Anxious for Nothing
Week 4

Today we are concluding a four-part series called Anxious for Nothing. One thing has been quite clear to me through this series, and that is the fact that anxiety is such a relevant topic that affects all of us on some level.

Whether you have been with us here onsite, or you are joining us online, thank you for being here. If you missed out on any part of the series, you can always catch up online at or by using the point app. Just search “Go to The Point” in your app store and you will be all set.

We have been learning from the Apostle Paul in this series. Even though he would have had plenty of justification for feeling anxious, he is the one who said, “be anxious for nothing.” He penned those powerful words in his letter to the church at Philippi…

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)

Who doesn’t want to live like this? It all sounds so wonderful and desirable. And yet, if we are honest, it is so difficult to do consistently on a practical level. How do you put Paul’s words into practice in real life?

Today we are going to focus on something that generates a great deal of anxiety in so many people. It is called DECISION-MAKING Anxiety. People often experience high levels of anxiety whenever they are faced with an important decision. Decision making anxiety revolves around questions like… What do I do next? I don’t want to make a mistake. How do I make sure I get it right?

The weight of a pressing decision can often robs us of peace, and generate high levels of anxiety if not handled properly. Our mind starts racing. We feel overwhelmed. There is so much pressure. Should I stay at my current job, or take the new job I have been offered? Should I continue to live where I am, or is it time to move?

Should I go back to school to further my education, which would be a bigger financial investment, or do I press pause on my education, save a little more money, and come back later? And if I go to school, which school do I choose? How do I know what to do? Decision-making anxiety.

Should I stay in this house that I’m renting, or should I try to buy a house? Should I keep this car that I’ve been driving and try to nurse it along a little longer?
Maybe that will build my faith! 😊

We’ve all faced some level of decision-making anxiety. Should I continue dating this guy, who just won’t commit, or should I cut my losses, and hope the cute guy at my work that has a Point Sticker on his car would hear from heaven, and ask me out on a date?

Decision-making has the potential to generate a lot of anxiety. This may be where some of you are living right now. Why is there so much anxiety around the topic of decision making?

Why does decision making seem so complicated?

Too many CHOICES

They call it the paradox of choices. We tend to think if we have more options, it will be easier, but that is not the case, is it. With thousands of movie options at home, it seems like there is nothing to watch. Then get on an airplane where you have 12 options, and you immediately pick one.

We live in the age of unlimited opportunities. We can go anywhere, and do anything, and if we are honest, that gives us a sense of anxiety. When I was young, you had to get up from your chair and turn the dial to one of 10-12 channels. Life was so simple then.

Now you have to decide, will I stick with an antenna, choose a cable provider, get a dish, or do I get a smart tv and go with a streaming option? And once I decide to cut the cord, which streaming service should I choose? And why is my favorite show not on the service I chose? And which 30-day trial do I need to sign up for so I can watch the Super Bowl?

Once upon a time, in a land far-far away, watching TV was easy. Researchers tell us that children make 3,000 – 5,000 decisions a day. Adults make about 35,000 decisions a day. It’s no wonder we’re so stressed out!

The fear of making the WRONG CHOICE

Have you heard of FOBO? Fear of Better Options. With so many options before us, we are afraid to make a decision for fear of missing out by settling for the wrong choice or making the wrong decision. To put it in spiritual terms, we don’t want to miss God’s will. We want to get it right. We want to discover our purpose in life. We want to know God’s will. But what if you miss out?

Things like this can create tension and cause so much anxiety in our lives. Sometimes when people are so afraid of making the wrong choice, or missing out, they will often hesitate, procrastinate, or become indecisive. They are unwilling to decide.

In fact, if I asked some of you if you struggled with indecisiveness, you would have a hard time trying to decide. 😊 “Yes and no, I’m not sure.”

Even INDECISION is a decision

Unfortunately, this is the decision that so many people are making today in their spiritual lives, among other places. If you delay a decision to follow Jesus, you have in fact, already made a critical decision. If only for the moment, you have chosen to reject Christ by your indecisiveness when it comes to the matter of eternity. It is up to us to decide to follow Him. That is a decision I hope you have made. If you haven’t, I will be giving you that opportunity in a few moments.

Today we’re going to look at a powerful story that may help us uncomplicate things. The story is found in Acts chapter 15. Some of the leaders of the church were helping unravel some complicated issues that had arisen in the New Testament church.

People like Paul, Barnabas, James, and several other leaders were gathered in Jerusalem to help resolve some tough issues and answer some difficult questions that had come up in the first century church. For instance…

If you’re a Christian, should you eat certain types of meat, that some traditions would forbid? If you were a Gentile, would you have to follow the Jewish customs (be circumcised) in order to follow Jesus? They were wrestling with some significant theological questions. Eternal destinies could be at stake. It was a big responsibility for the church leaders.

I have underlined a key phrase I want you to see in each of these passages…

“Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas…” – Acts 15:22 (NASB)

“…it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul…” – Acts 15:25 (NASB)

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater
burden than these essentials:” – Acts 15:28 (NASB)

It seemed right to these leaders to simplify things. They chose not to raise barriers that might interfere with people choosing to follow Jesus. That decisions just seemed good.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? What do you do if scripture doesn’t speak directly to the decision you are trying to make? One option is that you could do what seems good. But there is a potential problem with that line of thinking. The problem is found in Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (NASB) Sometimes, what seems right, may not be right, and it might lead to the wrong place. How can both be true?

Let’s start with the Old Testament. The Proverb writer said, “there’s a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.” Here is the reason why. If you are around the wrong PEOPLE…(People who have no interest in spiritual things) listening to the wrong VOICES…(People whose voices are inconsistent with God’s Word) living for the wrong VALUES…(Worldly values instead of spiritual values) what seems right in the moment—Will often be WRONG! It can easily lead to the wrong place.

I wonder how many of you have found yourself in the wrong crowd, around the wrong influences, or listening to the wrong voices, and you did something that seemed right in the moment, but later you realized it was very wrong. There’s a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.

Then in the New Testament, we have some of the spiritual leaders were saying. “it seemed right…” They were attempting to build the foundation of the church on something that just seemed right. After what we read in the Old Testament, that sounds scary to me. How could Paul, James, and Barnabas avoid anxiety and make such weighty decisions on something that just seemed right?

I want to look again at some verses we read a few moments ago, but this time I want to shift our focus to another part of the verse. This is how they could do what seemed right and good…

“Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas…” – Acts 15:22 (NASB)

This wasn’t something that seemed right to one person, and it wasn’t a democracy. This is what seemed right to a group of key spiritual leaders in the family of God.

“…it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul…” – Acts 15:25 (NASB)

Another version says they were in one accord. Some people think these guys were running around in a Honda Accord. 😊 Being in one accord means they were unified. They were in agreement, not only with each other, but with the Spirit of God. They were in tune with the Holy Spirit.

“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater
burden than these essentials:” – Acts 15:28 (NASB)

There is a massive difference between something seeming right to one person and something that is in alignment with the leadership of God’s Spirit – something that seems right to a community of faith-filled, spirit-filled believers who are in tune with the Spirit of God. This is why it is so important to listen to the voice of God as we read, study, and apply His word, and then be willing to follow the leading of His Spirit.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ’This is the way; walk in it.’” – Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

These leaders in Jerusalem were able to act on what seemed right in the moment, because they sensed the affirmation of God’s Spirit. These Spirit-filled leaders were unified. They were in agreement with God’s Spirit, and they were united with one another. There is incredible power and potential whenever the church is unified. We just need to be willing to set aside personal agendas and listen to the voice of God as get our heart in tune with His.

How can we be anxious for nothing? Remember, if it’s big enough to WORRY about, it’s big enough to PRAY about. Anxiety is a signal alerting us that it is time to PRAY. As followers of Christ, whenever anxiety begins to creep in, we recognize thar we don’t always have the power to CONTROL, but we always have the power to SURRENDER. And that is why we can possess a perspective of PRAISE regardless of what is happening around us.

Because we know that God is in control, we can choose to trust. We can choose to place our confidence in God. That decision may not cause your anxiety to disappear, but it certainly does change your perspective, doesn’t it?

How many of you use the GPS feature on your phone? If you are like me, there have been times when I wasn’t quite sure the GPS was right. I thought I knew better. When that happens, I have a decision to make. Will I trust in my own instincts, in a city where I have never been, or will I choose to trust my GPS?

Isn’t that what’s happening when we are feeling anxious? In many ways, it is a matter of trust. Will I trust myself, my circumstances, other people, or will I choose to trust God? Somehow Paul had figured this out. Sitting in a lonely prison cell, he could have anxiously said, “I must have missed it. I must have made the wrong choice. I wanted to be in Rome as a preacher, but here I am in this cell as a prisoner.”

Paul didn’t allow himself to go down that road. Instead, Paul realized that what had happened to him had actually served to advance the gospel. The GPS did not take him to the place he expected to go, but Paul knew that God was up to something. God was at work in ways Paul could not see.

Paul wisely chose TRUST over ANXIETY

And that’s why he could write what he did in Romans 8:28…“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NASB)

Have you ever taken the wrong road when you are using your GPS? I do it all the time on the motorcycle. I like to take roads I have never been on before. If you have ever taken the wrong road instead of following the GPS, it is like you have seen one of two words on the screen of your GPS…REROUTING or RECALCULATING.

Maybe there is someone here in the room, or someone watching online who has been feeling anxious. You are concerned that you have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way and you are afraid that decision is going to derail your life for good, Satan has been lying to you telling you that you will never get back to God’ss desired destination for your life. Today, I want you to know that God is able to Reroute or Recalculating things in your life. You are not a lost cause.

Perhaps you have been feeling anxious about the fact that your life has taken a different path. Maybe you did take a wrong turn somewhere along the way. You wish you had chosen another path. Perhaps you have been on the scenic route when it comes to following God’s plan for your life.

Today, I hope you will sense the Lord speaking to you and telling you that it is going to be ok. He is completely capable of recalculating and rerouting to get you to the desired destination. You just have to trust Him to get you there. Romans 8:28 is true. He can get you where He wants you.

In other words…

God has a way of bringing good THINGS even out of wrong TURNS

You might say, “I never should have dated him.” That may be true. But now, you understand what a godly man should look like, and when God brings you one who cherishes and honors you, you’ll recognize it, and you’ll be grateful.

“I never should have trusted that person. I got burned so bad.” I am sure it hurt, but you’re learning to forgive and you’re becoming more like Jesus.

“I should have never done that. It was such a big mistake. It cost me so much.” But now you understand God’s grace like you never have before. Even though you might have taken a wrong turn, God is still able to NAVIGATE you to a BETTER PLACE if you trust Him.

Now, I am not making a case for making wrong turns. And I am certainly not advocating that anyone get careless in your spiritual journey. But the truth is, all of us have drifted off course or gone the wrong way at times. Maybe you did it on purpose. It was a simple matter of rebellion or disobedience.

In some instances, it could have been negligence or ignorance that caused you to get off track. Whatever the case, all of us have either drifted off course, or intentionally chosen to go off in the wrong direction. When that happens, satan has a way of causing us to feel like we’re done. Why bother now? I have messed up so badly that there is no reason to even try anymore.

Please don’t go there! Don’t listen to satan’s lies any longer. I want to encourage you to look to the Lord today. He is the One who is able to restore, redeem, and repair whatever it is that is broken in your life. Allow him to replace the anxiety that you are feeling with hope, and peace, and confidence in Him.

Even if you have taken a few scenic detours, don’t let that stop you from getting to the right destination. Don’t just focus on what’s wrong. Focus instead on what’s right and how God is at work in your life. Do what seems right. Keep moving in the right direction. Don’t put so much pressure on getting everything just perfect. The Holy Spirit is at work even when we’re not perfect.

Our personal experience, plus God’s powerful presence, will be enough. So, with a posture of prayer, and a perspective of praise, we will seek God, and do what seems right. And we will rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, rejoice. We’ll let our gentleness be evident to all because the Lord is near. We won’t be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, we will present our requests to God. Knowing that the peace of God, which transcends all human understanding will guard our hearts and our minds, in Christ Jesus.

That is how we learn to be anxious for nothing