Ellicott City Adventist Church
Ellicott City Adventist Church - 11:00am Service
In our Doing Life Together reading this week, Matthew records some words of Jesus that lead us to discover the secret to living a worry-free life. In this same book that tells us of creation, the fall of man, the rise and fall of world empires and the birth of our Savior, God felt it important to share with us how to live life free of worry. Why is that? Why would God want to give us help with this very ordinary human emotion? Because God wants to make your life better.
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  • Coos Bay Adventist Church
    2175 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay, OR 97420, USA
    Saturday 11:00 AM
How many people here would like to learn how to worry more?
How many of you feel that your life would be improved if only you could spend more time worrying?
Whether you know worry as an occasional visitor or a constant companion, we all would be better off if we could worry less.

The good news is that you can worry less.
--God has given us an antidote.
It may surprise you to learn that God has something to say about worry.
In this same book that tells us of:
--Creation
--The origin of Evil
--The rise and fall of world empires
--The story of Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection
He also considers it important to give us some help with this very ordinary human emotion.
Why is that?
--Because He’s not just a God out there somewhere.
--He’s a God here, with us.
--He wants to make your life better.
WHAT HARM DOES IT DO TO WORRY
a. Worry causes health problems.
When you begin to take a look at worry, you see that it causes nothing but trouble in your life.
The Old English word from which we get the word worry originally meant
--"to choke."
--Worry has a choking quality about it, doesn't it?
In fact it causes all kinds of health problems.
--It leads to anxiety;
--it leads to sleeplessness;
--it leads to a loss of appetite;
--or even worse for some people, it leads to overeating;
--it leads to headaches, acid reflux, high blood pressure, ulcers, even respiratory problems.
Simply put, a lifelong habit of worry will drive you to an early grave.
WHAT HARM DOES IT DO TO WORRY
a. Worry causes health problems.
b. Worry keeps you from enjoying the moment.
To use a cliché, worry doesn't just remove years from your life, it removes the life from your years.

It prevents you from getting the most out of today.

Have you ever found yourself in a beautiful setting,
--Where the sun is shining
--The sky is clear
--The air is fresh
--Life is filled with beautiful colors
But you can't enjoy it because you're obsessed with some potential problem?

Most of us have been there more times than we can count.

We always assumed that we could stop worrying;
--When we stopped having problems,
--But the problems never quite went away.
When one gets solved, another one takes it place.

Worry steals the joy of current blessings.

That's what worry does to you.
WHAT HARM DOES IT DO TO WORRY
a. Worry causes health problems.
b. Worry keeps you from enjoying the moment.
c. Worst of all, worry is a sin.
Worry stems from a lack of faith, and anything that is not of faith, the Bible says, is a sin.
When we worry, we're saying, in effect...
--God, this problem is bigger than you.
--And I don't believe I can count on you to get me through it.
That's a sinful attitude.
Today's message is designed to encourage you to abandon the destructive worry habit, and develop a new, empowering habit of trusting God and walking in faith.
WHAT GOOD WILL IT DO TO STOP WORRYING
1. You'll learn to focus on what's important.
An old proverb says, "Worry often gives small things a big shadow."
When we worry, we tend to over-emphasize the significance of less-than-significant things.
Most of the things we worry about are trivial — especially in comparison to the ultimate concerns of life and eternity.
Time Magazine ran an article a few years ago about a sergeant who had been wounded in battle. He had been hit in the throat by a shell fragment and had to have several transfusions. When he awoke he had a tube in his throat and couldn't speak.
He wrote a note to his doctor asking, "Will I live?"
The doctor said, "Yes."
He wrote another note asking, "Will I be able to talk?"
The doctor answered, "Yes."
So he smiled as he wrote another note asking, "Then what in the world am I so worried about?"
WHAT GOOD WILL IT DO TO STOP WORRYING
1. You'll learn to focus on what's important.
2. You'll recognize the provision of God.
Most of the things we worry about are trivial, and, in my experience most of the things we worry about never come to pass.
As Thomas Jefferson once said...
"How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened."
And, in my experience, the reason why these worries never come to pass, is because God provides for me in each and every situation.
It's not that we "luck out at the last minute."
It's that God comes through for us, because he is good and faithful.
When you're willing to let go of worry, you can see more clearly how he provides for you in each and every situation.
HOW TO STOP WORRYING
1. Check your priorities.
In Matthew 6 Jesus preached on the topic of worry.
We read the passage earlier.
It's interesting that before he talks about dealing with worry, he talks about dealing with priorities.

--He reminds us not lay up treasures for ourselves on earth, but instead to seek treasure in heaven.
--He reminds us that we can't serve two masters. We can't serve God and money.
Worry is a signal that something isn't right — and it's usually related to our priorities.
When we worry, it's because we're putting something ahead of God.
That means that when you worry, sin is involved.

When I get wrapped in worry, I begin by asking myself: What have I put ahead of God that is causing me to worry?
If you're worried about something, it may be because you've put the wrong thing too high on your priority list.
What do you worry about?
What the neighbors think?
--There are things in life more important than their opinion.
Do you worry about your job?
--Your job isn't the last job on earth; there are other jobs out there.
Are you worried about a promotion?
--This won't be the last promotion to come along; there will be other chances.
There are more important things in life than a job promotion.
Sometimes, we need to rethink your priorities.
Jesus said the most important thing in life is to "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness..."
HOW TO STOP WORRYING
1. Check your priorities.
2. Check your prayer life.
Just as worry is a signal that something isn't right, it's also a signal that we need to devote more time to prayer.
Prayer has the power to remove worry and anxiety from your life — when you give it a chance.
Many times...
--Instead of asking God to help us through a situation, we fret over it.
--Instead of trusting him to work out the details, we continue to worry about it.

And in doing so we miss out on a wonderful privilege given to every child of God.
This means that in any problem you have, or in any situation you encounter, you have permission...to be exact, you have a direct order to make a request to God, telling him exactly what your needs are.
We have a tendency to want to handle the little things ourselves and only "bother" God with the big stuff.
There are two problems with this type of thinking.
--First, it's all small stuff as far as God is concerned.
--Second, if we don't let God help us through the day-to-day problems, how can we trust him to help us tackle the toughies?
When you pray about everything, you will begin to see God's power at work — in little inconveniences and in major crises.
In my life, I have noticed an inverse correlation between prayer and worry.

How much I do of one determines how much I do of the other.
--MUCH PRAYER, LITTLE WORRY
--LITTLE PRAYER, MUCH WORRY
If you want to get rid of worry, focus on praying more.
HOW TO STOP WORRYING
1. Check your priorities.
2. Check your prayer life.
3. Check your actions.
Look at what you do, and take the right action in the right direction.
Dale Carnegie said that if you have a worry problem, you should do these three things:
1. Ask yourself "What is the worst that can happen?"
2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
3. Calmly proceed to improve on the worst.
The 'magic' in this formula is in taking action.

Many people resign themselves to their worries and do nothing.
--They tell themselves that nothing can be done,
--except to wait for the worst to happen.
As a result, their worries get bigger and bigger, and things get worse and worse.
Doing nothing fertilizes anxiety.
--It causes the weeds of your worry to spread out of control.
Taking action is a weed-killer.
--It removes worry once and for all.
The key phrase in this verse is "these do”
--that means put it into practice.
Just as there is a correlation between worry and prayer,
--there is a correlation between worry and action.
--The more you do of one, the less you'll do of the other.
Worry is a signal that something isn't right.
--It's not part of God's plan for your life.
He never promised a life without rain or sorrow or struggles ...
--but he does promise you a life without worry.
So, when worry creeps into your life, it's a signal that something isn't right.
--You could say that worry is a call to action.
--When you're worried, you know that it's time to make some changes.
Today I want you to think about one specific worry that you're dealing with. One thing you worry about today.
--Maybe it's your health,
--Maybe it’s your finances,
--Maybe it’s your marriage,
--or your kids.
Choose one, for just a moment.
And with this topic of worry in your mind, ask yourself some questions.
1. What are my priorities here?
Am I seeking God first in this situation, or am I seeking me first?
--Am I trusting him?
--Or am I trusting me?
--Do I want what he wants?
--Or do I want what I want?
--What are my priorities?
Second question...
2. Have I prayed about this?
I'm not saying you haven't prayed; I'm asking you to ask yourself.
--Has this been a matter of prayer for me?
--Am I praying Biblically?
--Am I praying in faith?
--Am I casting my cares on him, or am I giving the matter lip service and not really letting go of it?
Third question...
3. Have I taken action in the direction of my worries?
Here's what I've noticed: When I take a small step — even what seems to be a pathetically small step — in the direction of my worries, God gives me a disproportionate amount of peace in the matter.
That's how it often works: I take a small step, he removes a big chunk of worry.
The truth is that we often hang on to our worries like they're a dear and precious friend.
--But if you will let go of your worries,
--if you will seek God first and trust God and follow him as best you can,
--you'll get victory over worries, and your life will be better as a result.
Doing nothing fertilizes your worries and fears.
Taking action takes them out by the root.