(Freedom from Worry and Anxiety - Part 1 | Part 2)
The human race is filled with worried, anxious people. How can this be when Jesus promised that a worry-free life can be ours?
In Part 1 of this study, Freedom from Anxiety and Worry-Part 1, we looked at some of the reason the human race is plagued with worry and anxiety. In this second half, we will learn how we can be victorious over these debilitating emotions.
We live in a society that puts great importance on the materialistic. Scripture warns that this is a very dangerous practice.
The Scripture: 1Timothy 6:9-10
"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
1. What can happen to people who want to get rich?
2. What does Paul call the love of money?
3. What can it do to some people?
Paul warns us of some very sober consequences when love of money takes top priority in our life.
Jesus had much the same to say in Matthew.
The Scripture: Matthew 6:24
"No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
4. What does Jesus say it is impossible to do?
We would like to believe we can serve both, but in this life, we must always make a choice: What is the more important to us—God or money?
Jesus gave us a parable in which a farmer sows seed (the word of God) on different kinds of soil (our hearts): seed sown along the path, seed that fell on rocky places, seed that fell among the thorns, and seed sown on good ground. Afterward, He explained the meaning of the parable to the disciples.
The Scripture: Matthew 13:22
"The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful."
5. What does the thorny ground represent?
6. What happens to the seed sown there?
Both worry and the deceitfulness of riches can rob us of the word of God. If we look back at Jesus' teaching in Part 1, we will see that if we put seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, God promises to take care of all our needs. However, few of us have that kind of faith.
In our lack of trust in God, too often we act as though God were a pauper. But His abundance is sufficient to take care of all of us, not only of our physical needs, but our emotional and spiritual ones as well.
The Scripture: Psalm 23:1-4
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."
7. List some of the things the Shepherd (the Lord) provides for His sheep (His followers).
And if that still isn't enough we have Paul's overall promise in Philippians.
The Scripture: Philippians 4:19
"My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
8. What will God do?
What a powerful promise! Time and time again Scripture promises us that God will meet the needs of those who trust Him. How is this accomplished?
The Scripture: 1 Peter 5:7 (The Amplified Bible)
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."
9. What are we supposed to do with all our anxieties, worries and concerns?
Yes, it is largely up to us. To see God's promises fulfilled in our life, we must do something: We must give Him our anxieties and concerns. In Matthew, Jesus tells us how to do this.
The Scripture: Matthew 11:28:29
"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
10. Who is Jesus speaking to in these verses?
In a very real sense Jesus is speaking to all of us.
11. What does He offer us?
12. How does He tell us to achieve this?
Another term God uses to describe the rest, the lack of anxiety and worry in our lives, is peace.
The Scripture: Philippians 4:6-7
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
13. How do we achieve the peace of God?
14. How does Paul describe this peace?
15. What will this peace do?
The Scripture: Philippians 4:8-9
"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from Me, or seen in Me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
16. What are we to think on?
17. Who will be with us?
This is not new. Isaiah shared much the same promise in the Old Testament.
The Scripture: Isaiah 26:3
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."
18. How do we achieve perfect peace?
Paul had some additional advice for the worry-free life.
The Scripture: Philippians 3:13, 14
"One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
19. What does Paul say he has learned to do?
Paul tells us more in Philippians.
The Scripture: Philippians 4:11
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
20. What else does Paul say he has learned to do?
Notice that Paul says he has learned the secret of being content in all circumstances. Contentment was not just handed to Paul on a platter. It took time.
21. Who gives Paul the strength to be content in all circumstances?
For those who worry about the future, Jesus gives this assuring promise.
The Scripture: 1 John 4:4
"The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
22. What assurance do we have?
Because we serve a God who is greater than anything else in the universe, the worry-free life is ours to win.
One person who seems to have discovered the secret of resting in Jesus was His friend, Mary of Bethany.
The Scripture: Luke 10: 38-41
"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, 'Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her."
23. What did Jesus say about Martha's choice?
24. What did He say about Mary's choice?
What was this "better part" Mary had chosen? What made it possible for her to be free from worry and anxiety while her sister Martha was "upset about many things."
Mary had put seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first and had taken Jesus' yoke upon her. Therefore, she was able to sit quietly at Jesus' feet and rest, free from anxiety and worry.
This seems an almost impossible achievement. Yet Jesus promises us it can be our inheritance.
Rest, peace, freedom from worry and anxiety—all are ours to have and to enjoy.
- They can be plunged into ruin and destruction
- A root of all kinds of evil
- Cause them to wander from the faith and pierce themselves with many griefs
- To serve two masters--God and money
- The worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth
- It is choked.
- Everything we need, rest and quiet, restoration, guidance, protection, comfort
- Meet all our needs
- Cast them upon Jesus
- Those who are weary and burdened
- To come to Him, take His yoke and learn from Him
- By making our requests to God with prayer, petition, thanksgiving
- A peace that transcends all understanding
- Guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus
- Whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy
- The God of peace
- By keeping our minds steadfast on the Lord
- To forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead
- To be content whatever the circumstances
- That the one who is in us (Jesus) is greater than the one who is in the world (Satan)
- "You are worried and upset about many things."
- "Mary has chosen what is better."
All scripture quotations in this publication are from the Holy Bible, New International Version
(unless otherwise indicated)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 New International Bible Society
Copyright © 2000 by JoAnne Sekowsky