Have you ever tried to tell yourself to stop worrying?

Posted on by YFC Lincoln

Does it really work?

It's like Chris Traeger on Parks & Rec trying to tell himself to stop pooping when he had the flu. We know we shouldn't fear or worry, but the reality as broken people is that we do.  Paul Bauman at Trinity Church in Holdrege, NE gave an excellent sermon (the first in a series) giving you Biblical and practical steps to work through if you're feeling fearful or anxious. Paul preaches through the story of Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8. Let's work through it here. If you'd also like to watch the sermon, find it online here.

Matthew 8:23 And when he [Jesus] got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

What is the first thing Jesus said to his disciples after they woke him screaming they're going to die? (Do remember: these are experienced fishermen who have been in many storms. This one was legitmately terrifying them.) Jesus asked them: "Why are you afraid?" Don't skip over this question. When fear and anxiety are threatening to send you into panic, don't try to stuff the emotions; Jesus didn't recommend this. And he didn't rebuke the disciples for their fear; he asked in love and compassion "Why are you afraid?" The solution for overcoming fear and worry begins with understanding your fears and worries not denying them. Step 1: Identify your fears. What fears do you see immediately in your life? What fears do you have regarding the people you love? What are you afraid you could lose? Step 2: Learn what your fears are telling you. What do they show you cherish most in life? What prediction(s) is your fear making? What do you think you might be saying about God when you are anxious and afraid?

Take some time to honestly think through these questions, and in doing so recognize three important truths about the DNA of fear. Fear is consumed with self-protection. But Jesus is our rock. Psalm 61:2b-3 "Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you [God] are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me." Fear wants immediate relief when it escalates. Let that lead you to Christ. Psalm 61:2 "From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Fear always calls out for someone bigger than us, which is good if it sends us running to Jesus like the disciples. 

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