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Anxious Habits

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JANUARY 13

ANXIOUS HABITS

We have become an increasingly anxious people and developed many habits that can keep us mired in anxiety. But God gives us the groundwork to develop good habits that will help to alleviate those anxieties and bring us peace. Finding God’s peace—one that “transcends all understanding”—requires trust in Him. Do you trust God to remove your anxiety and bring you peace?

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Golf and other sports were referred to as good teaching methods to learn to deal with anxiety. What’s sport or pastime helps you relax?

2. What gives you anxiety? How does anxiety manifest most often in your life?

3. Read Philippians 4:6-9. God tells us not to be anxious but to bring our requests to Him with thanksgiving. How are you currently doing with bringing anxieties to God? What do you think it looks like to bring requests to God “with thanksgiving”?

4. What actions could you put into practice that would help you form a habitual dependence on God and combat anxiety when it hits?

5. Read Psalm 123:1-5. God knows our thoughts and actions before we take them, and He goes before us in everything we do. What comfort do you take from this knowledge?

6. Read Matthew 6:25-34. In verse 34 God tells us that we should not worry about tomorrow and that today has enough hardships. How does this passage resonate with you?

7. Going back to Philippians 4:9, we are called to put into practice what we have learned, and told that if we do, God’s peace will be with us. How much do you believe this is true in your life? Do you find much peace from God? This week, pray and ask God to help you determine what habits you can put into practice to take captive your anxious thoughts and find the peace he promises in Philippians 4:7. Ask God to show you what you are holding onto that you need to let go of in order to be free from anxiety, and ask Him for the strength to let go.

KEY SCRIPTURES

Philippians 4:6-9 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Psalm 123:1-5 – I lift up my eyes to you, to you who sit enthroned in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a female slave look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud.

Matthew 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 than food, and the body more than clothes? 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life.“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 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—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

DIGGING DEEPER

As you look to dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, consider completing the Trust God outcome on Gateway’s Spiritual Growth Path. To complete the Trust God outcome in its entirety, head to gatewaychurch.com/spitual_outcomes/trust-god

SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/trust-god