Week of 11/08/2015 - Anxious for Nothing

SERIES OVERVIEW

Life is full of uncertainty. Daily situations beyond our control put us at risk for disappointment, failure, and regret. For most of us, bravery is not about staring death in the eye, but finding courage to face the everyday pressure and anxieties life throws our way. In this series, we’ll discover how to be brave and what it means to fully rely on God’s peace and promises in every situation. 

SESSION 1: Anxious for Nothing! 

SESSION OVERVIEW

We are all afraid of something. And whether our fear is real or irrational, if we let ourselves get caught up in a sea of worry, we run the risk of drowning in it. What do we do when it feels like our anxiety is overwhelming? How do we find the peace of Jesus in the midst of any storm? Pastor Don opens our series "How to Be Brave" by challenging us to brave during the waves of anxiety in our everyday lives by reminding us who controls the waves, and teaching us practical steps to awaken our bravery. our faith, quiet our fears, and trust God in all things. 

KEY PASSAGE 

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)  - Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

GOAL FOR THIS SESSION 

In the first week of our new series, How To Be Brave, Pastor Don preached that we can be brave in the face of the winds and waves of our lives when we learn to cultivate hearts that are anxious for nothing.  

KEY POINTS

1. We must train our heart to be anxious for nothing. 

It is one thing to be concerned about something, but very different when we allow our concern to become anxiety.  Freedom comes from anxiety when we realize that the situation or concern is really nothing but a thing.  

2. Waves of anxiety are going to appear.   

We must keep in check our Words, our Approach, the Voices we listen too, our Expectations and our Shame, remembering that God does care for us.   

3. Jesus is challenging us to be brave.  

Often we’re trying to shake God awake to handle our fears, when He wants to awaken our faith and our inner brave to change the atmosphere of our hearts. There is anxiety around you, because there is anxiety within you.  

LEADERSHIP 101 

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul commands us to be anxious for nothing. He wrote this letter from the dingy confines of a prison cell but he dismissed his reasons for anxiety and was able to find the peace of God. 

We all have fears or anxieties that seem real to us but are actually needless. The Greek word Paul used in Philippians 4 was merimnate, which can be translated as either needless anxiety or genuine concern. Pastor Don explained that it’s possible to have genuine concern, but not to be anxious and to trust God with all things. When we have a mindset similar to the saying, “It’s nothing but a thing,” we take on a heavenly perspective and eliminate needless anxiety. 

Session 1: Be Anxious for Nothing    

REFRESH 

Review the sermon if needed. 

DISCUSSION  

Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.  

GET GOING: Who is afraid of that? 

  • Give everyone in your Group a piece of paper and ask them to answer anonymously. After everyone in the group has answered, take turns guessing who is afraid of what.  

  • What are some of your most irrational fears?  

Read Philippians 4:6-7

GET DEEP 

Read Romans 8:31-32, Romans 8:37-39.  

When have you seen God overcome strong opposition in your life?  

Key Point One: We are training our heart to be anxious for nothing.   

Read Mark 4:35-41 

What do you believe Jesus was trying to teach the disciples by calming the storm? 

Pastor Don shared five ways we create waves of anxiety in our hearts: 

Words

  • When you are stressed out, how do you verbalize that feeling? 

  • What is the difference between “venting” and allowing your words to add more anxiety to your life?  

Approach

  • In what areas of your life are you more likely to be worried or anxious?  

  • What are some practical ways you can protect yourself from getting needlessly anxious in those situations?  

Voices

  • What voices add to your anxiety or stress? What voices reduce your worry?  

  • How can you put yourself in better position to ensure that the voices you listen to are the right ones? 

Expectations

  • Do you ever find yourself bracing for or expecting hardship?  

  • How do you manage the tension of remaining hopeful in moments that you know are going to be difficult? 

Shame

  • Do you ever feel uneasy because you don’t think you deserve to feel peace?  

  • Where does that come from and how do you work through that feeling?!  

Key Point 2: Waves of anxiety are going to appear.  

Read James 1:6-8    

Pastor Don offered five challenges to help us be brave: 

Breathe

  • Have you ever added to your anxiety or worry by making a rash decision?  

  • What are some practical ways you can allow yourself to slow down and process the situation at hand? 

Remember

  • When has God made you brave? What did this teach you about God and about yourself?  

Ask

  • How would you describe your prayer life right now?  

  • When do you pray to God? What do you ask Him for?  

  • What can you do as a group to pray for each other more regularly? 

Visualize

  • When was the last time you were able to really sense God’s presence with you?  

  • What are some small reminders you can train yourself to look for as a sign that God is always with you?  

Elevate

  • What troubles are you facing right now? 

  • What can you praise God for in that struggle?  

Key Point 3: Jesus is challenging us to be brave.  

NEXT STEP 

Help your group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their Next Steps later this week.  

Is there a concern that you have allowed to become and anxiety? Your next Step may be to evaluate the ways that you have created these anxieties in your heart and memorize Philippians 4:6-7. 

Is there a concern that you want others to pray with you about? Your next step is to be brave and share your concern with the group to pray alongside you.  

Your next step may be to praise God for the current circumstances as He is working within you to awaken your faith.  

PRAY 

Pray for those in your group who have expressed concerns. Ask God to help your group be brave this week as the waves of anxiety come. Thanks God for allowing these times so that we can grow in our faith and to be brave.