Monday, June 16, 2014



This week we start our study in winning the war against worry in earnest.  For the next several weeks we will be studying from Pastor Noble Perry's book "Overwhelmed:  Winning the War Against Worry".  For the past five weeks in preparation for this extended study we have been spending our Sunday adult study sessions in a devotion written by Pastor Perry titled, as has been our study, "Overwhelmed Challenge".  That study is also on this blog.  If you want to study along with our Sunday study group, and get the most from it, you will need to get the book.  You can get it from Amazon by clicking the title of the book link that is above or clicking on the image of the book at the end of the blog.  Join us as we learn to win the war against worry.


The purpose of this study is to show that although we live in a world where all kinds of things and situations can cause us to feel stressed, become depressed and feel overwhelmed that we can win that war by identifying those things that stress us and using the tools and resources available to us a children of God to not only deal with them but to win.

All of us experience stress, anxiety, worry, fear, and depression at some point in our lives and the church for the most part doesn't really talk about it.  In fact we have often hear that if you have enough faith you should never have any of those problems.  Of course we know that isn't true that things happen that are out of our control.  The bible has lots of examples of people who suffered through situations not of their own making. Job for example, and Daniel, who pastor Perry uses in this book, to illustrate how we can deal with those times and win even when we are deeply depressed.


What did you do the last time you went through a stressful time or a time that you were depressed or it you are going through one now how are you dealing with it?  I want to be honest not super spiritual.  You don’t have to be specific about the situation just how you dealt with or are dealing with it.?

In chapter 1 pastor Perry talks about a situation at a youth camp and an incident while tubing.  Before he even got in the tube at the creek he was having second thoughts because of things in his past.  How can past experience especially not so good ones affect our attitude about things and cause us stress?

1.  When he did finally get in the tube he actually did have a problem.  If our initial fears actually happen then what?

For pastor Perry that experience of nearly drowning, or so he thought, was a reminder of what it feels like to be completely overwhelmed especially when someone tells us or we think that it is going to be easy.  I know I have been in some situations, even taken jobs that I thought would be snap, and become completely overwhelmed.  Anybody have something that they care to share?

Well being constantly stressed out and worried, anxious, and full of doubt don’t have to be normal.

Overwhelming situations

In chapter 1 he lists some overwhelming situation that you may have had to deal with in the past or are dealing with now:
  • getting laid off
  • experiencing marital struggles or struggles in a relationship
  • having your first child (none of us will have that one again)
  • graduating from college with a degree, thousands of dollars’ worth of student loans, and no job possibilities in sight (many of our young people are facing this)
  • taking care of aging parents
  • getting a call from your doctor saying you need to come in as soon as possible
  • not being able to get over a past full of mistakes
  • losing someone close to you

2.  When you are going through any of these or similar situations what kind of person is it you don’t want to see and why?

Well these things are real and they won’t go away by themselves but you can work your way out of being in constant stress or depression.  It’s a work in process not an overnight success.  Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning light is true but that doesn’t me joy comes overnight.

3.  How can we choose to between being overwhelmed or to overcome, to win and not surrender?

We can make the decision to overcome.  To do that we have to change our focus.  pastor Perry gives us one scripture from  Hebrews that challenges us to look to Christ Hebrews 12:2 (HCSB) keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.

4.  What are some others you can think of?  

Here are some that I found:

Exodus 34:6 (KJV) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

Psalm 16:11 (HCSB) You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.

John 10:10 (NKJV) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Matthew 6:31-34 (HCSB)31  So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32  For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34  Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  

It’s not the circumstances that need to change for us to not be overwhelmed it’s us and where we put our focus and we should put our focus on God.

5.  Do we really realize how great God is or is it just convenient to say it because we hear it all the time?  

Pastor Perry uses the story of Daniel to illustrate how Daniel changed his focus from the bad circumstances he found himself in after Babylon invaded Judah destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and took the strongest and brightest to Babylon.  

Let’s read Daniel 1:3-7 (HCSB)  3  The king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his court officials, to bring some of the Israelites from the royal family and from the nobility— 4  young men without any physical defect, good-looking, suitable for instruction in all wisdom, knowledgeable, perceptive, and capable of serving in the king’s palace—and to teach them the Chaldean language and literature.  5  The king assigned them daily provisions from the royal food and from the wine that he drank. They were to be trained for three years, and at the end of that time they were to serve in the king’s court. 6  Among them, from the descendants of Judah, were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7  The chief official gave them other names: he gave the name Belteshazzar to Daniel, Shadrach to Hananiah, Meshach to Mishael, and Abednego to Azariah. 

6.  What were the circumstances that Daniel and his friends found themselves in and how did they get there?

The Babylonians wanted to completely change them from Jews to Babylonians including who they worshiped.  They started the process by changing their names.   

The circumstances were real but the first step in overcoming that overwhelming situation was to understand that God is really greater than whatever we are going through.

In pastor Perry’s story about the duck pond where he ran from a goose until he realized that he was bigger than the goose and when he stopped and confronted the goose the goose left.
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  Later on he realized that we often run from things that we have power over.  

What is it we say every Sunday “I have the power to tread on serpents, I have the power to tread on scorpions, I have the power….  Perry quotes 1 John 4:4 (HCSB) 4  You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 

7.  What are some others?

OK so we have to know who we are if we are going to use this power and authority that we have.

In Chapter 3 in the section Embracing Your True Identity  Perry goes back to Daniel and his situation.

8.   What was so important about the two words “But Daniel?

 Daniel 1:8 (KJV) 8  But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Here is the same verse in some other bibles

Daniel 1:8 (BBE)8  And Daniel had come to the decision that he would not make himself unclean with the king's food or wine; so he made a request to the captain of the unsexed servants that he might not make himself unclean.

Daniel 1:8 (GW) 8  Daniel made up his mind not to harm himself by eating the king's rich food and drinking the king's wine. So he asked the chief-of-staff for permission not to harm himself in this way.

9.  How does that apply to you today?

Daniel didn't identify himself with is situation a captured foe or slave but he identified himself as a worshiper of a Great God.  That’s who we are we are not who we were before coming to Christ where we were slaves to sin and to this world system with no way of getting out.  We are now new creatures as Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (HCSB) 17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, ⌊he is⌋ a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

But we have to shed our past and take on our new nature.

10.  How do we do that?

Next week chapters 4-6


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