Monday, April 11, 2011

Philippians 4:2-9 Worry, who me?

Philippians 4:2-9
Worry, Who me?

What is it like when you have a falling out with a close friend?
What do you do when there has been a misunderstanding and you feel like you have been wronged or misunderstood; or you can’t figure out what has happened?

All the sudden she stops texting or calling. She misses your birthday and never seems to have time for you anymore.
How do you handle that?
~Do you obsess about it with other friends, giving your side of the story and hope that they take your side?

~Do you talk to your husband about it at length?

~Are you a fixer, do you try to figure out what is wrong and repair the damage?

What happens when there is a disagreement in the family? Think about your extended family. Say one of your siblings has an issue with another and you catch wind of it. What happens then?

What is the danger of unresolved conflict within the family or within the church?
Apparently there was a falling out in the Philippian church. 2 women that had worked closely with Paul had a dispute.

Take a look with me at Philippians 4:2-3:
“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life
What does it mean to agree with each other “in the Lord?”

Who does Paul say should intervene to help these 2 women?
“Loyal Yokefellow”

Paul is asking the church at Philippi and the 2 women mentioned here to put the unity of the church before their right to be right. Remember what he had to say in Philippians 2:1-4:
2    If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”

We have a responsibility to work things out with each other. Quarrels within a church family create division and are a poor witness to the unbelieving world.

In verse 4 Paul says that we are to Rejoice in the Lord always. He repeats the command, Rejoice! He says let our gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
How can rejoicing help a tense situation?
How can gentleness help a tense situation?
“Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.” Have you tried this? Have you thought of ways to respond to irritating people in such a way as to diffuse tension?

Here are some examples:
“I had no idea you felt that way.”
“Please forgive me for being insensitive.”
“I am not quite sure I understand what you mean?”
“What makes you say that?”
“Have I done something to offend you?”
“I am not sure I heard you correctly.”

Being willing to humble yourself in times of stress, misunderstanding, and conflict is super natural.
It has to come from God and needs much prayer behind it.
But unresolved conflict within the church can hurt our witness.

Worry and anxiety do the same thing. People in our world are looking for security and peace. They are looking for comfort when bad things happen.

One of our greatest witnesses to an unbelieving world will be how we respond to fear, anxiety and worry.

Finish this sentence: You know it’s going to be a bad day when_________
What are some things that women worry about?
        ~Family problems
        ~Making right choices for themselves and their family

What is the difference between worry and anxiety? The Greek word used for worry here translated into anxious means “to be pulled in different directions.” Our hopes pull us in one direction our fears pull us in another.
The Old English root from which we get our word worry means “to strangle.” If you have ever worried you know how apt that word is. Worry even has physical consequences: headaches, ulcer, back pain, anxiety attacks.

From the spiritual point of view, worry is wrong thinking (mind) and wrong feeling (the heart) about circumstances, people and things. Worry is the greatest thief of joy.
Warren Wiersbe says, “It is not enough for us to tell ourselves to quit worrying because that will never capture the thief. Worry is an inside job and it takes more than good intentions to get the victory.”

Worry can be about something specific, anxiety is more about something that hasn’t happened or isn’t really occurring. It is the fear of some unknown, un-named unwelcome event.

How can we possibly rejoice when bad things happen?
What are we to rejoice in? The Lord

Has anyone ever seen the movie PollyAnna by Walt Disney?
The story is about this girl named PollyAnna that was the daughter of missionaries. Somehow her parents were killed and she came to live with her maiden Aunt Polly. PollyAnna (played by Haley Mills) was of an uncommonly cheerful disposition and when things were tough she would play this game she called the “glad game.” In this game she basically would start out by listing all the things she could think of that made her glad. Kind of like a counting your blessings game. She taught several people her glad game, her sour Aunt Polly, an invalid old woman and a crabby older gentleman. Her positive attitude and glad game transformed the whole town. As simplistic as this story is there are times in our lives that we need to play the “glad game.”

 There are times when our circumstances feel so heavy that it is hard to find things that we can rejoice in. But we are not to rejoice in our circumstances, we are to rejoice in the Lord.

What are some specific things about God that we can rejoice in?
His forgiveness, His love, His Lordship, His mercy, His guidance, His power, His knowledge, His faithfulness….

The antidote to worry is:
A secure mind.
Verse 7
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The Message puts it this way:

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
     6–7    Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

“And God’s peace be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

According to these verses there are 3 things that that will enable us to conquer worry and experience a secure mind:

The first thing we should do when we find ourselves worrying is pray.
We should begin our prayer not with our requests because that focus is too much on us, we should begin our prayer with worship and adoration.

Adoration: allows us to see God as who He is. It helps us realize into whose hands we are placing our worries. It reminds us that He is big enough to solve all our problems.

The second aspect of prayer is:
 Supplication: an earnest sharing of our needs and problems. Supplication is deep prayer, showing God your need for Him.

After adoration and supplication comes:
Appreciation: Giving thanks to God.

Ephesians 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In order to pray in this way you need to have the right kind of thinking.

We are so prone to pray about the big things in life but handle the little things on our own.
And yet it is the little things in life that wear us down.
Talking to God about everything that concerns us is the beginning of victory.
When we do that the “peace of God” guards our hearts and minds. Those are the 2 areas where we are most vulnerable.
Heart (emotions)
Mind (thinking)
Wrong feeling or wrong thinking.
When we give our hearts to Christ in salvation we experience peace with God but the peace of God takes us a step further.
It doesn’t mean that we won’t have trials. What it does mean is that when we have trials we can have a quiet confidence that God is with us in the midst of those trials and that His way is good. (Repeat)
Right Thinking:
Peace involves the heart and the mind. Isaiah 26:3.4
      You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
4   Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

Wrong thinking leads to wrong feeling and before long the heart and mind are pulled apart and we are strangled by worry.
We must bring “into captivity every thought and make it obedient to Christ. (2Corinthians 10:5)

Because worry and thought life is so crucial to the Christian walk we will discuss thought life in greater detail next time.

Discover areas that you are weak in your faith and trust.
Are you a worrier?
What worries you the most?
What do you do when you worry? Do you phone a friend, gather information, talk to your husband, try to solve the issue.

Is your last resort to go to God?

In what ways are you torn apart?
Do you have a single mind?
A submissive mind?
A spiritual mind?

Do you begin your prayer time with:
Adoration? Reminding yourself who God is.

Supplication: Sharing your needs with emotion.

End with Thanksgiving, saying thank you to God for His care over you.

Do these things and you will experience the peace that passes all understanding.

You will be a witness to a watching world.

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