It Is Well: Finding Peace in an Anxious World
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: John 14:27, Mark 4:35–4:41,
It Is Well
A seven week series about finding peace in an anxious world.
The Problem of Anxiety
We live in anxious times. While we all deal with worry, now more than ever, record numbers of people are suffering serious anxiety issues. As last week's headline in the Los Angeles Times proclaimed: It’s not just you, we’re all living in the United States of Anxiety. The article begins with these words: "Feeling more anxious these days? You've got plenty of company. A new survey from the American Psychiatric Association reveals that about 4 out of 10 of us are feel more anxious now than we did last year."
Other surveys and mountains of current research come to the same conclusion. Unfortunately, many of us already know that because that's been our own personal journey for a very long time. Crippling anxiety is something we live with every single day, whether others know that about us or not. Even if it's less severe for others of us, we all wrestle with worry and anxiety to some degree or another. That's why it’s so important for us to talk about this together as a church.
Four Foundations for our Series
1. Anxiety is a common experience.
You're not the only one even though anxiety can make us feel that way. Now it's true that there are varying degrees of worry and anxiety among us where we don’t all experience it the same—at the same intensity, with the same frequency, and from the same causes. Still no one is exempt from anxiety this side of heaven--it's common to all of us.
2. Anxious people aren’t always faithless people.
While a lack of faith could be the cause of our anxiety, it doesn’t automatically mean that a lack of faith must be the cause of our anxiety. The same goes for others who we're often quick to judge, assuming we know why they are the way that are.
3. There are no magic fixes for anxiety.
We're complex creatures, wonderfully made by God. The physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social sides to who we are all woven together and affect our anxiousness. So even though we live in a culture that makes big promises and offers quick solutions, the reality is that there’s no one magic fix out there that’s going take away all our anxiety right away.
4. Jesus offer genuine peace for our anxiety.
There is a reason why the Old Testament prophet Isaiah looked into the future at the coming Messiah and foretold that He would be “the Prince of Peace.” There’s also a reason why this same Jesus spoke often about worry and anxiety because He knew that this was a universal, human experience. Jesus also knew that we’d go anywhere and try anything to find peace in this anxious world of ours, even if it means disobeying Him and destroying ourselves. So in the midst of all that, Jesus pointed to Himself as the only source and solution for genuine, lasting, and prevailing peace.
John 14:27 NIV
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Mark 4:35-41 NIV
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
The Heart of Anxiety
The heart of anxiety is driven by two dominating thoughts:
1. “IT’S OUT OF CONTROL” - the threat > my ability
2. “I’M IN IT ALONE” - no one can or wants to help me
The Heart of Peace
Jesus cares for you and He is in control.
The heart of peace comes from knowing and experiencing this personally. So what's the specific, overwhelming threat in your life right now that’s making you anxious? Jesus wants you to invite Him into your anxiety and to trust in His care and control so He can provide His prevailing peace to your anxious heart.