ETSB Blues Washed away BLOGIs it alright if I say that it saddens me when we come to the end of a series?  Is it strange to be “sad” that a series on overcoming sadness or the blues is coming to an end?  (Ha-ha)  It feels sort of like the sadness  you feel when an old friend moves to a new city.  It’s been good and we hate to see it end.  We have really enjoyed learning what God’s Word says about Escaping the Statesboro Blues during this series.  We will conclude the series this Sunday by recapping what we have learned, and then I will give you “Seven Things To Do Every Day to Escape the Statesboro Blues”

This is Baptism Sunday as well, so if you want to be water baptized, let us know.  Join us this Sunday 1.31.16 at 9 or 11 a.m.  for “Blues Washed Away.”

 

One Hour On Wednesday

January 27th, 2016

At 7 :00 p.m. we will continue our study in the first two books of Psalms for One Hour On Wednesday. Join us as we read verse by verse through the Songs of Psalms!

Psalms

College and Youth will meet for EDGE as well as Promiseland and Believing Kids. Something for every age group tonight at Believers for One Hour on Wednesday!

Edge Logo

01-24-16 ETSB Escape Route_blog

 

Escaping The Statesboro Blues   “The Escape Route”    Believers Statesboro 01-24-16

Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

Listen online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/

Even though we all deal with The Statesboro Blues from time to time, we are making it our goal to experience “inexpressible and glorious joy” that only comes through a relationship with Christ Jesus!

 

1 Peter 1:8-9  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NIV)

 

Last week we discovered that we don’t have to be depressed or anxious about anything!  Instead, we can heed the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable– if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things.(NIV)

 

In order to walk in inexpressible and glorious joy we are watching what we think about (vs 8), and because of our prayers with thanksgiving (vs 6), the peace of God is also guarding our hearts and minds (vs 7).

 

Renewing Our Mind

 

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 

How are we transformed?  By the renewing of the mind.  Notice it’s not steps to a different life; it’s not rededicating my life over and over again.  It’s about a total transformation of our mind and thinking.

We are transformed by the renewing of our mind then…

 

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

The Greek word translated as renewing is the word anakainosis (an-ak-ah’-ee-no-sis), meaning a renewal,

a renovation, it means to make better than new.  When the recordings of the past play, you wipe them clean, and you let the Word of God make your mind totally better than new.

 

Your thoughts really do matter.  Distortional Thought Patterns are like weeds planted in your mind and heart.  They grow up and become huge strongholds that can literally imprison you in depression and anxiety.  When the weeds are pulled up and the Word of God is planted within our minds, it will literally produce a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23.

 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (NIV)

 

Fortunately for us there are only Ten Distortional Thought Patterns that we need take captive and demolish.

Today, we are going to look at the ten most common thought patterns and combat them with the Word of God and correct thinking.  This is our Escape Route!  This is how we will Escape the Statesboro Blues!

 

Next Step:  This week I will memorize 2 Cor. 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)

Distortional Thought Patterns

 

  1. What if” thinking

 

“What if I lose my job?”  “What if I lose my home?”  This “what if thinking” breeds anxiety and fear. 

 

We need to replace “What if” statements with God’s Word!

Focusing on “What if,” your fear grows; however, if you focus on God’s Word, your fear goes.

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I confess all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23).

I will speak God’s promises and ask myself, “What does God’s Word say?”

 

  1. Catastrophizing

 

You can call this thinking “awfulizing” because the mind actually magnifies unpleasant events and transforms them into something more awful, terrible, or horrible than they really are.

(Making a Mountain out of a Molehill!)

 

  • Catastrophizing words include awful, terrible, horrible, unbearable, dreadful, devastating, intolerable, and hopeless. These are extreme words that transform a minor circumstance into a major stressor and create a lot of anxiety.  It’s like pouring lighter fluid on a fire.

 

  • To put the fire out, we need to use less inflammatory words such as unfortunate, inconvenient, difficult, bothersome, inappropriate, and uncomfortable, or disagreeable. STOP THE DRAMA!

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I will not awfulize, but choose faith-building words.

According to Romans 8:28, I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

  1. Habitually expecting the worst

 

This is a common distortional thought process in both anxious and depressed people.

They are programed with Murphy’s LawIf anything can go wrong, it probably will.

 

“If something bad is going to happen, it’s going to happen me.”  “My boss didn’t speak to me today; I’m probably going to get fired.”  “My husband is late for dinner, he is probably having an affair!”

“I have a headache, I must have spinal meningitis.”

 

Be careful!  When you repeatedly think about something, you create the potential for these thoughts to become self-fulfilling prophecies.  You don’t want to be a magnet for bad things to happen.

 

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

 

Instead of expecting the worst, expect that something good is going to happen to you!

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I will believe and confess Ps 91:10 that no evil shall befall me,

nor shall any plague come near my dwelling and family.

I cast down any thought pattern that expects the worst, and I wholly confess that something good is going to happen to me and my family.  My loved ones and I are under God’s protection.  According to Ps 118:17 I declare that I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

 

  1. Leaping to conclusions

 

“The Grim Leapers” This distortional thought pattern causes people to mistakenly believe that they know what other people are thinking without having any facts to support it.  Their negative assumptions fuel depression and anxiety.

 

Begin to recognize when you are leaping to a conclusion, and challenge yourself to begin to expect the best of other people.  Have more information before you draw a conclusion.

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I will refuse to leap to conclusions.  I will practice love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:7 and always believe the best of every person.

 

  1. Black-and-white thinking

 

Everything is black-and-white and there is no grey.

  • You are probably a perfectionist who sees your work as either flawless or worthless.
  • You may perceive average as failure. In your mind there’s no “Second Place”.  Only 1st Place wins.

 

This thought pattern sets you up for failure, disappointment, depression, and anxiety.

You believe yourself and others that everyone is only one mistake away from total failure.

 

There is a great danger of falling into the trap of comparisons.  Comparisons are the opposite of contentment.  Phil 4:11 …I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Compare leads to despair.

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I realize that only Jesus was perfect and that I can never be perfect.  I choose to do my very best and not compare myself to others.  According to Ps 139:14 I praise you God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

(Mirror Talk) “I forgive myself, accept myself, and love myself unconditionally, even if I make a mistake.”

 

  1. Unenforceable rules

 

This type of thinking usually has a person trapped in anxiety.

  • They normally have a rigid set of rules about what should, must, or ought to be done. They try to put people and events into a neat little box.
  • They have unrealistic expectations because they have no control over circumstances or other people.

The more unrealistic and unenforceable the rules are, the greater the disappointments!

The disappointment normally plays out as worry, frustration, irritation, guilt, depression, or anxiety.

 

The only “should statement” a person needs to make is “I should practice mercy and forgiveness.”

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

If I give others mercy instead of unenforceable rules, I will receive mercy.

 

Replace should statements with “I prefer” and “I would like to.”

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I release all unenforceable rules and expectations of others.  I will show mercy and overlook how I think they should act or behave.  According to 1 Corinthians 13:5, Love keeps no record of wrongs.

 

  1. Labeling

 

Words do hurt!  Words can hurt emotionally and create a belief system that leads to depression and anxiety.  Like pulling weeds from a garden, we need to pull hurtful words.

 

 

Confession from God’s Word:  According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, I am a new creature in Christ Jesus!  I will not believe any negative labels placed on me, nor will I put any negative labels on others.  I choose to see myself and others the way God sees us; precious, beloved, and His child.

  1. Negative filter

 

This person usually discounts anything positive or good.

  • If he hears a compliment he usually discounts or discredits it.
  • He hears and remembers the bad, criticisms and the negative information.

 

He may be a “pit thinker”.  He overgeneralizes and takes one unpleasant circumstance and believes that it represents a life trend.  He makes statements like, “I will always be like this.” or, “I will never change.”

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I repent of negative thought patterns.  I confess Isaiah 61:3, saying:

God has given me a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

In keeping with Philippians 4:8, I choose to only think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy!

 

  1. Emotional reasoning

 

A person with this distortional thought pattern treats feelings as facts.

  • If she feels incompetent, she thinks she is doing a lousy job.
  • If she feels rejected by others, she believes she is worthless.
  • If she feels hopeless about taking an exam, she may not even show up to take it. She suffers with the temptation to give up, because her emotions are making her feel defeated.

A healthy thinker separates their feelings from their overall self-worth.

 

Negative feelings are a sign that you are thinking negative, depressing thoughts.  Use them as a trigger to change your thoughts to gratitude and thankfulness.

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I will not be influenced by my emotions or feelings, because the

just shall live by faith (Heb. 10:38) and it is impossible to please God without faith (Heb. 11:6).

The truth in my situation is based on what God’s Word says, not how I feel.

 

  1. The blame game

 

Many depressed and anxious people are stuck in the trap of blaming others or God.

This is a “victim mentality”.  “I lost my job because my wife made me late by not having my breakfast ready!”  This person is not taking responsibility for their actions.

 

Blame locks you into your past, prevents you from examining yourself, and keeps you from removing thought patterns that are sabotaging your life.

 

If someone truly is at fault…Forgive them!  Forgiveness is a choice we must make; a decision not a feeling.  Choose today to forgive rather than blame.

 

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (NIV)

 

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (NIV)

 

Remember “He that covers his sins will not prosper.”  Covering your sins leads to playing the blame game instead of confessing and coming clean and finding mercy.

 

Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (NKJ)

 

Confession from God’s Word:  I will take responsibility for my own actions and not blame others.  If others have hurt me or caused me pain, I will forgive them.

 

Dressed for Success

 

Tomorrow morning when you wake up, you will have to choose what to wear.  What will you put on?

You can put on some of your old clothes that are probably ready for the rag bin, or you could put on your new clothes and look nice. The choice is up to you.

 

The same is true with your emotions and mental health.  You can choose to use any of these ten most common distortional thought patterns, or you can choose to use the mind of Christ.

 

Ephesians 4:22-24 … put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (NKJ)

 

We are in Christ Jesus, Christ Jesus is in us.  We are new creations. Old ways of thinking must go away.  We have the mind of Christ, and we will believe what He says is true about us.

 

Therefore we choose to demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

 

In doing so we will “Escape the Statesboro Blues!”

 

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. Discuss the Ten Distortional Thought Patterns and the Confessions from God’s Word.

 

Escaping The Statesboro Blues   “The Escape Route”    Believers Statesboro  01-24-16

Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

01-24-16 ETSB Escape Route_blog

Do your ever find yourself “What if” thinking?  Of maybe you are a person who likes to catastrophize, making mountains out of molehills?  Do you habitually expect the worst or find yourself leaping to conclusions?  These are just a few of the Distortional Thought Patterns that we are going to deal with this Sunday, 1-24-15, at Believers Church, as we continue our “Escaping the Statesboro Blues” series.

At both the 9 and 11 am services we will be combating these distortional thought patters with confessions from God’s Word!  These confessions are our “Escape Route”!

Together we will “demolish” arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and Escape the Statesboro Blues!

 

 

Membership Class Sunday

January 20th, 2016

Pastor Scott will teach a Membership Class this Sunday, January 24, at 9 a.m.  Sign up to find out more about what Membership means at Believers Church!

Call 912.681.1440 to RSVP!

Jan Membership Class

Blog_Pic_ Anxious for Nothing

Escaping The Statesboro Blues  “Anxious for Nothing”    Believers Statesboro  01-17-16

Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

At one point or another everyone experiences the blues, as we like to call it here in our hometown, “The Statesboro Blues”.  From time to time, we all have to work through the Statesboro blues, feeling down, sad, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and even depressed.

Our goal in this “Escaping the Statesboro Blues” series will be to help us all experience the opposite of depression and anxiety, which is what the Apostle Peter refers to as “inexpressible and glorious joy that comes through a relationship with Christ Jesus!

1 Peter 1:8-9  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NIV)

The Apostle Paul adds in Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (NIV)

Today we will look deeper into anxiety.  As a matter of fact, depression and anxiety often go hand in hand.  If you are depressed, you are probably experiencing symptoms of anxiety as well.

The Stats

Approximately 40 million American adults age eighteen and older, about 18.1 percent of people in the U.S., have an anxiety disorder.[i]

  • 80% of depressed individuals suffer psychological anxiety symptoms, unrealistic apprehension, fears, worry, irritability, or panic attacks.

Types of Anxiety

Generalized Anxiety Disorder – A constant state of worry and tension, stresses, tense and tight muscles in the neck and shoulder, and back.  You may clench your teeth, tighten your fist or fidget and shake your legs.  You are like a car that is idling too high, always ready to fight or flee.

Phobias

  • Approximately 15 million adults age 18 and older, or 6.8 percent, have social phobia; the fear of social interaction or social performance. (parties, meeting new people, public speaking)
  • Approximately 1.8 million American adults age 18 and older, or 0.8 % of people have agoraphobia; the fear of being in public places.
  • Approximately 19.2 million Americans age 18 and older, or about 8.7%, have some type of specific phobia. Women are twice as likely as men to have these extreme and unreasonable fears.

Specific Phobias are grouped into five categories.

  1. Animal Phobias – spiders, snakes, bugs, mice, dogs etc. These are the most common phobias.
  2. Natural environment phobias – fear of heights, storms, water, and so on.
  3. Blood-injection-injury phobias – fear of being injured, seeing blood, receiving an injection, viewing of discussing medical procedures and so forth.
  4. Situational phobias – fear of driving over bridges or through tunnels, flying, riding in elevators, riding on public transportation, and other similar situations.
  5. Other Phobias include fear of choking, vomiting, falling down, loud sounds, balloons, clowns, or costume characters.

 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Approximately 2.2 million American adults age eighteen and older, 1% of population, have OCD.  They use mental strategies or repetitive action to decrease anxiety brought on by disturbing thoughts that they want to get rid of.

Panic Disorder

Approximately 6 million American adults age eighteen and older, 2.7% of the population, suffers from panic disorders.  They have short bouts (usually lasting about 10 minutes) of extreme intense fear or panic attacks in which they feel they are going to die.  This is an adrenaline rush, which is a fight or flight reaction that simply occurs at the wrong time.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Approximately 7.7 million American adults age eighteen and older, 3.5% of the population have post-traumatic stress disorders.  People with PTSD have been the victim of a major trauma such as rape, sexual abuse, armed robbery, or war related traumas.[ii]

Be Anxious for Nothing, but Pray about Everything

Philippians 4:6  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”

Every situation, every thought, every feeling, should be discussed with your best friend, Jesus!

Communicate with Jesus, talk to Jesus, about everything.

Prayer and Supplication  The word supplication implies more than just a petition or request.  Supplications suggest persevering, intense prayer.  This is a total transfer of one’s burden and cares into the hands of Jesus.

Cast all your anxiety on Jesus

Peter put it this way: 1 Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

Cast all of your cares upon Him.

With a heart of thanksgiving, pray about everything!

Philippians 4:6  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”

With a heart of thanksgiving, pray about everything!  These prayers should not be presented in a spirit of worry and anxiety, but it should be with a spirit of thanksgiving that requests are made to God.

Be thankful for what God has done for us in the past, thankful for what He is doing now, and thankful for what He will do in the future.

What did Paul report to the Corinth church about his time of destress and near death?

2 Corinthians 1:10-11He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.  On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers.  Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. (NIV)

Next Step:  This week I will memorize 2 Corinthians 1:10.

The Result

The result of this kind of prayer and supplication, with an attitude of thankfulness, is the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding.

Philippians 4:7 says, “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

That’s why Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything” pray!  This type of thankful prayer and casting your anxieties upon Jesus will result in the Peace of God in your life!  I mean you will find the kind of peace that just doesn’t even make sense!

Notice that if you do this, the peace of God will guard not only your heart, but your mind as well.  It will combat all of those distortional thought patterns, all of those phobias, all of the thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word!

“Why Worry, When You Can Pray”

When I was in high school, my mother gave me a small card that simply read:

“Why Worry, When You Can Pray”.

This sounded like a good idea, something that would be easy to do, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  I often found myself worrying first, and only praying as a last resort.

The worrying came more naturally because it was based on my own ‘self-reliance mentality’.

Praying, on the other hand, caused me to shift to a reliance on the Lord.

We must shift our reliance from ourselves and our own efforts to Jesus, and always start looking to the Lord first!

I think what Paul was trying to teach people, and what my mother was trying to teach me with the ‘Why Worry Card’, is that through prayer and supplication one can entrust all the cares and worries of this life into the hands of a loving Savior who cares for us.

  • We don’t have to make things work.  We just give them over to someone who can work all things together for our good.
  • Instead of fretting over these nagging anxieties, we now can experience peace that others only dream about: The peace of God that goes beyond our understanding and cannot be described with words.

Devoted to Continual Prayer

At the conclusion of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he makes an interesting statement.  He says, “Devote yourselves to prayer.”

Col 4:2  Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Of course, this devotion to prayer comes out of relationship.  We must be men or women of prayer.

Pray, Pray, Pray.  Pray all the time, pray about everything.

D.L. Moody was known as a great preacher. People would travel many miles just to hear him preach, but R.A. Torrey reflects on Moody’s devotion to prayer saying, “Out of a very intimate acquaintance with him, I wish to testify that he was a far greater pray-er than he was a preacher.”

“Moody was a man who believed in the God who answers prayer, and not only believed in Him in a theoretical way, but believed in Him in a practical way.  He was a man who met every difficulty that stood in his way – by prayer.  Everything he undertook was backed up by prayer, and in everything, his ultimate dependence was upon God.”   R.A. Torrey

Be devoted to prayer, pray about everything, and pray all the time.

1Thes 5:17 pray continually;  (NIV)          1Thes 5:17  pray without ceasing,  (NKJ)

“The more we pray, the more we think to pray.”  Dallas Willard

  • Many times in the Gospels, you will see that Jesus, right in the midst of a busy ministry, lifted up His eyes and spoke to the Father.
  • Sometimes, He would have extended times of prayer (Luke 6:12, Mark 6:46).
  • Other times, His words were short and to the point.  Jesus seemed to understand how to have constant communication with the Father.

Why?  Because Jesus and Father God were in a relationship.

Replace Anxious Thoughts with God’s Truth

Phil 4:7-8 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,    whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy– think about such things. (NIV)

Whatever is pure, think about it.  Whatever is lovely, think about it.  Whatever is noble, think about it. Meditate on it; get it into your mind and into your heart.

  • “Oh I just feel like something bad is going to happen to me or my family today.”

“No! I reject that thought!” Isaiah 43:2  says “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (NIV)

  • “Everything bad always happens to me!”

“No!  According to Romans 8:28 I have a good God who is working good in all things to those who love Him – and I do, and are called according to His purpose – and I am!”

  • “I am so anxious and worried, by heart is starting to race!”

“No!  According Colossians 3:15 I will let the peace of Christ rule in my heart, because I am called to peace. I will also be thankful.

  • “I’m so afraid. It’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.”

“No!” Reject that!  According to Isaiah 40:31 I will put my hope in the Lord!  “…those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)

Jesus said…

Matt 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26   Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

(Good question?  How has worry been working for you?  Is it paying off?  Is it making life better or longer?)

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. (Lilies) 30    If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)

God’s Will For You

1Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Next Step:  This week I will make it my goal to 1) Be joyful always; 2) pray continually;

3) give thanks in all circumstances, because this is God’s will for me. 1Thes 5:16-18

[i] Kessler, Chiu, Dember, and Walters. “Prevalence, Severity and Comorbidity of Twelve-Month DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NC5-R).”

[ii] Don Colbert, MD “The New Bible Cure for Depression and Anxiety” (Charisma House Pub, Lake Mary, FL) p. 21-26

Life Group and Family Devotional Application

  1. In Philippians 4:4 why do you think Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice”?
  1. What types of anxiety have you had to deal with? Ever experience any phobias?
  1. What is the difference in a prayer and supplication?
  1. What does it change in us when we pray with a heart of thanksgiving?
  1. What is the result of praying with thanksgiving instead of worrying? (Phil 4:7)

 

 

Next Sunday 01-17-16 PIC

 

“Why Worry, When You Can Pray”

When I was in high school, my mother gave me a small card that simply read:

“Why Worry, When You Can Pray”.

This sounded like a good idea, something that would be easy to do, but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be.  I often found myself worrying first, and only praying as a last resort.

Was this what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Philippians 4:6 ?

Join us this Sunday at 9 or 11 a.m. as we continue to Escape The Statesboro Blues!

 

One Hour On Wednesday 01.13.16

January 12th, 2016

One Hour on Wednesday this week at 7 p.m. Don’t miss it as we begin our Study in PSALMS!

Psalms

 

EDGE Youth will meet in the Pavilion at 7 p.m. EDGE is for students in 6th -12th grades.

See you for One Hour on Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escaping The Statesboro Blues “Broom Tree Blues” & Notes
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Escaping The Statesboro Blues “Broom Tree Blues” Believers Statesboro 01-10-16
Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

What Gets You Blue?
Financial Problems, Stressful Relationships, Work Situations, Marriage Issues, People let you down, Raising Children, Incomplete Projects, Time Pressures, Inconsistencies in Your Own Life, Reoccurring Sins, What Appears to be Unanswered Prayer, Threats Made Against You, Spoken Words of Discouragement, Unexpected Crisis, Monotony, Change, World Crisis, The Spiritual State of Our Nation, The Spiritual State of Our World. (Circle the ones that discourage you and/or list some others.)

Victorious Elijah on Mt. Carmel (I King 18 – Tell the Story)

In 1 Kings 18 Elijah has just experienced one of the greatest victories in his life. With Faith and Boldness he challenged the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel! But notice how quickly the blues and discouragement takes over in chapter 19, as a threat is made on his life.

Broom Tree Blues – “Take My Life!”

1 Kings 19 Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword.
2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time
tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 3 Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to
Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a
broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am
no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)

His attitude went from boldness before God to blaming God for his trouble. Fear replaced faith. Power was drained by pity, and disobedience replaced obedience. How quickly things changed!
Sound familiar?

1. The Blues Break Self-image.

I Kings 18:8 “Yes,” he replied. “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.'” (NIV)
I Kings 18:19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (NIV)

I Kings 19:4 “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”

2. The Blues Block Responsibility.

I Kings 19:5-9 Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6 He looked around, and there by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.

• Even during the blues, God supernaturally took care of him and sustained him.
• You know you are depressed when an Angel feeds you and you blow him off.

7 The angel of the LORD came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too
much for you.”

• In the midst of his blues and depression, God still had a journey for Elijah to take.

8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached
Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to
him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (NIV)

• What are you doing! Snap out of it! I’ve got more for you!

3. The Blues Blame.

I Kings 19:9-10 There he went into a cave and spent the night. And the word of the LORD came to him: “What are
you doing here, Elijah?” (NIV) 10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. (It’s not my
fault!) The Israelites (they are the ones! It’s their fault!) have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and
put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.” (NIV)

4. The Blues Blur the Facts.

I Kings 19:11-14 The LORD said, “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 mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”14 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
I Kings 19:18 Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel– all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him.” (NIV)

The Blues Come When…

1. Feel that opportunity for success is gone.

1 Kings 19:4 He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,”
he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)
I Kings 19:10b I am the only one left,
1 Kings 19:14 I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

I tried that and I failed. God has passed me by. I’m too old. I missed my chance. If only I would have done it then… I don’t have enough help. Not enough resources. There is no hope.

“It’s not what happens that determines the major part of our future… What happens, happens to us all…The key is what you do about it. If you do different things in the same circumstances, you will get different results.” Jim Rohn

Our God is the God of a second chance! (And a third, fourth, fifth…) Though we may fall we shall not be utterly cast down. Learn from discouraging life experiences, grow, and let God teach you, and be willing to change as the Lord shows you a better way to handle these situations.
God wants you to experience His kind of success in life!

2. When We Think Only of Ourselves.

Most of the time people who are discouraged or down are inward focused and often times selfish.
Jesus washed the disciple feet in John 13 as an example for us to serve others. He said if you do this, serve others, your life will be blessed.

John 13:13-17 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)

3. Are not immediately successful in our attempts to do something.

Elijah actually got the blues after a very successful adventure, but the blues often comes when we are trying something and run into a road block. We don’t always experience immediate success, yet we don’t quite, we keep going!

Hebrews 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. (NIV)

Heb 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

“Every success I know has been reached because the person was able to analyze
defeat and actually profit from it in the next undertaking.” William Marston

“The Successful Man will profit from his mistakes and try again a different way.” Dale Carnegie

4. Lack purpose and a plan.

Inactivity produces discouragement. You seldom see a discouraged activist running to and fro trying to help others.

1 Kings 19:15-17 The LORD said to him, “Go back the way you came, and go to the Desert of Damascus. When you
get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. 16 Also, anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and anoint Elisha son
of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet. 17 Jehu will put to death any who escape the sword of
Hazael, and Elisha will put to death any who escape the sword of Jehu.

Not only would Elijah anoint these future leaders, but Elisha would become his successor. BUT God was not through with Elijah yet!

God is not through with us either!
2 Cor 4:7-10 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.(NIV)

How to Escape The Blues

1. If Sin Is The Source of Your Blues, Repent.

Living contrary to your purpose and plan or who you are in Christ Jesus is going to give you the blues.
Pride, Selfish Ambition, Greed, Hatred, Lying, Lust, Sexual Sins, all of these things are unnatural to your Spirit man and will grieve the Holy Spirits presence in your life and cause depression!
2 Cor 7:10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (NIV)

If you are a Christian and you are living in sin you are supposed to be discouraged because you are grieving the Holy Spirit of God who brings you encouragement.

I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJ)

2. See The Big Picture.

Is it really that bad compared to how bad it could be? Your current problem tends to outweigh all the problems of the world.

It is still morning and the sun is still shinning.

Hold On! A Better Day Is Coming. This too will pass.
Look how close God was to Elijah right in the middle of his broom tree blues!
1 Kings 19:4 He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had
enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” (NIV)

WARNING Never make any rash or life changing decisions in a state of discouragement or the blues.

3. Trust In The Lord’s Faithfulness, Not Your Feelings.

Ps 37:23-26 If the LORD delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; 24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. 26 They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. (NIV)

Ps 43:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. (NIV)

Lam 3:19-33 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. 20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. 21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (NIV)

4. Be Around Fellow Believers.

Like Elijah when you are discouraged, depressed, or blue you tend to withdraw.

2 Cor 7:6-7 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. (NIV)

NEXT STEP: This week I will memorize and meditate on Hebrews 10:23-25.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another– and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV)

5. Take Responsibility For Your Feelings.

“God please do something for me to take away my discouragement.”

What more can God do for you? He saved you from Hell. Adopted you as His child. Made you an heir to His kingdom. All that He has is yours. Gives you Love, Joy, Peace, etc. And all of this is given to you here in this world, not to mention the eternal rewards!

Psalms 42:5-6 and 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon– from Mount Mizar.
11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God. (NIV)

Eph 5:18-20 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pray Thank You Jesus Prayers! Thank Him in the good times. Thank Him in the bad times.

NEXT STEP: This week I will put my hope in God and praise Him in every situation!

Life Group and Family Devotional Application
1. What Gets You Blue? Explain and consider why?

2. Give examples of how Broom Tree Blues – Break Self-image / Block Responsibility / Blame Others / Blur Facts.

3. We learned that The Blues Come When We –Feel that opportunity for success is gone – Think Only of Ourselves – Are not immediately successful in our attempts to do something – Lack purpose and a plan. Which of these Four seem to get to you the most? Why?

4. When people get the blues, why do they do the two worst things possible, stop serving, and avoid fellowship?

5. Share some successful ways you have taken responsibility for your Statesboro Blues!

 

Next Week 01-13-16 PICElijah’s state of mind was pretty bad.  Discouraged and downcast he sat down under a broom tree and prayed that he might die, saying “I have had enough, LORD.  Take my life!

His attitude went from boldness before God to blaming God for his trouble.  Fear replaced faith, power was drained by pity, and disobedience replaced obedience.  How quickly things changed!

Sound familiar?

Well maybe your situation isn’t that bad or it could be worse.  Either way we can and we will Escape the Statesboro Blues together!  Join us this Sunday, 01-10-16, at 9 or 11 for “Broom Tree Blues”.

Our goal in this “Escaping the Statesboro Blues” series is to experience the opposite of depression and anxiety, in what the Apostle Paul refers to as “inexpressible and glorious joy” that comes through a relationship with Christ Jesus!

If you missed last Sundays start of the series, you can view it online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/online-sermons/.

Escaping The Statesboro Blues Week One “The Statesboro Blues” Believers Statesboro 01-03-15   Overcoming the Blues, Anxiety, Depression, and Stress