Craig Groeschel - When You've Had Enough
Hey a big welcome today to all of our Life.Church's locations. Those of you at church online all over the world. I wonder if any of you could help join me in congratulating and celebrating those who've been baptized this weekend at all Life.Church locations. To every single one of you, your story is different because of the grace of Jesus and we celebrate His forgiveness, His power in your lives, congratulations. I had one guy who told me, "Make sure you have the pastor hold me underwater a little longer than normal because I need a little more forgiveness". His grace is available to all of us.
Let me tell you today, we're launching into a new message series. The title of this series is Anxious for Nothing. The title of this particular message, part one is When You've Had Enough. I don't know if any of you have had enough. But for those of you who are battling anxiety, this message series is for you. In fact, if you wouldn't mind, at all of our Life.Churches, would you just stand to your feet and honor of reading God's Word. I wanna set up our text here today, and I wanna tell you a little bit about what we're gonna talk about. This is a message series for those of you, who might feel heavy in spirit. You might be worried about something. It could be a health issue for you. It could be someone that you love, it might be aging parents. It might be burdensome financial season. It might be that you're worried about your children, the decisions that they're making or sending them off to school and such.
This is a message series for those of you that are worried or maybe battling with fear or some type of anxiety. What we're gonna do over the next four weeks is we're going to start in Philippians Chapter 4, and I'm gonna take a small portion of that text, and highlight it, and use other portions of scripture to support the big truth. And what I wanna do is give you the context today. Then we're gonna read this, and we're gonna read it every single week. And we're gonna let it settle into our spirits. And we believe that God is going to calm our anxiety as we cast our cares on Him. The Book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul, he wanted more than anything else to go to Rome to preach the gospel. But he found himself in Rome as a prisoner, locked up 24 hours a day to a Roman guard.
And out of the situation, where he could've been more anxious than anybody I know right now, not knowing his potential outcome, how long he would be there, even whether or not he would live. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he penned these words. He said, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all". Here's the portion for this week. The Lord is near. Would you all say that aloud? Say it with me, the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything. Another version says, be anxious for nothing. But in every situation, no matter what you're going through, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, you present your request to God, and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Chris Jesus.
So Father, we asked that Your presence would be evident to all. And God, as we cast our cares on You, we would sense Your love and Your goodness because You care for us. And may Your peace from Heaven guard our hearts, and our minds, and our souls. In Christ Jesus's name we pray, and everybody said Amen.
Hey, why don't you high-five five people around you. Just tell them the Lord is near. The Lord is near! One of the many things I love about our church family is you all let me be a real person. Is it okay if I'm a real person today? Most of the time, I am a pastor, who glows in the dark, not really. All of the time, I'm a regular person.
And I wanna tell you the story behind this message series. It started on the first week of June, and I flew to see a friend of mine, Pastor Steven Furtick, about twice a year or so. I'll to see him or he'll fly to see me. And we spend one day together. We always fast, we pray, we search scriptures together, we seek God. Actually everything I told you is a lie. What we do is we watched Wimbledon last time, we worked out, and we ate a lot, but it felt holy! You know what I'm saying, okay. And so, the truth is this last visit, almost everyone is a highlight for both of us because it's two friends getting together and encouraging each other. But it was a particularly rough season for me. And immediately, he was like, "Groeschel was wrong". And I told him, I just, I'm having a hard time breathing.
This is incredibly unusual for me. I don't battle with a lot of anxiety but I could barely even breathe full breaths. And I was overwhelmed with this sense of anxiety. And what I'm about to tell you was causing it. You're gonna say, "Well, that doesn't make any sense". Which is exactly what anxiety is, it doesn't make any sense so often. I was stressed about the message series that I'm teaching right now because I have to name the series a couple of months in advanced because of our programming and such, and I couldn't come up with another idea. For decades, I've done this, and I just hit the end of my rope. There was nothing, no idea, no insight into scripture, no revelation, nothing I wanted to say, I just was empty and it scared me beyond description. The walls felt like they were closing in. I felt like maybe I need to gang it up. Massive heart-wrenching anxiety.
And Pastor Steven said, "Well, here's what you're gonna preach on. You're gonna preach on anxiety. And we're gonna call it Anxious for Nothing". He just pulled that title. And it's a good title. And he said, "Because you know you're best preaching comes out of your personal experience as you dive into God's Word, and He works in your life". So this message series is not born out of my strength. Here I am, pastor to save the day. No no no, this is born out of a very scary, unusually dark season of real, deep anxiety for me. We okay? Can I be human? Paul said, "Be anxious for nothing". I'm asking myself, is that even possible? In a world that we live in? With all of this going on? Be anxious for nothing? Mass shooting followed by tragic mass shooting. Can I be anxious for nothing.
I read a book about Gen Z recently. I love the book about, those of you who are like high school aides and college aides, and there's so many promising things about your generation. One of the biggest challenges I say is that you're the most stressed generation in recent history, worry about everything. Should I go to college? If I do it, I got student loans. And then if I graduate, will I get a job good enough to pay off the loans? And am I gonna get married? And if I do, am I gonna marry someone psycho? 'Cause I've seen a lot of psychos. And how am I gonna pay the bills? And then, there are people that are married like I did marry psycho, And I think I'm psycho 'cause she's making me psycho. And I don't know about my job, and my car is going into the shop. And my teenage kids are driving me crazy. And my parents are aging. And there's so much uncertainty in the world.
Okay, is it even possible? So be anxious for nothing. What I wanna do in this particular message is I wanna show you an Old Testament prophet that maybe like some of you all. He really loved God. And yet, even though he had seen the faithfulness, the power, the provision of God, he still struggled massively with anxiety. His name is Elijah. If you don't know the context of Elijah. Elijah actually confronted a very evil king named King Ahab. He called him on his sin, and he prophesied a drought that would significantly impact King Ahab's kingdom. And so the king came after the Prophet Elijah with all the forces of his army saying, "We're going to destroy you since we're gonna kill you".
And so for three years, Elijah was on the run. He was hiding out and yet, God was faithful. God fed him with bread, and ravens, and meat from Heaven. And Elijah raised the dead. There was one time, this is so cool. Elijah stood down 850 false prophets. One man stood down 850. That's cocky in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I love that. There was a time, one of my favorite moments in life, where I actually stood down three men. I did, they were harassing a woman, and has been very inappropriate to her. And so I stood them down. Your pastor single-handedly ran off three men. I just told them, I'll introduce you to two of my friends. It'll be even. There's me, there's Grace, and there's Truth. And Truth will set you free, okay. I ran off three, it's true story but that's the point of this message. I am proud to tell you that I ran off three men.
Elijah stood down 850. He called fire from Heaven. Made them Crispy Critters. Then after all the power of God, miracle after miracle. One grumpy woman gets up into his grill. And he falls completely apart. If you don't know the story, Ahab was bad but oh he had a wife that made him looked like Mother Theresa. This woman, his wife was named Jezebel. And she got in the picture. And essentially, she said, "Honey, if you can't get the job done, then let a woman do it right. I'm gonna kill Elijah". And Elijah completely falls apart. You'll see him spiral into deep depression and anxiety that some of you might be able to relate to. I wanna show you the story, and when we do look at the story, I want you to notice four different mistakes that Elijah made when he had had too much, and you might see yourself making one, two, three, or four of these mistakes, as I did in my season of significant struggle.
Let me show you the text in First Kings Chapter 19. We'll start in verse three. See if you can find the mistakes that he made. Scripture says this. Elijah was afraid, he's freaking out. He's experiencing deep and very real anxiety. And so he ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, watch for the mistakes, he left his servant there, while he himself went on a day's journey into the wilderness. Now, he's by himself and wandering in the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. Notice how irrational he is. His biggest fear is that she's gonna kill him. Now he wants to die. He's struggling, okay. What is he saying? He said the same thing that some of you might have said. "I've had enough. I can't take anymore". He has his Popeye moment. "That's all I can stand. I've had enough," he says. "Take my life, I'm no better than my ancestors".
Some of you about right now, you might be in that I can't take anymore. I've done everything I can. I'm trying to pay the bills. One more thing broke, I can't take it anymore. Some of you is in a relationship. You're trying, you're trying, you're trying, you're trying. And they deceived you again. I can't take it anymore. Some of you with your schedule. You work and you work, and you're trying everything. And you're maybe a single parent. You're trying to struggle, and you working your tail off. I just cannot take it anymore. It could be something simple. You've made dinner 9,000 times. And they haven't said thank you, 9,000 times. And they've walked away 9,000 times. But on 9,001. I'm gonna kill you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and God's gonna be pleased about that because your sin has taken you out.
I can't take it anymore. For me, it was naming a sermon series. One sermon series. I've done hundreds upon hundreds. And I could not catch my breath or finish sentences. Elijah couldn't take it. He made four mistakes. I've made these and perhaps you have as well. Let's look at his mistakes. The first thing we tend to do when we've had enough is this. We run ourselves into the ground. We run ourselves into the ground. This is what he did. And the text says, he was afraid, he ran for his life. He ran to Beersheba, which if you don't know the geography of it, he ran about a hundred miles. He ran as far as it was human possibly, to which it's possible to run. Had he run anymore, he'd run into the water. He couldn't have run anymore. He ran four marathons. He ran, he ran, he ran, he ran, he was so exhausted. He worn himself out.
I told you part of the story. I told you I had deep anxiety. I told you about the first week of June. What I didn't tell you about was what let up to the first week of June, and that was May. And probably April, and March, and February, and January, and December, and the list goes on and on. But May in particular was different. It was once I was processing this with someone who was helping me, who said your problem wasn't June, your problem was May. Let me tell you what I did in May. I'm not complaining nor am I bragging. This is just what I did in May. I taught four weekends of Chasing Carrots. And that's along with leading the church is a full month for me. Just doing the normal stuff. I also wrote and pre-produce the good work four weeks on Nehemiah. I did it on a Monday and Tuesday.
And the reason I do that almost every May is so I can have the weekends off for one month a year with my family in the month of June. Thank God for June. So since then I did May's messages and June in May, and at the movies, has to go into production early. So I wrote, shot and edited at the movies in May as well as a good work, as well as that. That's three months worth in one month. That's a lot. And I did two months of leadership podcasts. And on top of that, in that one-month period, Amy and I did an international trip to London to do a leadership conference with multiple talks every day. Landed on a Thursday, preached on Saturday. During the message, my daughter, Katie gave birth early to her daughter with significant health scares. Ended up being okay. Then I preached on Sunday. Then on Sunday night, I did the rehearsal dinner for my daughter's, Anna's wedding. On Monday, I gave her away, and officiated the service. I fell apart in June but I ran myself into the ground in May.
Some of you are there right now. You're in a real season of anxiety, and you'll recognize you've been going way too hard for way too long. Elijah ran himself into the ground. The second big mistake we made, many of us do is we shut people out, we shut people out. Did you notice it? He left his servant. He said to his trusted friend, "I don't need you anymore". And he went off on his own. This is a little bit of what I did in the month of May, which is hey, I'm the pastor, and I'm not gonna tell anybody I'm hurting, and I'm just gonna push through this on my own, and didn't let anybody in. This is one of the reasons why LifeGroups, they are the heartbeat of our church. Can I get an amen? This is the heartbeat of who we are. Without the body of Christ, we are incomplete.
In the month of September, we're launching new LifeGroups. Many of you, that you're not in one, this is gonna be a turning point in your life. We've got a message series called I'm In, oh, did I just tell you the name of the upcoming message series that's already named and already working. It's coming up and we're gonna launch some LifeGroups because we know that life is better together and we are incomplete without the family of God, and we're not gonna do what Elijah did when he shut the most trusted people out. The third mistake that he made and we often make is we focus on the negative. Here's what he said. He said, "I've had enough. I'm no better than my fathers. I'm no better than my ancestors".
And this is the very thing that we often do. We focus on the negative. My life is so hard, I can never get it all done. There's just too much. I can't stand these people. I don't like my job, I don't like where I'm going. I'm always gonna suffer. I'm always gonna struggle. I'm always gonna be broke. We're never gonna be happy. We're always going to be hurting. And we focus on the negative. And that's kinda what I did. I go all these sermons are doing, nobody understands. And number four, perhaps the biggest mistake is we forget God. We forget God, what's crazy is every step of the way through Elijah's life. Every moment of time, God was present, God was faithful, God's power was visible. God's provision was real. And even though God had been faithful, Elijah did what so many of us do, he was facing his problems while forgetting his God.
For over two decades, I've preached and preached, and God has been present. And yet, I was facing my fears and forgetting my God. The crazy thing is Elijah's name alone should've been enough to comfort him in the middle of his anxiety. His name alone, Elijah. L-E-L-I-J-A-H. E-L stands for Elohim, it's for Elohim, which is God. I-L-E-L-I is I or my. JA, JAH is for Yahweh, which to a devote believer, they would not even put the vowels in the word Yahweh, because that would be disrespectful. Who are we, and they wouldn't even say the name Yahweh because they would say it like this. Without the vowels, it'd be YH, like YH, because of the holiness of God. Essentially, what he's saying is this. My God is my YH, my God is my breath. My God is my breath. My God is my source. My God is my sustainer. My God is my strength. My God is my breath. And yet knowing that his God is near, he falls apart.
What do you gotta do when he did that? Well, you have little faith. No no no no no no no, God met Elijah in his need. And I wanna show you how God revealed Himself to him. Scripture says this, the Lord, God said to Elijah, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by". Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountain apart, and shattered the rocks below. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind was an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper. A gentle breath, the Lord is my breath. Earth shook, the Lord wasn't in the earthquake. The wind howled but the Lord wasn't in the wind. The fire raged but the Lord was not in the fire. Earth, wind and fire, just a little nod from my older buddy, who's in the crowd. But the Lord was in the whisper. The Lord was in the breath. The Lord was near.
I wanna show honor to my bride, Amy, who walked me through what was a dark season, and is an ongoing process healing through real anxiety. In fact, Amy, would you just mind joining me up here real quick? And you guys can clap for her as she comes if you don't mind. This is my favorite part of the message just because I get to stand close to my best friend and my bride. So you, we're gonna do a sermon illustration, and you can look stressed, okay. Pretend like you're anxious. And what I wanna do is help illustrate this. God was not in the remarkable. God was in the ordinary. When we're hurting, when we're afraid, when we're overwhelmed, why doesn't God sometimes speak in the loud ways? Why does God whisper? He whispers because He's close. Why does our God whisper? He whispers to draw us close.
The devil, on the other hand, shouts his lies. His voice is a condemnation. His accusation, you'll never be enough. You'll never make it through. You'll always be wandering around. God whispers. The Lord is near. He will never leave you. He will never resent you. I'm always with you even 'til the end stage. I'm always good. Oh, there's nothing can separate you from my love, nothing. In light, or depth, in darkness, nothing will separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. Why does God whisper? Because the Lord is near. He whispers because He's close. I'm gonna turn my microphone off 'cause I don't want you to hear the smack. Turn back on now, so thank you. So I called the counselor, your pastor need counseling. Eh, pastors need counseling, yes. It's wise to get help from the wise. Say it again, it's wise to get help from the wise. Walk with the wise, you grow wise. Walk with a bunch of turkeys, you become a turkey. That's a new Craig translation, that version.
Anxiety's a complex issue. For some people, it might be a change of diet. So we need help from dietician. For some, it might be a chemical imbalance so we need help from doctors. For some, we want you to process and things, we need help from counselors. I chose the counselor. I hired a performance psychologist, and he helped me come up with, this is my phrase based on our time together, but essentially, as I was going into a very heavy summer of preaching, this phrase is what I'm living on. My experience, meaning I've done this for a long time, my experience plus God's presence is enough. That's my breath. My experience plus God's presence, He's with me, He's near. It is enough. So I'll tell you about what happened this summer. And again, this isn't to complain nor is it to brag. But it's way cheaper than this guy I talk to all the time. And so I feel better to tell you for free.
Amy and I did events in New Zealand and in Australia, and during that time, our house was under construction. We found significant and dangerous mold in five rooms so five rooms were being ripped out while we're gone. Our kids were at home. And while we were gone, and our house was under construction, somehow a raccoon got into the house but that's just a side story, which is fun. And a rat got into Pastor Charlie, an intern he's living with, into his car, ate out his car so it wouldn't start. My son's car wouldn't start. The air conditioner had to be replaced 'cause it was faulty so there was no air conditioner for about 10 days. The water was down for seven days. My credit card got compromised, which is the one that my kids at home use.
So if you can imagine, we're traveling internationally. No heat, no no air-condition, no water, with a raccoon, no transportation, and no money. And I preached 25 different messages in eight days in five different cities, in two different countries. And in the middle of feeling anxiety going into it. And we walked through it with the grace of God because my experience plus His presence is enough. The Lord is near. My God is my breath. My God is my breath.
Here's what's funny about Elijah. If you don't know the end of his story, it's pretty funny. What was his greatest fear? His greatest fear was I'm going to die. But if you don't know the end of his story, later on, he was walking along with his protege, Elisha. And God sends His chariot from Heaven. Like this horse and stuff from Heaven that sweeps Elijah off the face of the Earth. And he never tasted physical death like we will. He never die. The thing he feared the most never happened. We could say, get ready for it, I've been leading toward it the whole time. We could say, he was anxious for nothing.
I came to tell somebody here that the vast majority of what you worry about is not going to happen. Most of it never ever does. The vast majority never happens, and therefore we are anxious for nothing. The vast majority doesn't happen. Sometimes it does happen, and it's not as bad as we thought. We were anxious for nothing. And sometimes, it does happen, and it is bad, and it's worse than we ever thought but the goodness of God always carries us through. He's always faithful, He never leaves us. He'll never forsake us. Because He is our breath, He is our peace. For He is our strength. He is our source and that's why the Apostle Paul chained up to a Roman guard, not knowing his future can say, "Do not be anxious about anything". He said this, "We can rejoice in the Lord always". I'll say it again, rejoice.
Let your gentleness be evident to all, why? Because our God is near. Because He's near. Why does He whisper? Because He is close. Don't be anxious about anything. But in everything, with prayer and petition, bring your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcend all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds, and your souls in Christ Jesus. Why does He whisper? He whispers because He's close. The Lord is near. Our God is here. So we trust in Him.
Father, we ask that by the power of the name that is above every name, that even in the midst of severe trials and significant anxiety, worry, fears, doubts, insecurity, God that we could experience a peace from Heaven because beyond our human ability to understand.
All of our churches today, I've been about as transparent as I know how to be with you. Those of you, who may have a burden, a weight, you feel crushed, you feel overwhelmed, you feel anxious, you feel worried, if there's something weighing on you, and you wanna take it to God today, will you lift up your hands right now. All of our different churches, just lift up your hands, reaching out to God:
Father, we thank you for Your presence and for Your goodness. And God, I thank You that You know every single need of every person with a lifted hand towards you, God. I pray, Father, that you would be actively engaged and involved, and more than anything else, God, that we would sense Your presence now. Emmanuel, God with us. God, even in Your own way, would You just whisper that You know, that You care, that You're involved, that You're working even when we don't sense it, that You're active, God, even when we don't see it. That we thank You for Your presence. And as we cast our cares on You because You care for us, may Your peace, God from Heaven, guard our hearts and our minds, and our souls in Christ Jesus.
As you keep praying today at all of our different churches, or maybe those of you that you're at really low point right now, and you would recognize if we sat down and talk to each other, and I said, hey, where is God involved in all this? You might say, I don't know. And you may come to recognize that you don't really know God personally. You might believe in God kinda sorta. You might even been a church person but you're not walking with God, you don't sense His presence. I'm convinced there may be times when God allows us to get so low that the only place we had to look is up. Look toward Him, look toward Heaven.
And when we look toward Him, let me tell you about who He sent to show us His goodness and His love. He sent His only son, Jesus, God in the flesh. Jesus hung out with the those that religion rejected. He hung out with those who were messed up, those who were dysfunctional, those who were grossly sinning. And He loved them exactly where they were. Then Jesus went to the cross. Why did He go? He went to become sin for us. He shed His innocent blood in place of ours. He died in our place. God raised Him from the dead so that anyone, and this includes you, it doesn't matter who you are, doesn't matter what you've done, doesn't matter how dark your life is, anyone who calls on the name of Jesus would be saved, would be forgiven.
I'm convinced that there are those of you, you're about to experience the goodness of God. He is near, He is here, and you are watching, you are listening, you're on the other side of the computer, you're present in the room because our God is reaching out to you. He's showing you his love. He's drawing you close. You're not here by accident. You're here because of the goodness of God. What do you do? You recognize your need. You call on the name of Jesus. When you call on His name, He forgives every sin. He makes you brand new. He takes up residency in your life. You will never be alone. The Lord will always be near.
All of our churches, those who say yes, I need His grace. Yes, I turn from my sin. Yes, I give my life to Jesus. That's your prayer, lift your hands high now. All over the place, lift them up and say, yes, Jesus, that's my prayer. Oh my goodness, all three four of you right up here, praise God for you. Others of you, say yes, Jesus, I surrender, I give You my life. I trust You, Lord. Church online, you guys click right below me. And as we have people all of our churches surrendering to Jesus, would you mind just standing to your feet in prayer. We're going to pray. Nobody prays alone. And join your heart, your voices, and your faith with those around you. Just pray aloud.
Heavenly Father. I give You my life. Jesus, save me, forgive all my sins. Make me brand new. Fill me with your spirit so I could follow You and live for You. Thank You God that You're near. That You'll never leave me. You'll always be with me. My life is not my own. Today, I give it to You. In Jesus's name I pray, and everybody said amen.
Amen, can you guys celebrate big? Can you worship our God, welcome those born into God's family.