The Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study Group is now going through and studying the book "Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World" by Max Lucado. In this book Max reminds us that we can trust God in all things. He is good, he does good, and he is working all things together for your good and His Glory.
The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control.” He's in control and He is always present and that He cares about you and your situation. The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. Anxiety is not a sin; it is an emotion. So don’t be anxious about feeling anxious. Anxiety can, however, lead to sinful behavior.
Anxiety is needless because God is near.
The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional. Anxiety is not a sin; it is an emotion. So don’t be anxious about feeling anxious. Anxiety can, however, lead to sinful behavior.
Unchecked anxiety unleashes an Enola Gay of destruction.The Enola Gay was the name that the pilot gave the aircraft targeted at the city of Hiroshima, Japan, and caused the destruction of about three quarters of the city.How many people have been wounded as a result of unbridled stress? And how many disasters have been averted because one person refused to buckle under the strain? It is this composure Paul is calling us to when he said:
Philippians 4:5-6 NIV Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
The Greek word translated here as gentleness (epieikes) describes a temperament that is seasoned and mature.2 It envisions an attitude that is fitting to the occasion, level headed and tempered. The gentle reaction is one of steadiness, evenhandedness, fairness. It “looks humanely and reasonably at the facts of a case.”3 Its opposite would be an overreaction or a sense of panic.
We have a heavenly Father who is with us through every trial. And he invites you and me to talk to him about each one. So the next time you look into the face of a problem, look into the face of your Father. He will never react with impatience or condemnation. Only gentleness.9
This gentleness is “evident to all.” Family members take note. Your friends sense a difference. Coworkers benefit from it. Others may freak out or run out, but the gentle person is sober minded and clear thinking. Contagiously calm.
We talked about a sober mind on Sunday. A disciplined life is a living sacrifice and a disciplined life thinks soberly.
Discipline is the ability to stay focused on the task at hand. It finishes the assignment or completes the course. A disciplined person trains to improve their strength and self-control. They are religious at carrying out routines, fulfilling checklists, and getting things done. Discipline is designed to grow your faith with regular readings from God’s Word and engaging prayers of praise, thanksgiving, confession, and repentance.
Romans 12:3 NIV For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
The word “sober” is translated as “self-controlled,” or “disciplined.” A disciplined mind so governs all passions and desires so that the believer becomes conformed to the mind of Christ.
Romans 12:2 NIV Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are to think disciplined thoughts about ourselves and not think more highly of ourselves than we ought. We are not to be proud or self-absorbed but sober and disciplined. We are to exhibit a humble, surrendered attitude.
Matthew 5:5 MSG “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
2 Timothy 1:7 NIV For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline
This is the kind of life we as believers are to live.
The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control.” He's in control and He is always present and that He cares about you and your situation.
Remember last week we talked about the difference between Christianity and deism, pantheism, and atheism was that God is personally and powerfully involved in his creation”,
Deism says no He doesn’t care. Deism is the belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. God created the universe and then abandoned it.
Pantheism says no. Pantheism is the belief that the universe is in some sense divine and should be revered pantheism identifies the universe with god but denies any personality or transcendence of such a god while deism is a philosophical belief in the existence of a god (or goddess) knowable through human reason; especially, a belief in a creator god unaccompanied by any belief in supernatural phenomena or specific religious doctrines. Creation has no story or purpose unto itself; it is only a part of God.
Atheism says no. Atheism is the philosophy that dismisses the existence of a god will, in turn, dismiss the possibility of a divine plan.
Christianity, says, “Yes, there is a God. Yes, this God is personally and powerfully involved in his creation”, and that includes you and me.
God repeatedly pledges his proverbial presence to his people.
To Abram, God said, “Do not be afraid…. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Gen. 15:1).
To Hagar, the angel announced, “Do not be afraid; God has heard” (Gen. 21:17 NIV).
When Isaac was expelled from his land by the Philistines and forced to move from place to place, God appeared to him and reminded him, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (Gen. 26:24 NLT).
After Moses’ death God told Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Josh. 1:9 NIV).
God was with David, in spite of his adultery. With Jacob, in spite of his conniving.
With Elijah, in spite of his lack of faith.
Then, in the ultimate declaration of communion, God called himself Immanuel, which means “God with us.” He became flesh. He became sin. He defeated the grave. He is still with us. In the form of his Spirit, he comforts, teaches, and convicts.
“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Ps. 118:6 NIV).
Because God is always present, near we shouldn't be anxious.
We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath!
This was the reassuring lesson from the miracle of the bread and fish. In an event crafted to speak to the anxious heart, Jesus told his disciples to do the impossible. feed five thousand people. Jesus remained calm.
John 6:5-6 NIV When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.
The disciples freaked out they became anxious.
John 6:7 NIV Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Jesus stayed calm
John 6:10-13 NIV Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.
When we face a problem, instead of starting with what we have, let’s remember what Jesus has. He is with us and will give us everything we need to overcome our difficulties.
Much like we do when we encounter a situation where we don’t see the solution right away, we get anxious and just start looking for answers. We don’t stop or slow down and think about what happened in the past when God took care of things. If the disciples had stopped to remember they may have excited contagious calm. They could have remembered what Jesus did in the past.
Matthew 8:1-3 NLT Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared
heal the centurion’s servant without going to the servant’s bedside
Matthew 8:5-13 NLT When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
heal Peter’s mother-in-law
Matthew 8:14-15 NLT When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.
calm a violent sea
Matthew 8:23-26 NLT Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
heal a paralytic
Matthew 9:4-6 NLT Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
heal a woman who had been sick for twelve years
Matthew 9:19-22 NLT So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
raise a girl from the dead
Matthew 9:23-25 NLT When Jesus arrived at the official’s home, he saw the noisy crowd and heard the funeral music. “Get out!” he told them. “The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up!
drive out an evil spirit
Mark 1:23-26 NLT Suddenly, a man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, “Why are you interfering with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” But Jesus reprimanded him. “Be quiet! Come out of the man,” he ordered. At that, the evil spirit screamed, threw the man into a convulsion, and then came out of him.
heal a demon-possessed man in a cemetery
Mark 5:1-8, 15 NLT So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones. When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.” A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.
change water into wine
John 2:5-10 NLT But his mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!”
And heal a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years
John 5:1-3, 5-10 NLT Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath, so the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, “You can’t work on the Sabbath! The law doesn’t allow you to carry that sleeping mat!”
Rather than count on Christ, they had the audacity to tell the Creator of the world that nothing could be done because there wasn’t enough money.
Not one coin was spent. They started the day with two hundred coins. They ended the day with two hundred coins. In addition, they filled twelve baskets with leftover food. A souvenir for each apostle, perhaps? The people were fed, the bank account was untouched, and we have a lesson to learn: anxiety is needless, because Jesus is near.
This business of anxiety management is like pulling stumps out of the ground. Some of your worries have deep root systems. Extracting them is hard, hard work. In fact, it may be the toughest challenge of all. But you don’t have to do it alone.
Present the challenge to your Father and ask for help.
Will he solve the issue? Yes, he will.
Will he solve it immediately? Maybe. Or maybe part of the test is an advanced course in patience.
This much is sure: contagious calm will happen to the degree that we turn to him.
When we face a problem, instead of starting with what we have, let’s remember what Jesus has. He is with us and will give us everything we need to overcome our difficulties.
There are some promises in scripture that are our source of calmness?
Galatians 5:22-25 NLT But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Philippians 2:13 NLT For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
2 Peter 1:3 NLT By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.
Romans 8:38-39 NLT And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have a heavenly Father who is with us through every trial. And he invites you and me to talk to him about each one. So the next time you look into the face of a problem, look into the face of your Father. He will never react with impatience or condemnation. Only gentleness.
John 14:15-17 NLT “If you love me, obey my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
Psalms 139:7-10 NLT I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
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