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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Craig Groeschel » Craig Groeschel - Finding Freedom From Your Worries

Craig Groeschel - Finding Freedom From Your Worries

Craig Groeschel - Finding Freedom From Your Worries
Craig Groeschel - Finding Freedom From Your Worries
TOPICS: He Promises, Freedom, Worry

Well, I'm curious, how many of you right now might have something that you're a little bit worried about? Raise your hand, again. Some of you go, "I got a lot that I'm worried about". I don't blame you, because there's a lot to worry about in this world. For example, do any of you have kids? Raise your hands. Online, you can type in the comment section, "I have kids". You can type in, "I have three kids". You can type in, "I have kids, pray for me". 'Cause if you have kids, there's a lot to worry about, right? I mean, you worry about their safety nowadays. When I was growing up, you didn't really worry about that much, but you do today. You worry about their mental health. You worry about their friends. You worry about, are they getting into the wrong stuff? Then how about, does anybody ever read or watch the news? That'll give you anxiety, right?

I mean, you look around, and here we are in an election year, which is complicated and divisive for a lot of people. The economy feels like shaky. Inflation seems to be out of control. Interest won't seem to settle down. A lot of people I talk to are freaked out and worried financially, just how are they gonna make it? Not only how am I gonna pay the bills, but could I ever even afford a house? Doesn't seem like it's possible. And if that's not enough to worry about, then you factor in AI. It's gonna wipe us out. I mean, we're all gone anyway. It's just gonna feel like it's gonna take over the world. And the worst of all, though, probably, is anytime there's something wrong with you physically, let's say you have a headache, or you feel dizzy. And so you Google your symptoms. Have you done this? No matter what you have, you're gonna die three days from now, that's what happens whenever you Google your symptoms.

It's hard not to worry with all that's going on in the world but there's some really good news. We're in a message series called He Promises. We're looking at the promises of Jesus and Jesus promises us because he's good and because he will provide, you don't have to worry. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells us five different times in 10 verses, do not worry. Look what he said, Matthew 6, 25, Jesus said this. He said, "Therefore, I tell you". Help me out, somebody. He said, "Do not worry about your life, what you'll eat or drink or about your body, what you'll wear. It's not life more than food and the body more than clothes". Jesus tells us, don't worry. How? Why? Well, let's start with a practical reason. Why did Jesus tell us not to worry? Perhaps because worry has never changed anything for good. Right? Never ever.

In fact, it's quite the opposite. What does worry do to you? When you worry, when you stew, when you're anxious, worry is poisoning our peace. Worry is killing our joy and worry is stunting our spiritual growth. When you think about it, worry doesn't have a single useful purpose. Someone said it's like this. Someone said, "Worry is like rocking in a rocking chair it gives you something to do but you're not going anywhere". Right? And that's what it is. When you're sitting there worrying, you're stewing and you're wringing your hands and you're not going anywhere. It doesn't do a single positive thing. When you think about it, worry never solved a problem. Right? If you're worried about your money, worry never paid a bill. If you're worried about your health, worry never made you healthier.

Worry never protected your child from harm. Worrying never helped you pass a test. Worrying never healed a broken relationship. Worry has only increased your anxiety, it's never increased your peace. And Jesus promised us because God is faithful, because God is good, because God always provides, you don't have to worry. In fact, in this text, he gives us three things to look to in order to overcome your worry. What are we gonna do? We're gonna look to three things. We're gonna look to your Father, we're gonna look to your faith, and we're gonna look to your future. Let's say it aloud. What are we gonna look to? We're gonna look to our Father, we're gonna look to our faith, and we're gonna look to our future. Let's talk about it.

Number one, we're gonna look to your Father. Why? because he is always faithful. We're gonna look to the goodness of God because he's always faithful. In fact, this is what Jesus said in Matthew 6:26. He said, "Look at the birds of the air. They don't sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet," who does it? Your heavenly Father. He feeds them, he provides for them. And then Jesus says, "Hey, aren't you way more valuable to God than the birds"? Jesus shows us that God cares for Tweety. If God cares for Tweety, how much more will God care for you? And then I like kind of the image. He says, "Hey, look at the birds. They don't worry". You never see a bird awake at two in the morning, pacing its nest, rubbing its wings together, asking himself, "Do you think the supply chain problem are gonna result in a shortage of worms"? You never see that, right? You don't. Because they trust that there will be food. The same is true for you. You don't have to worry because your heavenly Father cares for you and your Father is always faithful.

Now, that raises the question, how do you trust in a heavenly Father that you can't see? It's a fair question. We have six children. My oldest daughter is Katie. When she was young, she was a bundle of energy. And one night there was a storm and Katie came running into our bedroom. "Mommy, Dad, Mom, Mom, Dad, Mom, I'm scared. I'm scared. Can I sleep with you? Can I sleep with you? Can I sleep with you"? And I'm the softy, believe it or not. And Amy's one like, "Go back to bed, Katie". "No, I'm afraid. No, I'm afraid". And Amy said, "God is with you. God is in your room. God will protect you. Go back to your room with God". And Katie said, "I've got an idea. Mom, you go sleep with God. I'm staying here with Daddy". Right? Kind of makes sense because it can be difficult to trust in a God that you can't see.

And anytime I find myself worried, is God going to come through? Does God care? I try to remind myself of what I call the godness of God. The godness of God. Who is God? We have to remember, God is the supreme creator, ruler, and sustainer of the entire universe. God is big enough to overcome all the forces of darkness. And God is loving enough to care about the details of your life. That's right. I wanna remind you, God cares about what you care about. When you're worried, look to your heavenly father because he is always faithful.

The second thing we learn from the teaching of Jesus is to look to your faith because your faith conquers fears. Look to your faith because your faith is greater than what you fear. Jesus said this in Matthew 6:33, he said, "But seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness. And in all those things that you're worried about, all these things will be given to you as well". What do we do? We seek first God's kingdom. We seek first God's righteousness. We seek first the things that matter to him. We seek him first in his word. We turn our mind toward him. We think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. We let him renew our minds. We seek first the kingdom of God. And when we do, he will take care of what you're worried about. Whenever you're tempted to worry, tell yourself, before I panic, first, I'm gonna pray to the God of heaven who declares that all things are possible with him. Before you worry, first open God's word, his living word, which comforts you and directs you and corrects you, his word for you. Before you turn to your substance to cope, turn to your savior because whoever Jesus sets free is free indeed every single time.

So what do we do? We seek first the kingdom of God. And whenever I start to look toward Jesus, the son of God who gave his life for me, God raised him from the dead, whenever I look to Jesus, my faith starts to conquer my fears. Remember, it was Paul who said, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but instead he's given us a spirit of," what? "Of power Power. And of love Love. and of a sound mind". Sound mind. If you find yourself afraid, that did not come from God. We're not gonna listen to what doesn't come from God. We're gonna tell that voice, "Get out of my mind, get out of my head, get out of my life, get behind me, Satan, I'm not listening to you, I'm listening to my father. My father says he's good, my father says he's with me, my father says he'll never leave me, he'll never forsake me, he'll always provide for me, he is working in all things to bring about good, I'm not listening to the lies of the devil".

Worry has never done anything good. Worry makes you anxious, faith gives you peace. Worry drags you away from God, trying to depend on your own resources. Faith teaches you to depend on God. Worry doesn't change a dang thing. That's right. And worry will take you away and rob you of faith. Faith can change everything. So when you're worried, worried about what I'm gonna say, I'm worried about my presentation, I'm worried about my 401(k) went down, I'm worried about this health issue, I'm worried about my marriage, I'm worried about am I gonna get into the right school, I'm worried about am I gonna get the right job, am I ever gonna be provided for my family, am I gonna have what it takes, can I ever be faithful, will my child, whatever.

When you're worried, look to your father. Look to your faith and look to your future because our God is in control. He is in control. Jesus said this, he said, "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring his own worries". Today's trouble is enough for today. Look to your future because God is in control. Now, raise your hand if you're a control freak. Okay, just stop for a minute. If you find yourself trying to raise the hand of the person sitting next to you, you're a control freak. Those of you online, if you're a control freak, just type it in online, I'm a control freak. Okay, I wanna remind you this, that even control freaks can't control the future. You can try to manipulate all you can and all you want, but no matter how hard you try, you cannot control everything.

So, if it's out of your hands, get it out of your mind. Give it to God, trust God with it, trust God with it. Because worry doesn't protect us from tomorrow's problems, worry robs us of today's peace. And that's where some of you are right now. You are surrendering and giving in to the lies of your spiritual enemy. Any time that we're worrying, we're essentially saying, God, I don't trust you. I don't trust you're with me, I don't trust you're for me, I don't trust that you're gonna do what you say you're gonna do. And so, just take a moment, sit in that. Jesus says over and over again, let me tell you how good my Father is.

Let me tell you about how much he cares for you. He is completely in control. He is a good God. His purposes for you are good. He wants to bless you. Doesn't mean you're not gonna have a hard time, but in the middle of a hard time, he'll be enough. In the middle of something painful, he'll be your peace. In the middle of what you feel like you lack, he is your provision. When you're weak, he is your strength. He is what you need. So you can say, okay, good preaching, Craig. You can say that if you want to, it won't hurt my feeling. You can type it in the comment section, good preaching. Some of you won't, but you can if you want to. And so you're gonna say, okay, okay, that's good, but I just sit there and I do nothing. I just sit around and I don't worry and everything works out.

Let's go back to the birds. Jesus said, see how I care for the birds. What I like about birds is birds don't worry, right? But birds don't sit around doing nothing either. When you think about birds, they don't wait for God to drop food in their laps. Partially because they don't have laps. But work with me here. I'll say it this way. Birds don't worry, but they do hunt for worms. Yes There's a difference. There's a difference between doing nothing and doing what you know you're called to do or can do. And birds kind of really help illustrate the difference between worry and concern. And there's a big difference. A worried person sees a problem and doesn't do anything about it. A concerned person though sees a problem and does something about it. In other words, the way I like to look at it is this.

If you can do something about the problem, you do it. If you think your marriage is not in a great place right now and is struggling, what do you do? You're concerned, you pray about it and you call a counselor or you join a life group or you talk to your pastor and you do something about it. If you have caffeine crashes at the end of every day, you may say, you know what? I'm gonna stop drinking all the energy drinks. Instead of four, I'm cutting back to three. I'm just joking. Don't drink four and don't drink three. I'm cutting those out of my life. If you are battling with depression every time you get on social media, you might just get off social media. You're gonna do something about it.

And so whenever you're tempted to worry, tell yourself this, I will do what I can do and I will surrender to God what only he can do. I will do what only I can do and I will surrender to God what only he can do. I will do what I know I can do. If there's something I can do about it, I'm gonna do something about it. If I can love my child who's struggling, I'm gonna love my child. If I can coach my child without being annoying, I'm gonna coach my child without being annoying. If I can pray for my spouse, if I can love my spouse when my spouse isn't acting lovable. If I can study for the exam that's coming up, if I can prepare for the presentation, if I can do something about it, I'm gonna do something about it. I will do what I can do and I will surrender to God what only he can do.

Let's just say that together. I will do what only I can do. I will do what only I can do. I will surrender to God what only he can do. Let's say it together. I will do what only I can do. I will surrender to God what only he can do. Let's say it again. I will do what I can do. I will surrender to God what only he can do. I will do whatever it is I know that I can do and whatever is out of my control, I put in God's hands. Anybody anxious, what do we do? We cast our anxiety on him, why? Because he cares for you. He cares for you, God loves you as if there were only one of you. And so you tell him about it, God, I'm nervous about this. God, I don't even know what to do. God, I'm trying to trust you, but I tend to take it back. We cast it on him, we give it to him. I think about Katie, my daughter, when she came in and she's all afraid. Amy said, "Go sleep with God". I said, "Go ahead and sleep with us".

Told you I'm a softy. People, if you got to know us, you'd be like, you know, Craig's all tough. Actually, I'm a mushpot. Amy's pretty, but she carries a big stick. It was no joke. And when Katie slept with us, let me tell you what I did not do. I did not shame her. Why are you worried? You should have more, I didn't shame her. I let her sleep with us because when she was worried, she turned to her father, her earthly father. Her worry didn't take her away from her father, it drew her close to her father. And so whenever you find yourself a little bit worried, the devil wants to use that to draw you away from God, but God wants to use whatever is on your mind and on your heart and weighing you down to draw you to depend on him. God wants to take whatever you're worried about and use it to draw you close and recognize that you need him.

When you're worried and when you're anxious, this shows you just how much you need your heavenly father. And when you realize that you need him, you realize he's drawing you close. So chances are there are some of you today who you need an extra dose of his grace, an extra measure of his provision. He's with you, he's for you, he'll never leave you, he'll never forsake you. Our God is good, his word is true, he's always faithful, he will never leave you, he will never forsake you. Look to your father, he's good. Look to your faith, it conquers your fears. Look to your future because our God is always in control. And scripture tells us about the goodness of God that the Lord is close to those who call on him. Yes, to all who call on him in truth, the Lord is close. If you're hurting today, if you're anxious today, if you're worried today, that might be evidence of just how much you need your father. And the good news is when you draw close to him, he draws near to you. So let's do that now.

Father, we pray in the name of Jesus that the power of your Holy Spirit would do a work because we all need you.

Today at all of our churches as you're praying, those of you who have something that would be a real concern, a weight, a burden, a worry, something that's making you anxious, would you lift up your hands right now, just lift it up. Online, you can type in the comment section, I'm worried about something. If you wanna share it for prayer, you can say I'm worried about whatever and just put I'm worried about my child or I'm worried about my job or I'm worried about my finance, whatever it would be. And what we're gonna do right now is we're just gonna take what you're worried about and just by faith, just imagine handing that to God. Just say:

God, take my marriage. God, I trust you with my finances. God, I trust you with my health. I trust you with the health of someone that I love. I trust you with my children. God, I trust you with my mental health. I trust you with my career. God, I trust you with my future. God, I don't know, I can't figure it all out. I trust you. God, I will do whatever I can do and I will surrender to you what only you can do. So God, help us to be faithful and full of faith to always trust you.

As you keep praying today at all of our churches, there are some of you that you're gonna take a step of faith bigger than you've ever taken before. We talked about Jesus and he said, you don't have to worry because of the goodness of God. Some of you, if you stopped long enough to think about where you stand with God, what would happen to you after this life? Some of you say, well, I might be a little bit concerned about that. Let me tell you how much God loves you, how good he is. God loves you so much that he sent his only son Jesus for you, the perfect sinless son of God who died on a cross in your place, in my place and God raised him from the dead, defeating death, hell, sin, and the grave.

Now, anyone, and this includes you, who calls on the name of the Lord, the name that is above every name, when you call on the name of Jesus, scripture says all of your sins are forgiven. You become brand new. The old, all the old stuff is gone and everything becomes new. Some of you, you might be a little worried, a little uneasy. It may come and go, but when you recognize, when you think about it, I don't really know where I stand with God today, you can settle the issue. In fact, you're not watching this by accident. I believe with all my heart that you are here by the divine will of God to meet the power of his risen son, wherever you're watching from today.

Those who say, yes, today, I don't know where I stand with God, I am gonna step away from my sin. I'm gonna step into trusting Jesus. I'm gonna call on his name. When you call on the name of Jesus, he hears your prayers. He forgives your sins and he makes you brand new today at all of our churches and all of the world online. Those who say, yes, I am ready. By faith, I give my life to Jesus. That's your prayer. Put your hands high right now. All over the place, lift them up. Somebody give God some praise for those today saying yes to Jesus, yes to Jesus, yes to Jesus. We thank you, God, for those coming to you online. Just type in the comment section, I am surrendering my life to Jesus. I am trusting Jesus as my savior. Today, wherever you are, would you pray with those around you? Nobody prays alone. Everybody, let's just pray this aloud. Pray:

Heavenly Father, I'm trusting Jesus to save me from my sins. To be the Lord of my life. I put you first. Forgive me. Transform me. Fill me with your Spirit so I could know you personally, and share you faithfully. Thank you for new life. I give you all of mine. In Jesus' name I pray.

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