 

God is the secret to stress relief. Many people think that "the God thing" is just a cop out, a crutch. As one preacher said God is a crutch and we are cripples in need of a crutch. Today in our quest to conquer stress, I want to talk about God. Now of course we are not talking about an abstract God but a personal God and our relationship to Him.

Stress, worry, anxiety are simply different words for similar conditions. Now as we have said, stress is a part of life but it often leads to anxiety and worry.

Paul has a simple formula here that has helped millions of people down through the ages. Like any medicine it does no good unless it is taken internally.

  1. God
    1. Don't worry about anything
      1. This does not mean that we can retire at 24 and God will take care of us the rest of our lives.
        1. I knew a young man about that age who got involved in a church and came to the view that God was going to take care of him.
        2. In reality it was his parents and friends that took care of him.
        3. The apostle Paul had very good advice for such a person.
        4. 2 Thess 3:10 "Whoever does not work should not eat." NLT
      2. To worry is to be stressed before the need to be stressed arises.
      3. Worry is a denial of trust.
      4. When someone tells you they will do something very important and we doubt what they say, we worry they will not complete.
        1. But God is faithful to do all that He has promised.
        2. If you understand God's faithfulness you cannot worry over weather or not He will keep His promises.
      5. Sometimes we doubt a person's ability and worry that they will not do what they have said.
        1. But God is all powerful.
        2. He accomplishes His plan and purpose every day.
        3. As God once asked Abraham, "Is there anything too hard for the Lord."
      6. Sometimes someone contracts to do a job for us but because the are dishonest they get away with the money without doing the job.
        1. God is just.
        2. He cannot lie.
        3. When God promised Abraham, Heb 6:13 For example, there was God's promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, NLT
      7. Sometimes we doubt another person' intentions to us but if you are a child of God His intentions are only good.
        1. Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. NLT
        2. Rom 8:31-32 What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? NLT
    2. Pray about everything
      1. God is a loving father who wants to give us the things we ask for.
      2. Nothing good will He withhold from us if we ask Him.
        1. What we think is good for us and what God thinks is good for us might not be the same things.
      3. Pray about your job, your crops, your neighbor, your car, your health, your children, your spouse, your parents, and so on.
      4. My mother used to be the world's biggest worrier.
        1. The old saying was that if mom didn't have something to be worried about she would need to worry about that.
        2. But I noticed that my mother in the last years of her life did not worry even though she really had more to worry about.
        3. After he death I understood what had taken place.
        4. She had gotten involved in a weekly evening Bible Study.
        5. I have dozen of tapes from those studies.
        6. I have almost a dozen two inch binders filled with Bible Study outlines with her notes all over them.
        7. She didn't miss church either.
        8. You see she came to a much fuller understanding of Her God.
        9. She knew that He was God and that she could bring anything to Him in prayer.
        10. As my mother seemed to be on the very verge of death her pastor came into her room and asked her if she was going to spend Thanksgiving in the Father's house and she shook her head yes.
      5. How do you get from stress to peace, by knowing God intimately.
    3. Tell God what you need
      1. I know that He knows what we need before we ask.
      2. But He still bids us ask.
        1. God has chosen to bless us if we ask.
        2. God has chosen to withhold the blessings we could have if we refuse to come to Him asking.
        3. Just think of it, the greatest blessings are ours for the asking while for those who do not ask only want and need are there.
      3. Now remember our previous passage.
        1. God expects us to do our part.
        2. If you want a nice car, you might need to get a job.
        3. If you like wearing nice clothes, you might need to get a job.
        4. If you like nice things, you might need to get a job.
        5. God is not responsible to give you the things He expects you to earn for yourself.
      4. Matt 7:7-8 "Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks. NLT
      5. 1 John 3:21 Dear friends, if our conscience is clear, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive whatever we request because we obey him and do the things that please him. NLT
      6. This is all based on relationship and not on God's obligation to us in any way.
    4. Thank him for all he has done
      1. Doesn't it seem reasonable that if we ask Him, we should be thankful to what He has already done.
      2. The opposite of thankfulness is complaint and there is not much space in between.
      3. One of the gravest of sins in the Old Testament was the thanklessness of the children of Israel.
  2. If you do this, you will experience God's peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Next week we want to finish this message.

Does the peace of God guard your hearts and minds?

Then according to this you need a closer walk with Jesus. Notice this last vers says, "His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."