Rollo May, an existential psychologist, promoted research that highlighted the difference between fear and anxiety.
Fear – “Fear is an instinctive response to an immediate and clear danger”
Anxiety – Diffused and vague, dread, no clear source
Discuss the following: Identify a time when you have felt fearful and a time you have felt anxious?
- Jesus draws the battle lines inside of our hearts
- Jesus wants to change our confined, limited perspective
Key Question: What can we see from the teachings of Jesus can boost our confidence in God’s care over us?
1. The evidence of God’s care for you is written into the very fabric of the universe – Matt. 6:28-30
“Our planet seems finely tuned for the production of beauty, order and sustainable life. What would happen if any one parameter fell outside its narrow, life-friendly range? Take the expansion rate of the universe as an example. If the expansion rate was faster than one part in 10^55 , galaxies could not have formed; if the expansion rate was slower than one part in 10^55 , the universe would collapse before galaxies had a chance to form.” – Doug Powell, Christian Apologetics
“The Entity who brought the universe into existence must be a Personal Being, for only a person can design with anywhere near this degree of precision.” – Hugh Ross
Key Thought: If Jesus can create and sustain the entire world by his power, then he can manage your world by the same.
2. Jesus reminds us about God’s personal knowledge – Matt. 6:31-32
Application – Matt. 6:33
Move something out of the top spot in your personal life and replace with a kingdom priority.
TALK IT OUT
- In this week’s message, we learned that fear tends to be an instinctive response to a specific, clear and immediate danger, while anxiety tends to be more of an unfocused dread or worry about a vague, future-oriented threat. Which of these do you find easier to deal with? Why?
- In recent years, multiple studies have consistently found that 85-91% of what we worry about never actually happens. Give some examples of things you have worried about that either never happened at all or turned out to be far less of an issue than you originally thought.
- Read Genesis 1:1, Psalm 95:3-5, Psalm 146:6 and Colossians 1:15-17. How do these passages affect your confidence that God is able to manage your world?
- Read Matthew 6:25-32, Isaiah 40:27-31, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 13:5 and 1 Peter 5:7. How do these passages affect your confidence that God is willing to manage your world?
- Read Matthew 6:33 and Colossians 3:1-4. According to these verses, what do we need to take into consideration as we set priorities for our life?
LIVE IT OUT
- What is the one thing that you tend to be most anxious about? Take a few moments right now to bring it to God – and then leave it there with Him.
- What thing is most likely to compete with Kingdom priorities in your life? Name one step you will take this week to help prevent that.