The Stressless Life | Genuine Concern Vs. Fearful Concern

Do You Struggle To Overcome Stress And Find Peace Instead?

James Greer
Apr 16, 2023    31m
In today's message as Pastor James explores how in our everyday struggle to overcome stress, we can find peace instead in our lives. If you are constantly stressed and burdened, you are attempting to live life without Jesus. This causes stress rather than peace. Invite Jesus into your life and you will find peace. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: [00:00:00] You see my balloon? That's the right amount of stress. Just rocking alone. Enjoying life, huh? This is even more than a message. And I know this message works because I've had the wonderful opportunity the last few weeks to live it out. And there's something really important that you're going to need to learn today. And one of the main things you learn today is the difference between genuine concerns and fearful concerns. Today in the Bulletin, there's some as we go through it, there's some definitions that you're going to actually need to keep. I would highlight them. I would. And when I get to them, I'll tell you because you'll need them over and over again. What I want is your life to radically change. Starting today, I want you to leave this service today learning how to choose genuine concerns over fearful concerns. And we'll actually talk about that because one thing you can count on in life, you're going to have some stresses. You're going to have to follow faith. And we want their stress and then their stressors. The goal is to help you learn to deal with them in a way that you never had before. I love Genesis, Genesis 25:7. It says Abraham. He lived for 175 years. Not bad life. They died at a ripe old age. And having lived a long and satisfying life, he not only there's a lot of people that live to be old, but not a lot of people live to be old and satisfied. Amen. He breathed his last breath and he joins his ancestors in death. See? See, that's my goal. I know how I'd like to live a long life, but I'd like to live a satisfied life. And when I draw my last breath, I want to go to Heaven. And I want to be with my family. And that's when I finally do go to Heaven. It says he was with his ancestors. He was with his family. I want to be there for my granddaughter. I want to be with my mom, my dad and all my family, all my loved ones that are already there.

James Greer: [00:02:08] But till then, I'm in no rush, Jesus. But till then, I will learn how to better enjoy my life here. Amen. And to do that, number one, I got to learn the difference between stressors and stress. This is one of the things that's in your outline. Stress is what we feel. Everybody feels some stress. Amen. Can I have a little mistress? Amen. The definition of stress is a fearful concern, experienced when life demands seems greater than our ability to meet them. Now see, you need to know that. And that is written down in your outline because you don't know what you're stressed about. You think it's your job, you think it's your kids, you think it's your finance, you think whatever it is. But stress, in essence, is that you become fearfully concerned that the demands are greater than your ability to meet them. So now, right now, if you're all stressed out, it's because of what you feel. You feel that I can't meet this particular thing. Stressors are what you face. While stress is what you feel, some of the stressors are our future. I better not do this too early. Our kids. I was going to do this at the end, but having too much fun. Finances. Job. Nah. Your pastor. What else did I write down? Oh, boyfriend, girlfriends, mates. Your health. You know what else is a stressor today? Social media. It is totally got out of hand. Y'all all going to have to watch this social media stuff. You know it. Holy Moses. Social media is unbelievable today. Now, this balloon right here, it can handle a lot of stress. Some of y'all can handle a lot of stress, but sooner or later, if you keep bringing the stress, bringing the stress, bringing the stress, bringing the stress. Bringing the Holy Moses. Stephen, do you have any smaller balloons? That's the smallest they had. Too much stress. Who said that? No matter who you are, no matter how much stress you. Think you have, if you do not learn how to handle it the right way, that's you.

James Greer: [00:05:01] You feel like you're going to explode. You feel like you're going to fall apart. And some of you are there right now, but we don't want you to leave that way. Amen. We want you to leave like that. And that's what we're going to apply to you to do that. Number two. Number two, you got to learn the difference between genuine concerns and fearful concerns. The Bible says give your burdens to the Lord and he'll take care of you. He'll not permit the godly to slip or to fall. So what we got to do is we got to learn how to we, this is what you can do with your burdens. You can carry them. They get heavy. You can bury them, but they keep coming back up again. I know people all the time say how everything great. It's great. It's great. You know, it's not great. That's the people that stuff it. Those are the people. They stuff it and they stuff it and stuff it. And then they explode. And so there's people that carry it and then it gets too heavy that they collapse. You can carry it. You can bury it. You can marry it. You're just never going to let it go. And I know people that have been carrying their burdens for. I mean, they started at seven, now they're 70 and they're still carrying them. They just married them. And it's like, if you didn't have a burden, you'd go find one. There is something else. You can share it. You can carry it. You can bury it. You can bury it, or you can share it with the Lord. The one that's in control now. 1 Peter 5:6. It says this. Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, and he will exalt you in due season or in due time. Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you. Humble as can be. Your word is surrender. It's kind of. It takes strength to surrender. I think sometimes people think people that are humble are weak, but they're really not.

James Greer: [00:06:49] They're their strength under control. Humble is not showing weakness. The truth is you'll humble yourself or you'll crumble or be humbled. See, one of the main reasons we continue to carry our own burdens and pressures without knowing it. Sometimes you know why we do it. It's pride. We think we've got to be the one to handle the problems without knowing it. We're burdened and we won't let it go because we say, Hey, nobody can take care of this problem but me. See, while the truth is with not knowing it, being careful, we're almost playing God. God never created you to be able to handle all your problems. He created you. Are you ready? He created you to depend on him, not yourself. And sometimes the burden is simply to drive you to him and let him take care of it instead of yourself. That's why the Bible says therefore humble yourself, which is surrender, which means become preoccupied and dependent on Christ. Amen. So therefore, humble yourself, become dependent and preoccupied with Christ. Under the mighty hand of God at the right time. He will exalt you in due time. Cast all your cares on Christ because He cares for you. See, God wants us to humble ourselves where He can handle our problems and our stress at the right time. He wants us to cast it on him. So here is the key to handling stress. Are y'all. Ready? Genuine concerns. And this is in the Bulletin. You ought to write it down, highlight it, and carry it with you. Genuine concerns is expressed through your dependence on God. What's God going to do? I'm facing this unbelievable problem. It looks like there's no way out of it. I got a marriage problem. I got a financial problem. I got all these problems. And what's God going to do? Underpin it on God. I really have a concern. It's not sticking your head in the sand. It's not acting like you don't have a problem because the problem is real. Amen. But the difference in a genuine concern is you're saying, hey, you're totally dependent upon God.

James Greer: [00:08:59] What's God going to do now? There's fearful concerns. You're facing the same problems. You have all these emotional financial relationship problems and you express your dependence on self, What am I going to do? So now you go. What's God going to do or what I'm going to do? That's the difference. The sooner you learn to handle that difference between fearful concerns and genuine concern, your stress level will go down. It's an absolute fact. It has to happen at night. Might. Might happen. It has to happen. So whatever you do consistently determines the success or the outcome. It doesn't matter. Whatever it is. I was sitting out watching one of my grandkids fish yesterday and I was thinking about over the last however many years and I said, what is one whatever anybody does on a consistent basis will be the outcome. They'll be successful, whatever. If you're lazy all the time, you're just going to be a lazy person. If you're a hard worker, you're going to be a hard person, whatever you think, and that's what you become. So whatever you do on a consistent basis, that will be the outcome. So if you will, consistently, when pressures and worry come, I don't care how impossible they look, God is the God that does the impossible. See, because when you say that's too impossible, you're saying God can't do it. Boy, y'all. This is. Good. So you just start saying, Hey, man. This is a genuine concern. This is really happening. Hey, God, I can't handle it. What are you going to do? Let him do it. It results in a peace instead of a fearful, stressful anxiety, fearful concern is refusing to let go of your problems. You just keep. This is where I was going to do the balloon. I just could not wait. And I'm not going to put another one up there. Fearful concerns. You just keep piling it higher. And higher and higher on your shoulders and more and more and more pressures and you just won't let go of it. You say, hey, I won't let it go.

James Greer: [00:11:02] I start feeling. Fear and stress and worry and anxiety and I'm stressed over the kids at work, at home, my finances, everything. All of a sudden you just explode. Now, see, everybody doesn't handle stress and pressure by exploding. There was a time that I got so stressed out I didn't explode. I did the opposite. I withdrew. Sometimes you withdraw, but God doesn't want you to do either one. He wants you to go to him. It's like Miss Beverly. I'm glad to see you again. Praying for you. I know you're here, aren't you? Just lost her husband. Just had the funeral. But guess what she's doing? She's here. She may have to drag herself here. But she's here. You got to let God get you through this time day to day, minute by minute. And that's what she's trying to do. That's what you've got to do. See, everything rises and falls on your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Genuine concern is expressed through your dependence on God. What's God going to do? Fearful concerns are expressed on what I'm going to do. Matthew 11:28 says, It's a commandment. I'm being stressed. God, I'm under a lot of pressure. Duh, duh duh, duh. You know, you know. This isn't in the message. The best way. To handle any pressure and problems in life is. Have already been with God before. The pressure and problems. Come. But then when they. Come, he says, Come to me. Whether you've been with him or not and. You're having a problem. God, this is a command. He says, Come to me all who labor, who are heavy laden and I will give you what? Rest. Now you just decide when you want to come. He's decided the. Outcome. You decide what you want to do with it. If you're here today, whether you're downstairs, upstairs and online, he says, I'll tell you the outcome. You decide what you want to do with it. Take my yoke upon you, learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest in your soul.

James Greer: [00:13:10] He's telling you what you can do if you want to do it. That's kind of your emotion. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. So he's trying to tell you what to do. What I want to do is I want to read the same thing again and talk about it again. Kind of like instead of between carrying your burden and the cure for your burden. Matthew 28. Again. And then I'm going to read it one more time. I'll read it in the message. He says, Come unto me. All who labor and heavy laden and you shall find rest, physical rest. If you don't get enough physical rest, you'll have stress and emotional problems. So in other words, listen to this. If you work, work, work every day, very day. I used to do this. And you don't play and pray, you'll get physically worn. Out. That's what happened to me one time. And I would work, work, work, work, work. And I'd even come to church. But I never played. In fact, every time I tried. To play. I felt guilty. I felt like I really needed to. Be at work or I need to be at church. And I did it for years. And I did seven days a week. But that's not what God wants you to do. You need to work, but you need to play and you need to pray. So if you're not playing and you're not praying, you're going to be physically worn out. And then when the same problem comes that you could have handled, now you can't handle it. So I want to encourage you to learn to play and pray. I'm the only person, you know, that probably never got a hobby till they're in their 60 years old. None. I tried them. I would go try a hobby. And I felt guilty. I said I could be working, I could be home, I could be doing this. I could be at church. That was wrong. Don't do that.

James Greer: [00:14:56] But if you just play and you don't work. Then you're going to have financial problems. So you got to do both. Then he said. Take my yoke upon you, learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly at heart and you shall find rest in your soul. He says, I want to give you emotional rest. See, now, now he's saying this. If you try to go day to day in your life. And you're living it without. Jesus in your life. You won't have emotional rest. You have to. Intentionally. This is important. When he said soul, he wants your emotion. When you're you know, when you're emotionally upset, it's tough. You have to intentionally schedule time with Christ or you'll be an emotional wreck. A lot of times. As a matter of fact. As a matter of fact. Unsettling is a result of unsettling. You know, when you're unsettled, you just, everything just doesn't feel right. Because it's unscheduled. If you want to be a. Better. Emotional shape. Intentionally schedule time with Christ. Now, if I ask you right now, would you like to have less stress? Everybody in here would say, Amen. Amen. And if I would tell you how to do it, most of you would say, That's great. Amen. And I'm going to give you three easy steps at the end that have to work. They're simple. They're easy. But you have. To intentionally schedule time with Christ on a day-to-day basis. Your schedule has to reflect it. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. If my burden is easy. And my burden is light. If my yoke is easy and my burden is light. If you're always. Living a continued, we all have times that we have stress and burdens. Okay. But if you're living a lifestyle. In your home, on the job with your family. It seems like I'm always stressed. We're always burdened. We're always having problems. You're trying to live your lifestyle without Jesus Christ on a day-to-day basis. Your schedule does not match what it should be.

James Greer: [00:17:25] Your schedule does not match your intentional time with Christ. Or it would not be the same. They just don't match. Okay. This has come to me. So are you tired? Are you worn out? Burn out on religion. I will read that in a minute. I love that because it's a whole different one. I'm going to read the same thing in the message. Now, this third time. But this one I love. Are you tired? Are you worn out? Are you burnt out on religion? I love it because it says on religion, because you're focusing on we need to be focused on a relationship with Christ more than religion. Religion is rules and regulations and do's and don'ts. Relationships. He's already done. It. So many people miss the enjoyment of being with Christ because you're still focusing on rules, religion and don't do that. You burn out on religion, is what he called it. Don't be burnt out on religion. Are you tired? You worn out. Are you burnt out on religion? He said, you are? Come unto me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I love that. Because what he's trying to do is tell us how to recover. But before you leave the house, spend some time with Jesus till he shows you how to take a rest. Now, some people, if you maybe it's night, maybe it's morning, I don't know. But I can go back to the same thing. You have to intentionally schedule time to be with Christ. He says, Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it. This is so important. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Unforced rhythm. Rhythms of grace. And I won't lay anything on heavy or ill-fitting to you. Most people have never even focused on the unforced rhythms of grace. And that's how you live on a day-to-day basis. That's what you do. The unforced rhythm of grace is what you do when you have ease and enjoyment of life.

James Greer: [00:19:42] When you don't have that, you have the struggles and strain of life. You have the struggles and strain of day-to-day life because you're living it on your own. You have the ease enjoyment because you begin to learn the rhythms of the grace of life. And there's a big difference. Which are you living? Are you living the struggles and strain or the ease and enjoyment? Keep company with me. And you'll learn how to live freely. And lightly. See, Jesus wants us to learn to. To walk and to work and to watch. Learn. If you're going to learn to walk and to work and watch. You had to be as companion. You can't walk with somebody and talk with somebody and watch somebody. You got to be their friend. You got to be their companion. You got to spend time with them. He said, I want to be your companion. And what has to come to the point is this It's not what you have to do. It finally gets. To be what you get to do. See, people miss this religious thing. This isn't a religious thing. This is a relationship thing. And man, I don't have to do it. I get to do it because I get to do it. I get to learn to walk in the rhythm of grace. Yeah. Yeah. And when he said. The rhythms of grace, he said, I got a rhythm for your work. I got a rhythm for your job. I got a rhythm for every area of your life, man. I got a rhythm of grace for you. And it's something. He didn't just say one thing. I got a rhythm of grace when you come to church. Amen, man Praise God. Enjoy it. But when you go. Home with your wife and family, I. Got a rhythm of grace when you go to work. I got a rhythm of grace. Because really, y'all Journey Church people, I want you to have such a rhythm of grace. When people see you, they say there's something different about you.

James Greer: [00:21:16] And I want to know. You go to Journey Church and you know how to play. Apply God's grace and you're not stressed like everybody else. You have stress, but you don't live stressed. Man. God is good. Amen. Amen. Amen. Walking with Jesus and learning with Jesus and the unforced rhythm of grace is not something you have to do. It’s something you get to do. And when you get to do it, it'll change your life so radically. Every place you go. People know the difference. See, when you talk about the unforced rhythm of grace, rhythm is, I can't play an instrument, but these guys up here, they got rhythm. I mean, drummers have written the keyboard player. They have rhythm. And when they're in rhythm, it just rolls. They say, Man, I'm just in the groove. I just got it. And what he is saying is. I love it because Jesus saying, I want to teach you the rhythm of life. Not only the rhythm of life, I'm going to do it through giving you grace. Grace that he's talking about here. Is it give you the power. To do what. God's called you to do and do it with joy? And that's fantastic. I'm going to give you the power to do whatever I've called you to do. And do it with joy. And it's nothing you have to do. It's something you get to do. And when you get to do it and you get to experience it, you want it over and over and over and over again. I'm going to give you some simple steps. And they have to work. Number one, you have to. Know Jesus Christ. As your Savior. You have to. You have to. You have to know him before you can have rest. And less stress. You have to know him. Number two. You have to intentionally schedule the time with Jesus that reflects in your schedule. Number one, you have to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Number two, you have to intentionally schedule time with Jesus that reflects in your schedule.

James Greer: [00:23:33] And if you don't do that, the question would be, I'll start doing it or I am doing it. There's no other answer to that right now. Because I want Journey Church people to be a different people. I want you to be a peculiar people. Strange. Different. Number one, you got to know Jesus as your personal Savior. Number two, you got to intentionally schedule time with Jesus Christ. Every day apart from emergency. And it reflects in your schedule. Number three. You have to learn the difference between genuine concerns and fearful concerns. It's the key. Genuine concerns is expressed through my dependence on God. And who He is. Well, the stress is going to come. The problems are going to come. I'm going to have genuine concerns. But as they come, it's the Holy Spirit's going to remind me, hey. What's God going to do? Who is he? He can do the impossible. He created the Heavens and earth. There's absolutely nothing too hard for him. He can take bad things and. Turn them in. Good. He can take nothing and make something out of it. That's my God. So you're going to choose genuine concerns over fearful concerns. Or fearful concerns is what am I going to do? I'm not going to let go of this problem. I'm going to handle this problem. I'm going to let them keep piling up. I got family problems, financial problems, emotional problem, husband, wife, problem, kids problem. I don't know. What am I going to do? What am I going to do? Well, nothing. You're going to blow up. Let go of it. What's God got to do? Number one, you got to make sure Jesus is your Savior. Number two, you got to intentionally schedule time that reflects in your schedule. Number three, you got to know the difference between genuine concerns and fearful concerns. But number four, you got to choose. Genuine concerns every time you're faced with a problem. This is the. Clearest and simplest message I've ever preached. On how to deal with worry and stress.

James Greer: [00:25:33] The steps are so simple. Yet they're so powerful. Did you know that if you would apply these steps and you do it every day, they have to work, not they might work. They have to work. Not because I say so. Because they're based on God's Word. God's Word cannot lie. Not only can God's Word not lie, there's no power that's more powerful than Him. He's defeated every power. They're under his feet. He's defeated the devil. He's defeated the world. And you can find rest. No matter. What's going on in your life. The question is this. Would you like to have it? That's the question. I'm just going to ask you to bow your heads for a minute right there. You don't even have to stand up. And I'm going to ask you some questions. Heads bowed and eyes shut. The number one question is this. Of course, if you're not 100% sure that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior, that is the first step. Today. You would have to make that if you're not 100% sure. We want you to learn to have a more blessed life. And less stress. And I would just encourage you right now just to raise your hand right there where you're sitting. Just raise your hand up and let's make sure that you know Jesus as your personal Savior. If you'd like to know him, make sure you know him. Just raise your hand up. If you want to know him as your personal Savior, raise your hand up again. Raise it up. Raise your hand up if you want to make sure you know Jesus as your Savior. You know, maybe you know him, but maybe you hadn't followed through in public baptism and you'd like to follow through. Say, I know I was baptized maybe as a child, but now I just want to be obedient because, see, what we're saying next is I'm going to be obedient to Christ. And maybe you want to follow through in baptism. Just raise your hand up right now. Want to follow through in baptism.

James Greer: [00:27:29] Maybe today is the day, out of all the days, you decide today is the day I want to join Journey Church. I want to be a member. Just raise your hand and somebody will give you a packet. Raise your hand if you say, Today is the day. I just want to be a member of Journey Church. Okay. How about I want to rededicate my life? Oh, say, after I knew that, you know my life, it has not really been like it should be. And today is the day that I decided I'm going to rededicate my life. I'm going to put my priorities where they should be. Just raise your hand. Amen. Okay, Y'all look up here for a minute. I want to pray with everybody first, and then we're going to talk about some things and just say something like that. Say, dear Father. I know I sinned. Forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart. Be the Lord and Savior of my life. I believe. Jesus died on the cross, rose on the third day for my sins. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. Now what I'd really like for everybody. Wouldn't it be something? Journey, Church. If we made a commitment to say, Hey, we're going to start making these steps to reduce stress in our life. I'm talking about simple steps. I know I got Jesus as my Savior. I'm going to intentionally start scheduling time to be with him every day. That reflects in my life. Now, this is going to be the invitation in a minute. If you haven't done that, I'm going to ask you to make a commitment to start doing that, not because you have to do it because you need to do it and you want to do it because you want to have less stress and be more blessed. You can come down here and make that commitment and have somebody pray with you, pray for you, pray by yourself. You say, I don't know how to do that. I want you. To come and ask one of these counselors to give you some help.

James Greer: [00:29:30] Where do they get you? A book. Maybe they say maybe you need to start in Proverbs. Maybe you need start in Ephesians. Maybe you need starting John. Maybe they need to get you a devotion book. I got tons of devotion books. We'll give you one. But just to do it every day, every day I'm going to intentionally read or spend time with God every day. Third. I'm going to practice. I'm going to practice knowing the difference between genuine concerns and fearful concerns. And this week, if I have to, I'll bring my notes with me. And when I start getting stressed out, I'll read. What is a genuine concern. A genuine concern is what I'm really facing this, but I'm not going to hang on to it. I'm going to give it to God. I want you to commit to doing those three things because I want you to be a different people. I want you to have less stress. I want you to be more blessed than you've ever been in your life. And I want people to look at you and say, Man, there's something different about those people that join a church. And the difference is you're applying godly principles in your life. Stan, let me pray with you. God, you're an awesome God. A powerful God. A practical God. God. You've given us some steps today. That can change our life forever. God, I pray for that today. I pray for those that need people to pray for them. I pray for those that are hurting. I pray for those that need to make decisions. Maybe I never even mentioned today. I pray that they would come and let these counselors help them and pray with them and pray for them. But God, right now I pray for every single person in here that they'd make a commitment to take these steps that could radically change their life. I pray it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360