7540 Lyndon B Johnson Fwy Dallas, TX 75251
Saturday, 4 PM Sunday, 9 AM & 11:15 AM
8000 Western Hills Blvd Fort Worth, TX 76108
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
6401 Parkwood Blvd Frisco, TX 75034
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
6400 K Ave Plano, TX 75074
Sunday, 9 AM & 11 AM
Listen as Adam Tarnow uses Matthew 6:25-34 to remind us that we can fight worry by getting to know God. Trusting that our great God knows us, loves us, and is sovereign over every detail of our lives can give us victory over our anxiety.
At Home Worship
Christmas Eve 2015
The Greatest Invitation
Making Room, Making Disciples
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Your Trial In Heaven
Fort Worth, Here Is What We Think of You
What the Church Who Believes Is and Does
The USA: United States of Anxiety
From Intimacy to Idols
The Standard: Old Testament, Jesus and Believers
The Path to the Good Life
Nothing Short of Miraculous
Confessions From a Bathroom Stall: Lessons Learned in a Battle With Gluttony
How We Come To God
Dealing with Disappointment
The Story That Never Gets Old the God Who Is Always Behind It and the Way We Are Told to Remember It
The "One Thing"
Baptism Celebration 2015
Believing That Leads to Life
What Should I Do With My Money?
Good morning, Dallas. How are we doing? Good. Good morning to Fort Worth and to Plano as well. My name is Adam Tarnow. Glad to be here this morning. I want to start off this morning, set up our time together, just giving you guys a little glimpse into my life. Next month, in August, I will be celebrating my thirteenth anniversary. Hold on. It is 13 years of being in Texas, not marriage. I have been in Texas now for 13 years.
There is a lot I love about living in Texas. I love the people. I love the culture. I love the cost of living. I love the Cowboys. I love the Rangers. I love the Mavericks. All the stuff. There's a lot I love about living in Texas, but there is one thing about living in Texas, specifically here in North Texas, I don't love. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I hate it. It's my least favorite thing about North Texas. That thing is the thunderstorms. The storms. Nobody told me before I moved to Texas about the size and the magnitude and the severity of these storms.
You guys know exactly what I'm talking about because they happen every spring. You know what they're like. It's these storms that roll through with these cold fronts. They are the size of a small planet. They are rolling through. There is thunder. There is lightning. There is hail coming down the size of small station wagons. There are tornadoes everywhere. There are flash floods, torrential downpours, and all of this kind of stuff. I can't stand those things. They freak me out. I had no clue Texas had these massive thunderstorms.
Where I grew up in the DC area we had thunderstorms, but they were just annoying. That's it. We just had to get out of the pool. That's all we had to do with the thunderstorm. We didn't have to get into a shelter. I never grew up knowing the phrase, "Turn around. Don't drown." I didn't know that. Nobody in Maryland knows that. If you say that to somebody in Maryland, they'll be like, "What? Turn around? Where? Why? What's going on?"
Then I went to college. Anybody here ever heard of Texas A&M? Yeah. I didn't go there. Okay? That's not where I went. I went to this little school in South Carolina probably a lot of you guys haven't heard of called Clemson University. Well, in fact, there is a group of people who have heard of Clemson. That group of people is my OU friends out there. You guys know exactly who Clemson is. That week, we crushed y'all. Yes, that game was seven months ago, and no, I have not forgotten. No, you haven't either.
So I go to Clemson, and it's in South Carolina. Again, annoying thunderstorms. I move to Atlanta after that. Just kind of annoying thunderstorms. Then I move here to Texas and it's just like, "Whoa!" after my first spring. I'm like, "What are these things?" What gets me is the native Texans… These storms do not faze you guys at all. It's just not a big deal. Now when the ice comes or there's the threat, the slightest threat, of frozen precipitation, it's like, "Ahhh! Close everything. Just close it all. Let's go buy. Let's go to the grocery store."
Then, when these storms are coming, you turn on the news. You're just watching Good Morning America or something. You turn on the news in the spring, and then the weather comes up. There's Greg Fields looking all fine in his glasses and his tie. He's telling you what the weather forecast is going to be.
He's kind of like, "Yeah. This afternoon a cold front is coming through. It's going to look like the end of the world. There will be torrential downpours. There will be multiple tornadoes. There will be thunder and lightning and hail. So that's what's going on. All right. I think we have a story about puppies. Let's go." And they just kind of cut over.
I'm sitting there watching that news going, "This is the day to stay home, the day we know there is going to be tornadoes. Why are we not closing school now?" The native Texans, you guys are like, "That's just not a big deal." It doesn't even faze you.
Over 13 years, there is something real that has happened in my life. What's happened is I have developed this real anxiety around these thunderstorms, and specifically the tornadoes. I can get myself convinced I am going to die in a tornado. There is real anxiety that wells up in me based on my experience here. I wish I could stand up here this morning and tell you guys that's the only fear I have in my life or that's the only anxiety I have in my life, but it's not.
I just wrote down some other things I worry about. I worry about the health of myself and my family all the time. I feel like in my house right now, somebody has been coughing since February. It's concerned me. I'm Googling, "What is black lung?" I don't even know what that is, but I'm convinced there is something going on in my house.
I'm concerned about and worried about my friends who are trying to start a family and got some really discouraging news over the past couple of weeks. I find myself concerned about that for them. I have some work deadlines this month here and big deadlines at the end of July. I find myself going, "Man, I hope I can get all these things done." I'm concerned about that.
I'm concerned about our country. I'm concerned about, "What if Jade Helm is real?" Those of you who don't know that, don't Google it. These are things I really am concerned about, and that's just stuff from this past week. If I were going to go back farther, the list would be longer and longer, and we would sit here forever. I would probably give you things to worry about if I listed all the stuff I worry about.
I start with all that this morning because what we're going to do and the topic we're going to talk about this morning is worry and anxiety and fear. Specifically, we're going to see what Jesus has to say about this topic. Let me tell you why this is so important for so many of us. The reason this is so important for us is this.
Let me just share a couple of stats with you. The National Institute of Mental Health will say the number one mental health issue in America today is anxiety disorders. It impacts 18.1 percent of American adults. Let me just put a real number on that. That's about 44 million adults every year who struggle with an anxiety disorder.
I direct the college ministry here at Watermark, so I spend a lot of time with college students. There is a really sobering stat for college students as well. There's a book that came out a few years ago called College of the Overwhelmed. Right now, on college campuses in America, the number one prescribed drug is no longer birth control or acne medication. The number one prescribed drug on college campuses right now is antianxiety medication.
What gets me about both of those stats is those are people who decided to raise their hand and go seek medical attention. Those are people who said, "My life and the anxiety in my life is so out of control right now that I feel like I need help." I know that doesn't get everybody who struggles with anxiety. It seems to be a universal struggle for so many of us. It seems like America is losing its battle with anxiety.
What we're going to do this morning is see that Jesus is going to tell us it does not have to be this way. We don't have to lose our battle with it. What we're going to do this morning is look at arguably one of the most famous sections of one of the most famous sermons Jesus ever preached, or probably the most famous sermon. It's a section out of the Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in the book of Matthew, chapters 5, 6, and 7. Specifically we're going to look in Matthew, chapter 6, verses 25-33. We're going to hear Jesus' perspective on worry.
In the Sermon on the Mount, he will have just finished talking about money and what our relationship with money and possessions should be. It makes a bunch of sense that the next topic Jesus would talk about after money is worry. Specifically what we're going to see this morning is Jesus, as we go through this passage, is going to make three points.
He's going to remind us that worry is a waste of time.
He's going to remind us that God knows us. He knows us. He knows what is going on. He knows what to do.
He is going to encourage us to fight worry but to fight it by getting to know God.
If you have your Bibles, let's open up to Matthew, chapter 6. We'll start in verse 25. Here's what Jesus says, "Therefore…" Calling back to, "Hey, I just got done talking about money." "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear." So there is the what. He starts off right off the gate. Here is his overall perspective on worry, anxiety, and fear. He doesn't want us to do it. Don't do it.
He offers a lot of reasons why, and this is where he goes. "Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" The answer to that is, Yes. Life is more than just what we eat or what we wear. Jesus is actually on like a hill. He's outside when he is doing this teaching in a natural amphitheater. Being the good teacher he is, he just starts looking around at different things going on around him to find these illustrations to make a point.
He's looking around, and obviously there are some birds flying around. He says, "Hey, here's a great observation or a great illustration." Verse 26: "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?"
The second question is answered. Yes. "Look at these birds. Look at them. They are flying around, and they're not worried. They're not worried about where their next meal is going to come from. They're not worried about what is going to happen tomorrow. You are more important than the birds. If God takes care of the birds and you're more important than them, isn't he also going to take care of you?" The answer is, Yes. Then in verse 27, he says, "Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Jesus' first point this morning is really simple.
1._ Worry is a waste of time._ Just really practically, it is a complete waste of time. It's like being on a treadmill. You're on a treadmill, and you're running and you're running and you're running. You're really getting tired. The problem is you're moving nowhere. You're making no progress, but you're expending a bunch of energy, burning a bunch of calories, and getting yourself really worked up although you're moving nowhere. That's what worry is like. We do all of this, and it does absolutely nothing to change the future.
Now Jesus is not saying worry doesn't change our life, because it really does change our life. We all know this. Worry changes our life. The problem is it changes the wrong part of our life. When we worry, we're worried about something in the future. We want something in the future to go better, or we're worried something bad is going to happen in the future. Jesus tells us plainly, "When you worry, it's not going to change the future. The only thing it changes is today. It changes the day that you don't necessarily want to change."
I haven't read it better than the way Corrie ten Boom, who was a Holocaust survivor and a follower of Jesus, says it. She says it this way. "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." We all know that. When we worry and when we're concerned, it doesn't change the thing we want it to change. It just causes us to miss the moment.
I was reminded of this. Right before I moved here 13 years ago, I was living in Atlanta and sharing a house with a couple of guys. One of the guys I was sharing a house with said, "Hey, before you move to Dallas, why don't we do this? Why don't we go hike a couple of days out on the Appalachian Trail?" The Appalachian Trail is this great hiking trail that runs from Maine all the way down to Georgia. The start or the finish, depending on which way you go, of the Appalachian Trail is just a couple of hours north of Atlanta.
He said, "Hey, we have some friends who live up there. We can drive up there and stay the night. They'll take us to this trailhead." We were not going to start at the beginning. We were going to start about 20 or 30 miles south of North Carolina. We were planning on spending a couple of days on the trail hiking up to North Carolina. Then our friend was going to come pick us up.
We get all ready, get the backpack on, get the gear on, get the shoes on, get the hat on. Everything is ready to go. We have this big breakfast. We get dropped off at the trailhead. We're right there. Our friend drives off, and it's just us. I'm about ready to walk on the trail, and I see this sign right there by the trailhead. It's like from the park rangers or the state park. It just says, "Great news! The bear population has doubled over the last five years!"
I'm reading that and I'm like, "What kind of sick person says this is great news?" I look at my friend, and I'm like, "There are bears in here, in this woods? We're going into them? And our friend just left? And you're telling me it's great news that it has now doubled?" He is like, "Yeah. I guess so." I'm like, "Ohhh. No. No. No. I did not know this was part of it."
I just sit there and go, "All right. Well, we have 30 miles? Let's go. We're going to power walk all the way up to North Carolina. I'm going to get out of these woods as fast as I possibly can." There was just this fear and this anxiety. It just welled up in me. I was so hyper-aware of everything. My memory of the Appalachian Trail is dirt, like just right there in front of me. Just the dirt. I'm just walking along, and I'm just looking around.
Every little squirrel that rustled I'm like, "Okay, we're going to die." It was this really, really stressful two days. I didn't feel a sense of peace until I got back in the car and headed home. I missed it. This was a beautiful part of the country. This was a historic and well-known trail, some of the best parts, and I missed it. I missed all of it. I couldn't enjoy any of it because I was so worried about, "What if something happens?"that it completely ruined the moment for me.
Jesus tells us really clearly here one of the reasons he doesn't want us to worry is because it's a waste of time. It doesn't change the future; it only changes today. The worry doesn't help us; it hurts us. The worry doesn't work for us; it works against us. It doesn't improve the future; it only worsens today. He has another reason, so let's keep going.
2._ God knows._ In verse 28, he says, "And why do you worry about your clothes?" Now he uses another example from just right out there on the mountain. He says, "See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Solomon, the richest king, arguably the richest person ever to walk on the planet, had all this money. He was rich; therefore, he had a lot of clothes. He probably at certain times looked great.
Jesus is going, "Look at these flowers. Not even Solomon looked as good as these things do." He says, "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?" The answer to that question is, Yes.
In verse 31, here's what he says. "So do not worry…" He says it again. "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things…" What Jesus is starting to do here is go, "Hey, look at the birds and look at the flowers. God takes care of them. He takes care of those. He's going to take care of you. Don't get all worked up and start to worry about that. When you do that, you're acting like the pagans."
The pagans were simply people who did not have a relationship with God. Because they did not have a relationship with God, Jesus is basically saying, "That would be fitting for them to run around and freak out about all of this stuff, but not so with you because you do have this relationship with God." He wraps up verse 32, "…and your heavenly Father knows that you need them." Jesus' second point is…
2._ God knows._ So worry is a waste of time, but then there is also something else going on. That is God knows your situation. He knows you. He knows what you need. He's the one who knows exactly what to do in whatever situation you are facing.
He's basically telling us, "If life starts to seem chaotic, if it seems like there's a storm around you, you can take comfort in the fact that there is somebody who knows what is going on in the midst of that storm." Does that not bring us comfort when we're facing a chaotic situation? Doesn't that bring us comfort to know there is a leader there or there is somebody who seems to have an idea of what is going on?
Every time I walk on an airplane it brings me comfort to see a pilot standing there with a confident grin on their face, maybe a little gray hair, and a look of general sobriety. That brings me peace to know that, to go, "Okay, this is chaotic. I'm going to be flying in a tube at 700 miles an hour, in this hunk of metal. It's good to know somebody knows or appears to know what is going on there."
Jesus is telling us, "Guys, hear this. Listen. We have somebody better than a pilot hanging out with us. We have the Creator of the universe who knows you. He knows what you need, and he knows exactly what to do." Think about that for a second. He knows. Whatever baggage you brought in here this morning, whatever your concerns are, whatever your worries are, whatever those things are that are causing that fear and that anxiety in your life, he knows. God is not overwhelmed by that. He's not surprised by that.
He knows the concerns you have for your kids right now. He knows that. He knows the concerns you have for your marriage right now. He knows that. He knows whatever happened this weekend. He knows you're concerned about the future. He knows the insecurities you're struggling with. He knows the financial burdens and the pressures you're under right now. He knows all of that stuff. He's not surprised. He knows you. He knows what you need, and he knows exactly what to do.
Isn't the reason, guys, so many times we struggle with anxiety or we get anxious or we get worried about something… Isn't one of the reasons we do that because we don't trust the one in control? We're assessing the situation. We're trying to figure out who is in control here, and we just don't trust the one who is in control.
Honestly, that's the reason I was so freaked out on the Appalachian Trail. I was looking at the situation, and I was going, "Who is in control here? Well, it's probably me. I'm the one who is in control here, and I don't trust me." Let me just give you some of my resume as to why I'm not a trustworthy person in this. I was an accounting major in college. I was a CPA for 10 years.
I spent 2 years in seminary. I've been a pastor for 5 years. I'm not the guy you want on your high-risk adventure situations. The riskiest thing I've ever done is I have been white water rafting once. Sometimes, when I'm really feeling risky, I drink coffee after three o'clock in the afternoon. "I'm just going to try this and see if I can go to sleep tonight,"and I just drink that thing down. I'm not the guy you want. When I grew up, I grew up playing baseball, not in Boy Scouts.
I'm on that trail and I'm like, "If this rouge bear comes after us, my curveball is going to do nothing in this situation. My four-seam fastball is not going to help. If there is a snakebite or some rogue squirrel takes out my friend, I don't know what to do."That was concerning to me. I remember even asking my friend, "So what are we going to do if there is actually a bear?" He's like, "I don't know." I'm just like, "Man, that is not comforting right now because that means it is up to me."
Jesus is reminding us… Listen to this, guys. Jesus is reminding us, "Do you want to know who is in control? It's not you, and it's not me. It is the sovereign God of the universe." What that means is this. We have to be honest with ourselves and admit this. When we worry and when we struggle with anxiety, what we're really saying is we are afraid God is going to get something in the future wrong.
If we're not the one in control, and he is, and our anxiety is because we don't trust the one who is in control, what we're really communicating is we think something about the future is going to be wrong, that he is going to get something wrong. If Jesus were here to hear that, I think he would just sit there and go, "That is impossible."
He's the sovereign Creator of the universe. He loves you. He has grace and mercy for you. He knows your situation. He's the only one who is never worried. He's not caught off guard or by surprise. Another reason Jesus does not want us to worry is because God knows. Now Jesus wants us to do something with this.
Let's look at how he wraps up this section. Pick it up in verse 33. He says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Jesus' third point here is…
3._ He wants us to fight worry._ He wants us to fight it, but the way he wants us to fight it is maybe different than the way we think about it when we think about the word fight. The way he wants us to fight it is he wants us to make pursuing and getting to know God a priority in our life. That's what he just says there in verse 33. The word but is grammatically a change in direction. Jesus just got done with all of this, talking about all of these different situations we may worry about, and now what he wants us to do is but to do something else.
He wants us to change direction. Worry is over there. He is saying, "Turn your back on it. Now I want you to focus on pursuing and getting to know God. In fact, I want you to do that to the point where it is a priority in your life. Get to know him." The way you fight worry, the way Jesus wants us to fight worry, is not by sitting there and just trying to resist worry. He wants us to fight it by refocusing on the Father, refocusing on the one who knows.
As I mentioned, I spend a lot of time with college students. That stat about how the number one prescribed drug on college campuses right now is antianxiety medication, I see that. The other people on my team, Daniel and Caroline, we see that. If there was one word I could use to describe the college students I see right now, that word, without a doubt, would be overwhelmed.
So many of them are showing up on this campus, and they're just overwhelmed. They're tense, nervous, freaking out about so much stuff. It seems like every test they take, what is really on the line is the rest of their life. We'll have conversations like this all the time, where you're talking to somebody and be like, "How is your week going?"
"Oh, I'm really nervous. I'm kinda freaking out."
"Well, what are you freaking out about?"
"I have my accounting test this week, and I have to get a good grade on it."
"Really? Why do you have to get a good grade on it?"
"Why do I have to get a good grade on it? I have to get a good grade on it because if I don't get a good grade on it, then I'm not going to get into the School of Business. If I don't get into the School of Business, then I'm not going to get my finance degree. If I don't get a finance degree, I'm not going to get a good job. If I don't get a good job, then I'm not going to make a lot of money. If I don't make a lot of money, then I'm not going to be able to live in that apartment complex where everybody lives.
If I don't live in that apartment complex, then how am I going to meet the man of my dreams? If I don't meet the man of my dreams, then I'm going to live alone. If I live alone, then that means I'm going to start buying Mickey Mouse sweatshirts. If I start buying Mickey Mouse sweatshirts, you know what comes next, Adam? A cat. And you know what comes after a cat? A lot of cats. So I have to pass this accounting test, because if not I'm going to be crazy cat lady with Mickey Mouse sweatshirts."
"Yeah. You probably should study then. Okay?" That sounds terrible. I would be freaked out about that.
We saw one of our leaders… She came in three years ago. She is going to be a third-year student over at SMU right now. The first year she came in, she was just the classic…anxious about everything. What was different about her, though, was she knows Jesus. She loves Jesus. She wants to fight the anxiety. She knows being constantly this ball of tension is probably not best for her. It's not honoring to God. So she was trying to fight and fight and fight her anxiety. It just seemed like she was losing the battle.
Then she had a friend come up to her and say, "Listen, this is great you want to fight all of this, but I think what is going on here is you are trying to obey verse 25 and verse 31 and verse 34. You're trying to obey the "Do not worry," but you're missing verse 33. You're trying to obey and do what Jesus tells you to do, but the problem is you don't trust the one who is in control.
For that friend of ours, it was one of the most profound things she had ever thought of or heard about when it came to trying to fight her anxiety. She just changed her plan of attack. She turned her back on the worrying and goes, "The feelings are there and all of this is there, but now I'm going to focus on getting to know the heart of God, getting to know the character of this God."
Her friend just kept saying, "Hey, do you know who this God is? Do you know he created all of this? Do you know he loves you? Do you know how much compassion he has for you? Do you know the grace and the mercy? Have you seen his faithfulness? You have the record of it in Scripture. Then you have all these other friends who you've seen who have gone through storms, and they've made it. You have this record of faithfulness in the church. This God knows you. He knows what you need, and he knows what to do."
As she did that, as she stopped focusing on trying to fight anxiety and shifted her focus to getting to know the heart of the one who is in control, her struggle with anxiety just completely changed. Guys, here is the deal. We don't have to be the USA, the United States of Anxiety. We don't have to be that way.
Jesus is reminding us this morning, and I want to make sure we hear this, that worry is a waste of time. The reason we don't have to do it is because our Father knows. He knows what is going on. He knows what to do, and he knows exactly what we need. He is encouraging us to fight worry by refocusing our attention and pursuing the heart of the one who is in control, pursuing the heart and the character of the Father. Make that the priority in our life.
I'll close with this. This past spring, we had some bad weather around here. It was biblical proportions of rain. Some of you guys were like, "What kind of wood did Noah use for that ark? What's a cubit? How long? Is that about a yard? Okay. I'm going to see if I can tear down my fence and build an ark here."
Just some stats. By June thirtieth, we had 35.58 inches of rain. Our average annual rainfall here in North Texas is 36.14. I know within the first couple of weeks of July we already exceeded our annual average. Also in the month of May, the National Weather Service issued close to 600 flash flood warnings in North Texas and southern Oklahoma. In May! That's more than all of 2014. The one that really freaked me out this spring is there were over 40 confirmed tornadoes that took place here in North Texas.
This spring was one of the most active weather-wise we have had in North Texas since 2006. What is funny is since I've been here, for 13 years, I remember very clearly 2006. I remember it very clearly. It, to my shame, was one of the most embarrassing and worst seasons of my life. That spring season in 2006, my whole mood, my whole day, was determined by Greg Fields' weather forecast.
If I woke up that morning and I was getting ready for work, and there was a threat of a cold front coming through, there was a threat of tornadoes, there was a threat of torrential downpours, there was a threat of hail, then that ruined my entire day. My entire day would be focused on reading the National Weather Service forecast discussion, being on Twitter, looking at the radar, just obsessing over, "What's the sky look like outside?" There were days, to my shame, I left work because I just could not focus. I just disappeared. In 2006, anxiety was winning in my life.
I was talking with some friends as we were preparing for this morning. They were like, "Well, how was the last spring for you? What was 2015 like?" I was like, "Well, it certainly wasn't my favorite. It wasn't my preference to have all of this stuff, but I can say this spring was very, very different than the spring of 2006." They were like, "All right. Well, why? What's different? What changed? What's the secret?"
As I sat there and thought about it for a little bit, I was like, "I don't really know if it's a secret. What changed between 2006 and 2015 was I didn't just know Jesus' words, I believed him. I believed there was this direct correlation between my relationship with anxiety and my relationship with God."
I'll tell you one thing that didn't change was the number of times I felt anxious. If you were to take the number of times I had anxious feelings in my stomach, heart, or in my body in 2006 and add all those up and compare them to 2015, I'd bet the numbers were the same. I'd bet 2015 was worse. I felt just as anxious this spring as I did in '06, but the change was just going, "Hey, just because I feel it today doesn't mean I should give in to it today."
I took all of those feelings of anxiety and said, "This is now an opportunity to get to know my Father. This is now an opportunity to remind myself of truth, to remind myself he is the God of the universe. He controls the wind and the waves. They obey him. He loves me. He is for me. He is not mad at me. He is not trying to punish me. The future he has for me is not mean. He cares about me. He cares about my family. He knows what is going on. He knows what to do, and he knows exactly what I need."
I think the difference between 2015 and 2006 was just this understanding that anxiety is a battle we have to fight every day. It's not a war you just win. It's a battle you have to fight every single day. It's not fighting it, like trying to pull yourself up by your bootstraps; it's fighting it by leaning into God and just taking all of those as opportunities to get to know the heart of the one who is in control.
I don't know where you are this morning. I don't know what storm is going on in your life right now. I don't know if it's kids-related, health-related, marriage-related, or financial-related, but I know there are some people in here who are fighting it.
You're fighting it the right way. You're fighting it by taking all of those feelings of anxiety, and you're using those as opportunities to remind yourself this God of the universe knows you. He knows what to do, and he is on your side. He knows what you need, and you're fighting it. I just want to let you know you're not wasting your time. Keep it up.
There are some of you here this morning who are like where I was in '06. You're like where my friend was when she showed up on the campus of SMU, and you just feel like anxiety is just winning. I want to encourage you that there is hope. It does not have to be that way. There is hope, and the hope is because we have a Father in heaven who knows. He knows you. He knows what you need, and he knows exactly what to do. Let's pray and thank him for that.
God, we thank you for your love and your grace and your mercy in our life. We thank you, God,
we're more important than the birds, and you take care of them. We are more important than the flowers of the field and the grass in the field, and you clothe them. You will clothe us. We're grateful, Lord, you are not overwhelmed by the things that are going on in our life, that you haven't left us alone, that you're not sitting up there with your arms crossed just wanting us to change the way we feel.
Thank you for the reminder that when we worry it wastes time. We thank you for the reminder that we have you as our source and as our hope. We thank you that you've armed us to fight this battle against worry, and you've armed us with the gift of you and your presence. So God, for all of us in here today, I pray you will help us to fight well and to trust you. We ask this in Jesus' name.
It's so awesome we can come in here, and we can sing to him. It's just amazing to know we can have hope in the midst of storms and that we can call out to this Father who knows what we need and knows what to do. The reason we can do that is because we've been set free from the storm of our sin. Because of what Jesus Christ has done…the one who taught us this morning…we now have hope. We don't have to be overrun by fear or overrun by anxiety.
If you're in here this morning and you don't know this Jesus, I'd love to invite you to come forward. There will be a bunch of people up here who would love to talk to you about this amazing God who sent his Son to die for you so you can know him. It was a pleasure to be with you guys this morning. You guys all have a great week of worship.