I Can’t Handle This...
Part One – Stress and Anxiety
Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble. He also said that He was sharing this odd bit of news with us so that “in Me you may have peace.” God loves you. He knows your pain, stress, and struggles. Jesus has overcome the world and death, yet we still suffer today. Paul gives us the strategy for releasing those anxieties and fears and focusing on God.
What you will need: A Bible or your Bible app, a notebook, pen, and highlighter. The verses highlighted below are linked so that you can easily access them during your study time.
1. How long has it been since your last “I can’t handle this” moment? Last week? Last month? This morning? Would you share in just one word what caused it?
2. Turn Cares into Prayers. Read the first half of Philippians 4:6 and then 1 Peter 5:7. When you are worried or fearful, what is your first response? What is God’s desire for you in these situations? How good are you at bringing, casting, and leaving your cares with God? How could you get better at doing this? Would mentally “giving up the kettlebell” help you remember this?
3. Get Grateful. Read the second half of Philippians 4:6, Psalm 109:30, and Philippians 4:4. In the second half of verse six, what two verbs do you find? What kind of thanks does the Psalms verse describe? How does Philippians 4:4 speak to contentment? How does gratitude ease worry and stress? Do you have a “God is Good” note that encourages you during hard times? Go back to the list (question #2) you started of prayers and concerns and write down answers to prayer as God responds. Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. Say out loud: “God’s got this; I can trust Him.”
4. Worship While Waiting. Read Psalm 46:10, Psalm 71:14, and Philippians 4:7. What does the first verse tell you to do? What must you do to be in God’s presence? What is your action step from the second verse? What is the result found in Philippians 4:7? Are you surprised to see the word “minds” in that verse?
5. Commit: Each of these actions – pray, be grateful, wait with joy – are all ways to get into God’s presence. This week, take time to talk to God about your problems. Write them down and leave them there. Give thanks and tell God that you know He is faithful and that you are choosing to trust Him. Thank Him for His past rescue and provision. Ask Him to help any unbelief so that you do have faith to trust Him. Worship Him, throughout the situation and throughout the day, and His presence will bring you peace.
6. How do you reconcile Paul’s instruction to “rejoice always” with his personal life and trials? Look at the following Scriptures. If you are in a desperate situation right now, privately make a list of your own struggles. Then, make a list of Paul’s suffering and decide if he has credibility to speak into your situation. If so, list any actions he suggests in order to bear up under trouble. List any benefits he has experienced due to his suffering.
a. 2 Corinthians 11:23-30:
b. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:
c. Philippians 4:11-13:
d. Romans 8:16-18:
e. Philippians 3:7-11:
f. 2 Timothy 3:10-17:
g. Philippians 1:12-14: