“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? (Matthew 6:25)
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? (Matthew 6:26)
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27)
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. (Matthew 6:28)
Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (Matthew 6:29)
If that is 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? (Matthew 6:30)
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (Matthew 6:31)
For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. (Matthew 6:32)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
Title: Relax Chicken Little
Who remembers the book Chicken Little?
Delightful / Disturbing – Worry
Summarize… Chicken little – gets hit on the head with an acorn, and becomes convinced that the sky is falling.
Modern day : “The Sky is Falling” just means that you sense something bad is going to happen.
We live in a fear filled world.
Esp – America
Article: America the Anxious – The level of ‘general anxiety among average americans hasn’t been this high since – Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
For the first time in recorded history anxiety is the number one diagnosed disorder.
California – Michelle’s son. The story of Michelle’s son who heard about if Kim Jong moon comes and blows up California. It was on the sermon on the radio.
Are you formed by faith or are you formed by fear?
I know how everybody WANTS to answer that question. “I’m formed by faith.” But ask ourselves “Is that really true?”
For Me: Worrier. / “MIGHT” happen. That is me more times that I can care to admit. I CAN BE a tremendous worrier. I can spend a lot of time thinking about stuff that MIGHT happen.
I’m 34. Yes yes I know that’s old. You don’t need to remind me.
Well a couple years ago, I got bloodwork done. You know what that is, where they take out your blood and look at it and tell you everything you everything did.
Well it came back that one of my liver values was like 4 times higher than it was supposed to be.
“Do you have hepatitis?” God, I hope not. Sounds horrible. What I should have done, was nothing. What I DID do, was google it. The internet super confident that what I had was a liver tumor.
Other symptoms: Back pain, and FULLNESS. (Oh my God! I feel full! I feel full! I knew it!)
Liver was fine. Well come to find out, my liver was fine, those just shot up and we don’t know why and it’s never happened again, and we keep an eye on it.
But I DID suffer from what is knows as Cybercondria. You ever heard of that?
“Cyberchondria : Extreme fear about common symptoms based on search results and online information.” – Type of worry.
Definition : Worry is taking things you don’t know and projecting the worst possible outcome.
Well I’m, 30 years old and I’ve never had a boyfriend, so I’m fairly confident that I’m gonna die alone. Might as well just buy 30 cats, and start dressing them.
- I’m afraid of my family being a victim of violence.
- I’m afraid of not being a good enough husband/wife.
- I’m afraid of not being a good enough parent.
- I’m afraid that my marriage won’t last.
- I’m afraid of losing my job.
- I’m afraid of getting old.
Longer I’m alive, opinions, Jesus, endless.
No one has ever said His life: easy. – Compared to Jesus, our lives, walk in the park.
Something I love about Life of Jesus – If anyone ever had a reason to stress out.
Hebrews 1 – Jesus was “anointed with the oil of gladness more than His companions.”
Basically : Jesus was happier than any of his friends.
My situation doesn’t have to improve for me to worry less.
B/C Most of things you worry about never happen.
BACK TO JESUS:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34)
I love that Jesus goes out of his way to say ‘Don’t spend to much time thinking about tomorrow. Today is plenty. Think about today.’
Thoughts are powerful
Thoughts are powerful – affect reality:
Placebo effect – Facts
Expensive Placebos Work Better Than Cheap Ones
A $2.50 placebo pill is reported to kill more pain than a 10-cent placebo pill, even when they’re identical pills.
Placebo Effects on Depression
In 2009 researchers analyzed 2,800 teenagers were given either an antidepressant or placebo. 57% percent of the people who took an antidepressant we cured, but 49% of teens who took the placebo were cured.
Surgery for angina pectoris (chest pain). In the late 1950s, two doctor conducted tests in which half the patients received skin incision, but no actual surgery. The placebo surgery proved equally effective in reducing chest pain as the actual corrective surgery.
Researchers have found that those who believe they have been drinking vodka (which was actually simply tonic water and lime) had impaired judgement. They did worse on simple tests and their IQ became lower.
Researchers have learned that yellow placebo pills are the most effective at treating depression while red pills cause the patient to be more alert and awake. Green pills help ease anxiety while white pills soothe stomach issues such as ulcers.
The more placebo pills taken the better, with those taken four times a day more effective than those taken twice daily. Pills that have a “brand name” stamped on them also work better than pills that have nothing written on them.
The bigger and more dramatic the intervention, the bigger the placebo effect. Big pills have more effect than small pills, injections have more effect than pills and surgery has the most effect of all.
Tapping into a system that God put in us. “Crazy! Not even real!” – It’s very real. – Tapping into a system that God put in us. Power of your imagination.
Worry is a mis-use of your imagination. Worry is imagining the worst!
(Cole Pic) – Experienced death 1000 times. Cole – experienced his death, 1000 times. – I think about it, I feel it, I dwell on it, I feel the pain of it. And when it came time to actually put him down, God gave us this sense of peace and calm. And it wasn’t nearly as bad as it was all the times I rehearsed it in my head.
“A coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave die once.” (William Shakespeare)
Practical Advice from one chicken little to another.
1. Become a Person of Prayer
Prayer not only changes the world, it changes you. One of the primary purposes of prayer is to be properly formed. That doesn’t happen with one prayer. That happens through a life of prayer. So we come to God and we bare our soul.
Often times where prayer gets interesting is those times when there’s something going on underneath our words that we’d never dare verbalize.
Maybe you’re praying “God, help my father, he’s going through a really hard time.” And really what’s happening in your heart is ‘I hate that man for what he did to me. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.’
Amazing : We come to God, bare our soul, and our worry, and he trade’s his beauty for our ashes.
Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. (Philippians 4:6)
Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:7)
Prayer is hard for a lot of people.
Prayer is a primary spiritual practice of a true Christian.
Jesus prioritized prayer
Also says Jesus went out in the evening to pray. Sometimes even pulled a prayer all-nighter.
Jesus would often prioritize prayer when he had a decision to make.
When he wanted to know what God wanted him to do, he would prioritize prayer.
- The night before he chose his disciples, he spent all night praying.
- He would go away and pray before deciding which town to go to next.
So if you find yourself becoming chicken little, pray. Even if it’s ugly and awkward. Pray.
If you don’t know how to start, pray the psalms.
The psalms are the jewish prayer book.
Pray the Lord Prayer.
And then take a solo – pray from your heart even if it’s ugly.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)
I just think there’s something significant about going to God and letting him hear the sound of your soul.
Just like it says in Philippians : “Before you know it, God’s wholeness will come and settle you down.”
2. Invite someone into the mess
Worst point ever. B/C what you want to do is look like you have it all together.
Hoarders Anyone ever seen the show hoarders? First step: Invite a loved one into the mess.
The first thing God ever said was ‘not good’ was when he saw adam in isolation.
Find a trusted friend, confide in them. And you remember that you’re not alone.
The right people. – Chicken little told his friends, but his friends just agreed with his anxieties, and thus made them worse.
Me : Ministry : Hard
I have people in my life that I share EVERYTHING with. And if I ever get freaked out about the ministry, or my marriage, or the future, or I’m scared of being a dad or something, I call them up. I just spew all my fears and anxieties. And I remember that I’m not alone. They’re not there giving me all the answers. They’re just there with me. And it makes it better.
Job’s miserable comforters.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, that is a friend who cares.” (Henri Nouwen – Wounded Healer)
3. Get up and do something
In John 5 – The lame man by the pool of bethesda. Sick for 38 years. He says to Jesus “What’s the use of getting up, someone gets in the pool before me anyway.”
Jesus : “Get up, take up your mat, and walk.” – And the man was healed.
Notice the action steps : Get up, take up your mat, walk.
For me – Worst worrying I do is around 3am.
For some reason my brain thinks that’s the right time to bring up all the huge problems of the world. But if I’m laying there and I can tell my thoughts are going anywhere good, I get up. And I do something. I’ll read. I’ll play a video game.
I just know that pushing farther into my anxiety doesn’t bring me through it, it pushes me farther into it.
For me, there’s time when I really start feeling like chicken little, I’m freaked out about something.
- I go see a movie with a friend.
- I take a walk and pray.
- I go exercise.
What I DON’T do is just sit there with my own crazy brain, hoping that dwelling on the same problem hour after hour is somehow going to bring a solution. It won’t.
“Idle hands are the Devil’s playground.” For me : Mind When you’re feeling attacked by worry, fear, depression.
- Get up and do something.
- Fight it.
- If you’re alone during the day : Maybe you should volunteer at the rescue mission.
- Or the jail ministry.
- Or a prayer group here at the church.
Great pastor: When we don’t know what to say, God gives us things to do.
Sometimes things happen, maybe someone is sick, or I’m afraid, or discouraged and I don’t know what to say. In those times I’m extremely grateful that God gave me things to DO. I go and love on people. I go and serve people.
300 $1 dollar bills Awhile back, I went to the bank and got $300 in 1 dollar bills and folded them into little 3 dollar bill things and put a paper clip on them. And then I spend the next month giving them out to every panhandler I could find.
That’s not a brag thing at all, I’m just trying to show you that nothing good comes from David sitting around living in his own brain. Nothing good comes of that. So I go and do something awesome.
Learning to trust God with things you can’t control.
Worrying – God’s territory. Whenever I feel like I’m worrying a lot, I know that’s me starting to bleed over into God’s territory. That the secret, hidden things are his. And I’m just supposed to be here, helping what I can help, and trusting him with the rest.
Sarah Young, Jesus Calling
I am leading you step by step through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting me guide you through this day.
Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy, even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things.
When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at the things that are Mine.
This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you.
Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.”
Did you catch that?
Your future is uncertain. This is how it is meant to be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. Has God been good to you in the past? Has he protected you?
Can you trust him?
- Become a Person of Prayer
- Invite someone into the mess
- Get up and do something