List what you are thankful for
Share: What circumstances make you feel anxious?
Fact: The latest statistics say 40 million adults (and the number is growing) admit to struggling with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common disorder in our country.
Fact: Now get this, according to the World Health Organization, over the past three decades anxiety disorders have jumped by more than 1200%.
Whether or not we struggle with anxiety ourselves, we all know family members and friends who deal with ongoing anxiety.
On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your natural inclination toward gratitude?
This weekend Gene unpacked some Greek words for us. These brought him to the realization that grace is what we receive from God the Father, joy is what we experience from the Holy Spirit living in us, and gratitude for what was given to us through Jesus Christ is what we give back to Him. We celebrate that gratitude every week through the Eucharist which is communion.
Have someone read Philippians 4:4-7 and Psalm 105:3.
What does rejoicing in the Lord look like to you? Share a time you or someone you know rejoiced in the Lord in the midst of their trials.
The theme of this week’s message is that anxiety goes down as thanksgiving goes up. We talked about the benefits of gratitude. Many people start or end their day writing down 3-5 things they are grateful for. Doing this helps us focus on the things that really matter and allows us to see where God is working.
Have someone read Luke 18:1-8.
Jesus told a parable about a widow who was very persistent. She pestered the unjust judge until he finally agreed to her request. God is not the unjust judge and is not reluctant to answer our prayers. We learn from this story that as a believer we can turn to God at any moment. God loves us and wants to hear from us.
Share what your confidence in God’s control over your life is currently.
How can knowing that God is always present with you—in all your circumstances—help you find peace?
The good news is that we can take our anxieties and place them in His hands. When we see God meet us as we walk through struggles, it grows our faith and we learn to trust Him. When we thank Him in the middle of the trials, we are saying We trust You, Lord, which brings us peace.
Have someone read I Peter 5:7 and John 14:27.
What protection do you need God to provide right now?
Gene shared the story of the legendary Duke University Coach K who had each of his players write down on a basketball the names of the people who helped them get there.
Take a few minutes to write down the names of people who have helped you on your spiritual journey.
Write down anxious thoughts you will pray for specifically this week. Share how you will remind yourself of God’s faithfulness in the past as you pray for your current needs.
Try writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for every day. Thank God for each of them and ask Him to open your eyes to see the ways He is at work in your life.
This week when you are faced with anxiety, stop and take a minute to talk to God and rejoice that He is with you.
Break into groups and share one thing that is making you anxious. Pray for each other that God would bring you peace and that the Spirit would work in your lives to hand over control to Him and place your trust in Him.