Good morning, church family. It is so good to see you. Thank you again for worshiping with us this morning. I know there are so many amazing churches in our community and around the world, and we are so grateful that you've chosen to worship with us this morning. We have been praying for you all week long as a part of our 21 days of prayer and fasting, asking God to move powerfully in your life. And

Not only that, we've been asking God to move powerfully

This morning, because I believe the next four weeks that we have together can be life-changing in this season. I want you to help me out with something. I need you to fill in the blanks.

I'm at the end of my rope, I'm coming on glue, dude. I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm about to come up part all stress out, whether you're uptight, worn out the gun over the top, burnt out the pack. Last few months have been stressful. Haven't they from worrying about our own health and the health of our loved

Ones to concerns over finances and being laid off

From having to deal with product shortages, to having to find childcare since

School is virtual, not to

Mention all the hate on social media. This season has been tough, and frankly, I'm not sure that we have even been able to process all of the stress that we have experienced. You know, sometimes we use the frayed phrase, they've got the weight of the world on their shoulders, and we use it that to describe someone who is under an enormous amount of stress, someone who is really feeling pressured by everything that's coming at them. But the truth is there is only one person who is ever really carried the entire weight of the world on them. And that's Jesus Christ. He knows. I only carried the weight of the world on the cross during his entire lifetime and particularly his ministry. He carried the weight of being the savior of the world. There were always demands on his life. People want it to be around him.

People want it to be healed. People wanted to be seen. He had no privacy. There were people that were trying to trap him, trying to kill him. He was under the expectations of so many people, no one experienced greater stress than Jesus did get. If you look at his life, Jesus doesn't seem to be bothered by it. Does he? He handles all of the pressure with great peace. In fact, we don't ever see an example in the Bible of Jesus being in room rush or in a hurry, even though he had the most important of anyone in history, Jesus was it peace, no matter whatever the world threw at him, he handled things with grace. And I don't know about you, but I want to experience that type of peace. I want to have that type of grace. As I walk through my life, even the tough seasons, I want to learn how to truly be stressed less. And that's what we want to focus on in our

Next four weeks together today.

And next Sunday, we want to look at Jesus's life to see how Jesus handled stress, and we want to apply those principles to our lives. And then we're going to spend a Sunday on stress and marriage and how to handle stress with your children. What you're going to see over these next two weeks is you're going to see eight secrets to stress management in Jesus's life. And what we want to do is we want to start with the first four today. And I believe if we will incorporate these into our life, listen, I guarantee that your stress is going to go down and your joy and your fulfillment.

It's going to go up. But before we jump into God's word,

Let's just take a moment and let's pray and let's invite the power and presence of God into our homes, into this place and into our hearts. Jesus, we love you. And we thank you that even in tough seasons, you are in control and Jesus. We thank you

That even though you bore the weight of the world, the weight of our sin on your shoulders, Jesus, you still taught us how to live with grace and with peace, peace, and with joy

And father over these next four weeks together, I pray in Jesus name that you would allow us God to stress less Jesus, that your power,

Your presence would be evident in our

Homes and our hearts. And in this place this morning.

And we're going to give you the honor and glory

For what you do and it's in Jesus' name. We pray. Amen. If you have your Bibles with you, we're going to be a little bit all over the place today, but I encourage you. If there was ever a time to take notes, this is series.

So first, if you want to reduce your stress, you need to number one, know your identity. You have to know your identity. That is the starting point. You have to know who you are because they confused. Identity causes stress. Our culture will try to make you into all kinds of things. And if you don't know who you are, people will try to mold you into what they want you to be. Your coworkers, your friends, social media, the person you're dating. Everybody is going to try to make you someone you're not. If you don't know who God made you and created you and planned you to be, you are unique. And unless you set on the issue of identity, you are going to be a target for stress is see Jesus. Jesus had no doubt as to his identity. In fact, eight times in the Bible, Jesus defines himself. He says, I am the way I am the truth. I am the life. I am the son of God. I am sent from the one above. I am the door. I am the bread of life. I am the living water. Jesus knew who he was,

But the question is, do you, you see stress happens when you try to be someone who you're not. I love this verse from John eight 18. This is Jesus speaking.

He says, I said, I testify on my own behalf. And the father who sent me also testifies on my behalf. What is Jesus saying there? He's saying I don't need other people's opinions to prop me up. I don't need other people's opinions to validate me or make me feel worthwhile. He said, I am made by God. I am designed by God. And I'm on a mission from God. And you were made by God as well. You were not an accident you were made for a purpose. You are deeply loved. You are fallen and flawed, but you were still deeply loved. And

Jesus Christ died for you. Okay? And that shows you how much you're worth.

If you want

Your stress to be less, you need to know your identity. Number two, if you're taking notes, you need to know who you were living for know

Who you are living for. The truth is you can't please. Everybody. Just about the time that you get this group of people, happy with you, that group over there, they're going to be mad at you for something. And then when you get them happy with you, then this group over here is going to be mad. You cannot make everyone happy. One minute you were a hero. And the next you were a zero, you need to realize you cannot please everyone. And as a pastor, I have learned that. Unfortunately, I'm always disappointing someone that is the cost of leadership because leaders disappoint people.

We can't please, everyone. Soon, there will be college football

Games played across the sec.

And when those teams play, both sides are praying to God that their team is gonna win. Let me tell you, 50% of people are going to be disappointed. Some of you here, some of you watching, some of you, you are still trying to get approval from 50 years ago. Maybe it's your parents, maybe your brother or sister, maybe it was a teacher or a coach, maybe a person that has passed away. And you're still in your mind saying I'm going to prove to them that I'm somebody I'm going to prove that my life matters. The truth is you do not need their approval. No, you don't need it. John five 30 says, this is Jesus. I can do nothing on my own. I judge, as God tells me, therefore my judgment is just because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own phone will, jeez.

I'm not trying to please myself.

I'm not trying to be popular. I'm not trying to make everybody like me. I'm trying to live for an audience of one. And I'm going to tell you something. When you know who you living for,

It simplifies your life. I just want to do what God put me here to do. Remember

No one can pressure you without your permission. If you were being pressured

By someone, it's because you are choosing to allow their approval or disapproval to control you.

You need to know who you're living

For. Number three, if you're taking notes,

You need to know your why. If you want your stress to be less, you need to know no your why. Every person is on earth

With a purpose. Every one in this room is on earth with a purpose. Everyone that watching it listening, you're on earth with a purpose. And you, you need to know your purpose. You need to know your calling, why God has placed you here. And he has put you here to fulfill a certain task. A certain job. Listen, I'm called to be a pastor, but other people are called to be other things. And no vocation is more important than any other. God may have called you to be a truck driver. You may be called to be an accountant. You may call it, be called to be a stay at home. Mom. You may be called the paint or make music. You may be called to cook. He may be called to sell things. Whatever your calling is, that is the ministry. God has placed you in.

You see a non ministering Christ follower is a contradiction because all of us are called in the ministry. Every single one of us, we're not all called to be pastors, but your ministry may be being a teacher or a coach. Your ministry may be leading a business. Your ministry may be organizing and leading things. You take how God has shaped you and you use it for his glory. That is your ministry. You see Jesus. He knew his calling. He knew exactly what he was on earth to do. John eight 14 says, Jesus told them these claims are valid. Even though I make them about myself for, I know where I

Came from and where I am going,

But you don't know this about me. You

See we're constantly distracted buy things we're not called to do. And when we followed the distraction,

We're going to be stressed. We're going to be frustrated because we are constantly going to be pulled in all sorts of directions. There's not enough time and life to do everything. And we must know our why a wise

Pastor once told me that in ministry, there are going to be days that you're going to want to give up. You're going to want to give in. And I believe that's true. Not just for ministry, but any of our callings. There's

Going to be days where you want to quit. There's going to be days we want to stop. He said, but if you want to make it through, if you want to push forward,

Then you need to remember your why you need to remember the calling, why you're doing what you're doing. And for me, I remember the why

The why is Jesus? Jesus died on a cross for me. He changed my life. And so I'm going to serve him with my life. But part of my, why is you? I love you. You are my friends. You are my family. And it is greatest joy and the greatest honor of my life to walk with you through good times and to walk with you through hard times. I love you. You're my why I remember back to when we first started our ministry, where we went into the homes of children who were terminally ill.

I remember that first family, that first little girl, her name was Leon Liani. She was nine years old. When we renovated her room. I remember being there with a family. I remember officiating her funeral when she went to be with the Lord. I remember having coffee

Later with her dad. And he said there was more

Life in our house in two days. And there had been in two years, I remember those things and those are my why. And when I want to give up, I remember what God has done. And it keeps moving me forward. What is your why? And finally, for today, you need to focus

On what matters. Focus on what matters.

I once heard a pastor say, if Satan can't make you be bad, then

He'll get you to be busy.

Isn't that true? He doesn't

Care whether it's bad things or good things. As long as you're not doing the God things. One time, my counselor told me that everything has a cost associated with it.

I spend Tom on something. It's going to take away from something else. And I have to ask myself, the cost is the cost worth it. But Jesus, Jesus knew how to focus in Luke 9 51. It says as the Thom drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. Another translation says he moved steadily onward towards Jerusalem with an iron clad will. In

Other words, Jesus was persisted. He was determined. He was focused.

Jesus knew what mattered the most. What matters in your life. Sometimes I think we cause ourself extra stress

By focusing too much on things that are good over things

That are God, listen, athletics are great. All three of my kids are athletes and that's the Park's house. We like to win baby, but we don't allow a game to send us into a shouting fit or Intuit, depression, making money. Making money is nice. It feels good to be financially secure. But if you were having to sacrifice your family at the altar of working non-stop, is it truly worth it? For me? My priorities are Jesus Christ, my family

And the church in that order. But unfortunately that

Is not always been the case in my life, but I understand that these priorities can have an E terminal impact. If I focus on Jesus, if I focus on my wife and my kids, if I focus on

Our church, those things matter and they make a difference in this world.

First Corinthians 10 23 says,

You say, I am allowed to do anything, but

Not everything is good for you.

You say I'm allowed to do anything, but not everything

Is beneficial. I love this. He says here that you are free to do

Whatever you want. God has given you a free will and you can use it to eat. Either waste your life and God won't stop you. Or you can invest your life on things that will out last that's legacy. If you want to stress less, you've got to know who you are. You've got to know who you are living for. You've got to know your why, and you have to focus on the things that matters. And I'm going to tell you the main thing that matters is Jesus, your relationship

With him. And I promise you,

If you will get the relationship with Jesus, right? The other things that you're stressing about, they will begin to fall into place because as you focus on that, Jesus, first life, that God first life, as you follow his word, as you spend time with him, as you become closer to him, as you become everything he has called and created you to be, you will live out. His word is perfect. Word. His will for your life

And life will be different. Life will be full of joy. It'll be full of peace. Will troubles come. Absolutely. None

Of us are immune from troubles, but when troubles come, we will be firmly rooted and

Planted in Jesus. But it all starts with a relationship with him.

Maybe you're watching, maybe you're listening. Maybe you're here in this room today. And there has never been a time in your life where you've given your heart to Jesus Christ, where you have chosen to follow him. Jesus, didn't just show us how to live. He didn't just live a perfect life. Those things in themselves are great,

But Jesus did more than that. Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross. He gave up his life so that you and I could find forgiveness and freedom. Jesus died so that we could live, but Jesus didn't stay dead. And the Bible says that three days after he died, three days after they

Put his body in a borrowed tomb, the stone

Was rolled away. He was risen from the dead. God resurrected him. And he is still alive today sitting at the right hand of God. And he is intervening on your behalf. And he is calling out to you, asking you to come back to him.

And if he, you will make the decision to follow Jesus, the Bible says that you will be saved. You will be changed. You will have a fresh start. You will have a brand new life in here. You will be forgiven

And set free, but

It's a only you can make. And today I want to give you the opportunity to do just that. I'm going to

Pray a prayer. And if this prayer reflects what God is doing in your heart today, I invite you. I asked you to pray it with me.


They, I realized that I am a sinner. I've been saying things and thinking things and doing things. God that dishonor you and disobey you. Thank God because I'm a sinner. My relationship with you is broken. But God, today, I also understand that you sent your son Jesus to save me, to restore that relationship, to redeem me, to make me brand new Jesus. I believe you died on a cross and rose again from the grave. And I believe you did it because you love me. Jesus. I love you. And I'm asking you today to forgive me, to change me, to give me a brand

New life. Jesus. I want to follow

You for the rest of my life and Jesus. It's in your name. I

Pray amen. Now, if that was

You, congratulations, listen. That is the greatest decision

You can make with your life. But please do not leave here. Do not change the channel. Do not turn off this video without letting somebody know you can email us. You can call us. You can text us. You can go to our website and fill out our digital connect card.

And if you're watching online, that connect card

Is available in the post above and in the comments below. But please reach out to us, give us a name and email address some way that we can contact you because we want to reach out. We

Want to walk with you on this journey.

We want to help you grow in your new film, faith.

We want to help you be everything God has designed you to be,

But we can only do that. If you tell us

Now, at the end of every service, we dedicate time to prayer because believe that prayer is powerful. We believe that prayer is a priority. And so in just a moment, we're going to worship together one last time today. And while we are worshiping, I invite you to give your petitions, give your prayer requests to God. If you're stressed, let him know how you're feeling, let him know what's going on in your heart, but maybe you also want to let us know. You can fill out a prayer card online, or you can post your prayer requests in the comments below. And I promise you, our staff and our prayer team will, we'll be praying with you and we will be praying for you because we believe prayer is powerful.

Let's pray and worship together.


Hey, good morning, church family. It is so
good to see you. We are still in the middle
of 21 days of prayer and fasting, and I
truly hope this has been a powerful life
changing Tom in this season. Listen, I know
that we've been going through these godly
character traits, and I hope that you were
praying that God would incorporate them into
your life to help you become more and more
like Jesus. And my prayer for you is that as
we get out of our 21 days of prayer and
fasting, that we would not get out of the
habit of prayer, because prayer is powerful
and prayer works. Prayer is our power source
and it's how we stay connected to God. And
so I don't know about you, but I have truly
enjoyed this season and I'm excited about
what God has done and about what he is going
to continue to do in our lives. Now, with
all that's going on in the world today,
saying that people are stressed out is an
understatement from worrying about our own
health and the health of our loved ones to
concerns over finances and being laid off
from work, from dealing with product
shortages, to having to find childcare, not
to mention all the junk on social media.
This season has been tough. Hasn't it? And I
mentioned last week that I'm not sure that
we have truly been able to process
everything that we've experienced,
all of the stress. And I really mean that we
all need Tom to reflect on all that has gone
on and allow Jesus to do some work, to do
some healing in our lives. And last week we
started our series stress less by looking at
Jesus's lie. And we said that, although
there were constant demands on his life, he
didn't really seem to be bothered by the
stress. His life had balanced and this
indescribable peace. And if you didn't have
the opportunity to join us last Sunday, I
would encourage you to go back and watch
that first message. So you can get these
foundational principles for Jesus centered
stress management. We said last Sunday, if
you want to reduce your stress, you need to
know your identity, know who you were living
for know your why and focus on what matters
in this morning. We want to continue with
the final four strategies to reducing stress
in our lives. So let's dive right in. If
you're taking notes, number five, if you
want to make your stress less, you need to
listen to God. Listen to God. One of the key
sources of stress reduction is listening to
God, not just talking to him, but listening
to him, you may say, wait a minute. I never
hear God speak. God never talks to me. How
can I listen to it? Yeah. Let me ask you a
question. Are you being quiet long enough to
from him many times our prayer sounds
something like this. Heavenly father. I need
these five things, please, Lord. I want
these five things. Jesus. I need help in
these five areas got to go to work. God.
Amen. You see prayer is not meant to be
rushed. Prayer is meant to be a
conversation. There is talking and there is
listening and we've got to be steel. We've
got to be quiet in order to hear from him.
But the question I get most often is what
does God's voice sound like? We think of
something like Morgan Freeman, right? Who we
think of this deep voice that pierces into
our soul. But the reality is is some of you
be listening. You may be watching, you may
be in this room and you wonder to yourself,
have I ever really heard from God? Well, God
can speak audibly to us. And he has spoken
audibly to people in his word. Personally.
I've never experienced that. Typically for
me, God puts strong impressions are thoughts
into my mind, into my spirit. Great, Jason,
I get thoughts all the time. How do I know
that? It's God that I'm hearing from listen.
Thoughts from God are always going to match
up with the Bible. God is never going to
contradict his truth. Listen, when you get a
thought from God, it is an inspiration. When
you get a thought from the devil, it is
temptation. And what we need to
learn to do is we need to learn how to be
quiet for an extended period of time to turn
off the TV, to put down our phones and to
truly listen for his voice. Sometimes God
speaks through a verse while we're reading
the Bible. And so I would encourage you if
you don't do this already read the Bible on
a regular basis, read it on a daily basis.
So you can hear from him. Sometimes the
verse will just pop out at you and go, man,
that is exactly what I needed today.
Sometimes God speaks through a Christian
friend. They give you some kind of insight
or some kind of advice and you go, wow, that
really helps the situation that I'm in. But
many times God speaks directly through
impressions and thoughts in our mind, what
you need to do, especially in this season of
prayer and fasting is go and get by yourself
and say, God, is there anything you want to
say to me? And then listen, the problem is
for most of us is we've never sat silent for
more than 15 minutes. Jesus modeled this for
us and Mark one 35. It says before daybreak,
the next morning, Jesus got up and went out
to an isolated place to pray. Jesus needed
to get away and be with God. And if Jesus
needed to do it, then we definitely need to.
Prayer is an enormous stress reliever in
your life. You're
going to worry or you're going to worship.
And I'm going to tell you, worship is so
much more powerful. This is what I want you
to do this week. Start your day with the
good news instead of the bad news. Instead
of getting up and getting on your phone and
turning on the news or listening to talk
radio, read the Bible or a devotional,
listen to worship music. Recite one of your
favorite Bible verses you don't believe half
the things you hear on the news anyway. So
why not get into the truth of God's word?
Your attitude would be better if you tuned
in to Jesus, we've got to listen to God
next. If you're taking notes, you need to
spend time with your friends. You need to
spend time with your friends. Why? Because
Jesus did. You were never intended to handle
the stress of life all by yourself. You
know, all the stress you're going through.
Everything that you're dealing with in this
season, God did not create you to deal with
it alone. In fact, God wanted you to share
it with other people. He made you in his
image, which means we are relational beings
and we need to have friends. We desperately
need community in our lives. Mark, three 13
through 15 afterward, Jesus went up on a
mountain and called out the ones. He wanted
to go with him and they came to him and then
he appointed 12
of them and called them his apostles. They
were to accompany him and he would send them
out to preach, giving them the authority to
cast out demons. Look at this. Jesus wanted
people to do life with him. If anyone had
the right or the ability to do life by
themselves, it was Jesus. But even Jesus.
What did the group of people? One of the
community, one had a group of friends around
him. Did you know that Jesus, before he went
to the cross, the night before he was going
to be arrested, he went to a place called
the garden of and he went there to pray, but
he did not go alone. The Bible says he took
some of his closest friends with him. Even
Jesus needed people. And the tough times we
see this in Matthew, 26, 38, then he said to
them, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to
the point of death, stay here and keep watch
with me. He said, I don't need your advice.
I don't need words of comfort. I just need
you here with me. I know this past few
months has been difficult, especially with
being told to social, to be isolated. Hope
we have realized we cannot take our
friendships being around each other for
granted, we need each other. You need your
friends. Number seven. If we're going to
reduce stress, we must make Tom to recharge.
You've got to make the Tom to recharge,
to restore yourself. Mark six 30 through 31,
the apostles returned to Jesus from their
ministry tour and told him all they had done
and taught verse 31. Then Jesus said, let's
go off by ourselves to a quiet place and
rest awhile. He said this because there were
so many people coming and going that Jesus
and his apostles didn't even have time to
eat. Jesus made time to recharge. He had
much more important work to do than you are.
Ah, but he took Tom to relax. He went to
weddings, he had fun. He kicked back. And
this verse, he looks at his friends and
said, you've been working so hard. Let's
take a break. Actually Jesus often went out
to the desert to retreat and rest and
relaxation and recreation are so important.
They are actually in the 10 commandments
honor the Sabbath day and keep it Holy. But
listen to what Jesus said. Jesus said the
Sabbath was made for man's benefit. Not man
for the Sabbath. The reason that God created
the rule that you rest and worship on the
seventh day was not for his benefit. It was
for our benefit. Please hear my heart
church. If you're too busy to take your
vacation, then you're too busy. If you're
too busy to pray, then you're too busy. If
you're too busy to relax, then you were too
busy. He needed to stop. You need to enjoy
the moment. You cannot let life
just pass you by. Unless you take Tom and
schedule in relaxation, there's always going
to be something that's more urgent. And
lastly, and most importantly, you need to
give it all to Jesus. If you want to
overcome the stress on the worry and the
anxiety in your life, he had to give it to
Jesus said to Matthew 11, starting in verse
28. Then Jesus said, come to me. All of you
who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you.
Let me teach you because I am humble and
gentle at heart. And you will find rest for
your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear. And
the burden I give you is light. Now you may
be thinking to yourself, Jason, what is a
yoke? A yoke is when you take two animals
and put them together so that they share the
load. Instead of one animal, having to take
the brunt and the stress of the one load
Jesus is saying, if you will yoke up with
me, I will help you pull your load. You will
not carry the stress by yourself. And the
beautiful thing is, is his offer still
stands today. If you were tired, if you were
worn out, if you were beat up, if you were
frustrated, if you were ready to throw in
the towel, if you were stressed out, he
says, don't give up. He says, look up,
look up to God. Because the greatest source
of stress is you trying to live your life
disconnected from Jesus Christ. It's like
being unplugged. There is no power in your
life. If you are disconnected from God. So
what do I do? Jesus says, come to him. It's
simple. He said, come to him, come to Jesus
today. Give him your stress. He is very
aware of the load that you were curing and
he will help you, but it starts with having
a relationship with him. And maybe you're
here. Maybe you're watching, maybe you're
listening. And there has never been a time
where you've decided to follow Jesus with
your life. Maybe you've gone to church on an
off. Maybe you've served. Maybe you've given
money. Listen, none of that really matters.
What matters is that you have chosen to
follow Jesus with your life. The Bible says
in John three 16, that for God, so loved the
world. He gave his one and only son that
whosoever will believe in him will not
perish, but have ever lasting life. You are
a whosoever. You are in any one and it
doesn't matter what you've done. What you've
thought, what you've said. It doesn't matter
the color of your skin, what country that
you live in, what kind of education you
have, how much money that you have. If you
will come to Jesus, he says, I will forgive
you. I will save you. I will rescue
you from your sin. I will give you a brand
new wife. I will give you a fresh start in a
second chance today. Jesus died on a cross
and he Rose again from the grave so that you
and I can be forgiven and set free. But the
decision is yours. Jesus has done the hard
work, but today you must apply it to your
life. And I want to give you that
opportunity. If you're watching, if you're
listening, if you're here and you say,
Jason, that's me. I want to follow Jesus
with my life. I'd invite you to pray this
prayer with me today. Jesus, I've been
trying to do my life on my own. I've been
trying to be my own boss. I've been trying
to do my own thing. Really. I've been trying
to be my own God. And today I realized
that's not what you have designed for me.
God. I realized that I need to be rescued
that I need to savior. And that savior is
Jesus. I believe that Jesus died on a cross
for me. And I believe that three days later,
he Rose again from the grave and I'm asking
you God, please apply what Jesus did on the
cross to my life today. Would you forgive
me? Would you save me? Would you change me?
Jesus, you are my Lord. And I choose you.
Thank you for choosing me. And it's in your
name. I pray amen. Now,
if that was you, please do not leave here.
Do not change the channel. Do not turn this
video off without letting someone know you
can email us. You can call us. You can text
us. You can use the digital connect card on
our website or even in the post above or in
the comments below. Let us know that you
gave your life to Jesus today because we
want to send you a resource, an ebook called
next steps for new believers. We want to
help you grow in your faith. We want to walk
on this journey with you. We want you to
overcome the hurts and the bad habits and
the hangups in your life. And we want you to
live an abundant life in Jesus, but it
starts by letting somebody know. And it
would be our honor to celebrate with you and
to walk with you on this new found journey
with Jesus. At the end of every service, we
dedicate Tom to prayer. It's important to
us, but what I want to do today is I want to
do something a little bit different. We're
going to have an extra time of worship here
at the end, but I want to ask you to lean in
lean into the moment, seek God in prayer and
ask him to give you the peace that only he
can provide. Give it all to Jesus today. Let
him be in control and watch how your life
changes. Now. What I want us to do is I want
us to end a little bit differently this
morning. Instead of me praying for you. I
want us to collectively make an affirmation
in our life by reciting together, Psalm 23.
It is a powerful passage of scripture. And I
believe that it is what we need in this
season. It is what we need to remember each
and every day. And it is what we need to be
claiming over our lives. And so the verse
will be on the screen. And I want to ask you
wherever you're at, whatever you're doing,
would you say this verse out loud with me?
The Lord is my shepherd. So I have all I
need. He makes me lie down in lush green
Meadows and leads me beside calm, quiet
waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in
the right paths for his name's sake. Even
though I walk through the Valley of the
shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you
are with me, your rod and your staff.
Comfort me. You prepare a table before me in
the presence of my enemies and you anoint my
head with oil, my cup overflows, surely
goodness and love will follow me all the
days of my life. And I will dwell in the
house of the Lord forever. And it's in
jesus' name. I pray. Amen. Now go and be the

Hey everybody. Welcome to church this
morning. It is so good to see you first. I
want to say happy birthday. Refuge Church it
has been incredible to see what God has done
over the past seven years. For those of you
who watching on Church at my House listen,
Refuge Church is the parent Church and we're excited to
celebrate our seventh birthday morning. God
has done so much over the past seven years,
you saw some of it in our video this
morning, but it's hard to believe that seven
years ago, we were starting at an elementary
school cafeteria with just a prayer and a
dream of what we believe God wants, wanted
to do in us and through us, and now to see
all that God has accomplished and knowing
all that he wants to accomplish through
this. Church I am so good. Grateful. I'm
grateful for every one of you in this room
this morning, I'm grateful for every one of
you watching in your homes and places all
over the world. Anyway, thing is possible
with Jesus Christ. And we have seen that in
our church and in our community. And we are
so grateful for what God has done. This is
also the end to our 21 days of prayer and
fasting. And I truly hope that during this
time God has worked powerfully in your life.
My prayer has been that you would be so
close to God over this last
21 days as he cultivates those biblical
character traits in you. And what I want us
to do is I don't want one hour prayer and
fasting to end today. But instead, my hope
is that prayer and fasting is something that
you will continue to incorporate in your
life throughout the rest of this year. And
those moments where you need to be close to
God in those moments where you need
breakthrough. I believe that prayer and
fasting is powerful. I also want to thank
those of you who are with us for our food
distribution yesterday. Isn't God good. And
I'm so thankful for the way that you serve
and the way that you love people. Let's
pray. Let's invite the power and presence of
God in our midst this morning, and let's dig
in to his word. Jesus, we love you. Thank
you. Thank you. Thank you for the
opportunity to meet in person and online.
Thank you for watching. You've done over the
past seven years and thank you for what
you're going to do for seven more, 70 more
seven, a hundred more however long God you
want that this church to serve in this
community and my prayers that we will always
give you the honor and the glory for what
you've done. And this morning, God, we need
your power and your presence in our midst.
God, this season has been so stressful in
our lives, especially in people's marriages
and God.
Today, I pray that you would speak to us a
fresh and a new God that you had changes.
And in jesus' name, we pray. Amen. So today
we are in part three of our series called
stress less, and we can all agree. The past
five months have been some of the most
stressful times of our life. And frankly,
this stress has affected all areas of our
lives. You may have found yourself dealing
with anxiety for the first time, or maybe
high blood pressure headaches. Maybe you
haven't been able to sleep, or maybe you've
experienced more conflict in your
relationships than you're used to. In a lot
of ways, this pandemic has leveled the
playing field emotionally, listen, we are
all in the same boat. What I've learned
about stress though, is that it can cause us
to fall into unhealthy cycles, especially in
our relationships. Think about it. Stress
can be a root cause of conflict, but
conflict can also be a cause of stress. So
we easily find ourselves in this unending
cycle of stress and conflict, especially in
our marriages. And during the past five
months, we have seen marriages suffer
greatly recent numbers show that there have
been a 34% increase in divorce from March to
July. And it seems that newlyweds have taken
the hardest hit with 20% of couples seeking
divorce, being married, couples who were
married within the past five months or less.
Maybe you're watching this morning and
this is relevant. Your marriage is
struggling. You feel more like roommates
than a married couple today. What we're
going to do is we're going to break the
never ending stress and conflict cycle so
that you can stress less in your marriage.
Unfortunately, most of us have never learned
the tools and the skills necessary to have
healthy conflict management. We didn't learn
them from our parents. We didn't learn them
in school. We just don't get it. So we go
through life, not knowing how to deal with
conflict and resolve issues use effectively.
In fact, a lot of times when we get into
conflict, we make matters worse by the
things that we do and we take little things
and we blow them up into big things. We
could save ourself, a lot of stress by
learning to deal with conflict in a healthy
way. Thankfully, the Bible gives us a lots
of good advice on conflict management and
these principles. Aren't just good for
marriage. They can be effective in any that
we experience. And so let's jump into God's
word today. And I hope, and I pray that if
there was ever going to be a time that you
take notes, it is now because I believe God
wants to use this. To help us have healthy
conflict in our lives. We have to understand
conflict is inevitable. Combat is not every
disagreement that you have in your marriage
will either result in a breakdown
or a breakthrough, a breakdown in the
relationship or a breakthrough to a new
level of intimacy. And the key to break
through is how you handle your anger. You
see the Bible says that misdirected anger
can kill marriages, listen to Proverbs 11
verse 29. It says the fool who provokes his
family to anger and resentment will finally
have nothing left. It's foolish. When we
provoke our family to anger, it's foolish
when we don't control our anger and instead
allow our anger to take control of us and
what we see when we have conflict, or when
we have an argument in our marriage, there
are typically three phases. Phase one is
recognition. We've got a problem, Houston,
we have a problem. Something is wrong. And
usually during this phase, you're a little
bit irritated. Phase two is reaction, man,
I'm mad. I'm ticked off. I'm angry. This is
where you're really irritated. And sometimes
in this space, people tend to get a little
loud and then phase three is resolution.
What are we going to do about it? How are we
going to fix this problem? What is the
solution? If you will stay through that
reaction period and keep working, you can
get to resolution. But the problem is is
that most marriages never get past phase
two. They get stuck and that reaction phase,
and they don't know how to properly deal
with their anger. Typically there are two
big reactions in conflict being
aggressive or being passive. We are either
fight or we are flight in most
relationships. There is a skunk and there is
a turtle. You know, the scum because they
always stick up the place when they're angry
and the turtle withdrawals into their shell,
one blows up and the other clams up. Listen,
you need to understand how to appropriately
express your anger. And if you don't, you
will go around and around in circles and
nothing will ever get resolved. So how do I
do it? If you're taking notes first, I need
to admit my anger. I need to learn how to
admit my anger, listen to what a Fijian four
verses 25 and 26 say, stop lying to each
other. Tell the truth for, we are parts of
each other. And when we lie to each other,
we are hurting ourselves. If you are angry,
don't sin by nursing, your grudge, you see
there is a right way and there was a wrong
way to express our anger. The Bible says,
and the Bible says when I get angry and I
deny it when I get angry and I lie about it,
that I'm living in sin. When you're upset,
when you're angry, don't deny it. Don't lie
to your spouse about it. Be honest, tell the
truth. It's wrong to deny your anger. You
see anger is a God given emotion. And if you
are never upset about anything, it means you
are not in
touch with reality. Anger means there are
things that you care deeply about. Sometimes
the most appropriate thing in a relationship
is to be angry. Even God got angry, 375
times in the old Testament. It says that God
got angry. We know that Jesus got angry. Did
you know that? One of the number one causes
of depression is unresolved anger. Anger
that gets pushed down. That gets ignored.
The Bible says, if you're going to resolve
your anger, you have to admit it. Don't
pretend that it's not there. It's okay to
say I'm upset. Something is wrong because
once you admit it, then you can work on
resolving it. Second. If you're taking
notes, I need to understand my anger. Not
only do I need to admit my anger, I need to
understand my anger. This is the key
Proverbs 1911 says a person's wisdom makes
him slow to anger and it is his glory to
overlook an offense. You see the more I
understand my anger, the more patient I'm
going to be. I've got to ask myself, what am
I angry about? Why am I upset? Why am I
ticked off? Anger is a warning light that I
am dealing with a different issue than
what's on the surface. Have you noticed that
most arguments don't start with the real
problem. They start with sort of surface
irritation, something small, but you only
get to the real problem. If you hang in
there, if you
keep communicating until both of you can get
in touch with why you feel the way that you
do. Let me share with you. Here are some
root causes of anger. Maybe it's because you
feel unaccepted. When I feel unaccepted,
when I feel like someone has rejected, what
are, who I am? When you compare me to other
people, when you nag me, when you get, make
fun of me, I get angry, right? Maybe you
feel unaccepted. Another root cause of anger
is when I feel unappreciated, when I'm taken
for granted, when you don't value my work at
home or at work, when everything else seems
to be more important than me husbands, this
is one of the main reasons that your wife
gets angry, that she feels that everything
else in your world is more important than
her. Maybe it's when you feel unsupported,
when you feel like people are working
against you, instead of with you, when
people are not sharing the load, when people
are not being responsible. When I feel
unprotected and unsupported, I feel angry.
Maybe it's when you feel uncertain, you
don't know who you can trust. When you don't
feel like your spouse is telling you the
truth. When you don't know if what they are
saying is right, you get angry. You see the
key to dealing with your anger is
understanding your anger. And the bottom
line is 90% of all. Anger is either hurt or
fear. When
you say I'm angry. What you really ought to
be saying is I'm hurt. I'm disappointed. I'm
afraid. When you say to your husband or your
wife, I'm so mad at you. You make me so
angry. That is a use statement, and that
will make people defensive in a heartbeat.
But when you say I'm hurt, I'm afraid. I'm
disappointed. It makes your spouse much more
willing to listen. Number three, I need to
deal quickly with my anger. I need to deal
quickly with it. Let's go back to that verse
from Ephesians four and keep going in 26 and
27. Don't let the sun go down with you.
Still angry. Get over it quickly for when
you are angry, you give a mighty foothold to
the devil. The Bible teaches us that when
you get angry, don't procrastinate, don't
put it off. Don't prolong it. Don't hide
your head in the sand. Don't deal with
conflict quickly in job. It says you are
only hurting yourself with your anger. If
you don't deal with it the longer you wait
to share your feelings, the more that it
builds up within you and it builds and it
builds you think about it. You worry about
it. It gets bigger and bigger until it
expands out of proportion. Unexpressed,
anger becomes bitterness and that's wrong.
Anger is not always wrong, but resentment
and bitterness are always wrong. And so as
quickly as we can, we cannot hold back.
got to deal with the issues in our
relationship. And lastly, I've got to learn
how to control my anger. Proverbs 29 11 says
a fool gives full vent to his anger, but a
wise man keeps himself under control. Well,
Jason, how do I do that? How do you keep
yourself under control? You've got to learn
how to communicate your feelings without
attacking your spouse. You have to fix the
problem, not fix the blame. You've got to
attack the issue, not the other person. And
I know this is a lot of information today.
I'm not done yet. There's even more, but I
hope that this helps you. It helps your
relationships. And what I want to do is I
want to give you seven practical tips. These
are going to be short, but I want to give
you seven practical tips that will help you
control your anger during conflict. First
don't compare when you were in the middle of
a conflict and say, why can't you be more
like this person or even worse? You're just
like, that's a low blow. It is unfair to
compare when you're in a disagreement with
your spouse, don't condemn. Don't condemn. A
lot of times what happens is, is that we use
absolutes. Like you always are. You never
are. You ought to, or it's all your fault.
Or you should be ashamed. Condemning does
not work. If you'll remember what Jesus
said, Jesus said, I didn't come
to condemn the world. I came to save it. You
don't change people by labeling them or
condemning them. Don't command. Don't try to
end an argument by force. Don't the demand.
I demand that you do what I say. Don't try
to command your spouse. Don't challenge.
When you threaten people, it's going to get
you nowhere. You just try that and see what
happens. It's kind of like, I dare you. I'm
just throwing down the gauntlet. And
typically in marriage threats, come in three
areas, money, sex, or divorce. And the Bible
says, don't use any of those as a weapon
against your spouse. Don't use any of those
for leverage. Don't condescend. Don't
belittle your spouse. Don't ridicule them,
especially don't ridicule their feelings.
Don't contradict. Don't interrupt them in
the middle of a sentence. If you're going to
have an effective conversation, you can't
interrupt each other. Wait your turn. Have
you ever tried to have a conversation with a
pouncer every word you say, they Peltz on it
and have something else don't do that don't
confuse are manipulate. Some of you are
brilliant at confusing people. You know how
and when to bring up unrelated issues. And
when you feel like you're losing a
particular point, you switch tracks and go
somewhere and left field. Don't confuse.
Stay on point. Listen. Even the healthiest
marriages have disagreements, but you can
disagree without being disagreeable and
healthy. Conflict is a key to intimacy. If
there is no conflict, it means you're not
dealing with any issues. It's inevitable.
You and your spouse are different and you
and your spouse have walked through a
stressful season. But when you stay at the
table and get to the resolution phase, you
will come out on the other end with new
depth, new intimacy, healthy conflict is
just that it's healthy. And it helps us
break through the conflict cycle. So we can
truly stress less. Sometimes though,
sometimes the problem is is you have needs
in your life and you were expecting your
spouse to meet needs that they were never
expected to meet because they are needs only
God can meet. Listen, when you let God meet
your needs, it lowers your anxiety. It
lowers the anger level in your life. When I
commit my life to Jesus and trust in him,
that I no longer feel unaccepted because he
has accepted me. I no longer feel
unappreciated because he values me. I no
longer feel unprotected because he says, I
am with you always. I longer feel
unsupportive because he says, I will be with
you and you will receive power with the Holy
spirit to help you. When I've got
uncertainty, Jesus says fear nod. I don't
have control of every situation in my
family, but God does. When I trust him,
anger and stress go down in my life. And
maybe you're here this morning. Maybe you're
watching. And there's never been
a time that you have trusted Jesus Christ
with your life. And maybe that is the
decision that you made to make today. You
need to say Jesus, come into my life. Jesus
replaced my anger with your love. Replace
the bitterness with your joy, replace the
anxiety with your peace. God made you to
live in relationship with him. He loves you
more than you can imagine. He loves you so
much. He sent Jesus Christ, still of a
perfect life to die on a cross. And three
days later to raise again from the dead so
that you can have forgiveness and freedom.
Do you trust him with your life today? Do
you trust him with your eternity and this
morning, I want to give you the opportunity
to make that decision wherever you're at. If
that's you and you say, Jason, I need to
trust Jesus with my life. I invite you to
pray this with me today, God, today I
realize I've been trying to do life on my
own. I've been trying to be in control of
everything. I've been trying to be my own
boss in a way I've been trying to be my own
God. And today I realize that you have a
better life for me in Jesus father. I
believe that Jesus died on a cross and I
believe he Rose again from the grave. So I
could have a brand new life so that I could
be set free so
that I could be forgiven of my sin. God
would you apply what Jesus did on that cross
to my life today? Jesus, you're my Lord. And
I want to follow you for the rest of my
life. And it is in your name. I pray Jesus.
Amen. Now, if that was you, that is the
greatest decision you could ever make with
your life. And I want to ask you, please
don't change the channel. Please don't turn
this video off without letting us know,
because I want to send you a free ebook
called next steps for new believers that
will help you grow in your new found faith.
I want to teach you how to pray, how to read
your Bible, the importance of worship and
what Jesus just did in your life. So I want
to ask you, you can go to our website and
fill out a digital connect card. Or if
you're on Facebook right now, you can click
the link above or you can post in the
comments below, let us know because your
faith doesn't stop the day it starts today.
And we want to walk with you in your new
found journey with God. Now, at the end of
every service, we dedicate a time to prayer
because we know how powerful prayer is. And
so we're going to worship together one last
time, this morning. And as you worship, and
as you pray, if there's a specific way, we
pray for you. You can post your prayer
requests in the comments. You can private
message. You can email whatever you feel
most comfortable with because we have a team
of people who are standing by ready to pray
with you and to pray for you this morning,
let's worship. And if you need prayer, let
us know father, thank you again for this
morning. Thank you for this time. Thank you
for the power of your word and God, how it
is relevant to every area of our life. God,
I know that over the past five months,
people have been stressed out. They have
been overwhelmed and got, especially in
marriages and relationships. There are so
many God that are suffering and struggling.
But father, you are a Redeemer and you are a
restore and you put things back together
again. So God, if there is anyone watching
and their marriage is struggling, father in
jesus' name through the power of your Holy
spirit, I pray that you will move. I pray
that you will give them Greg's that you will
give them peace that you will give them love
for each other and God through your word,
the practical practice of your word father.
I pray that they would resolve their issues
and come out on the other side of this so
much stronger father. I pray for anyone
dealing with conflict in any relationship.
God, I know that none of us wants to deal
with conflict,
but father today, I pray that you would
change us, that you would allow us to deal
with things in healthy ways. So father, we
can live the best life that you have
prepared for us and we can honor you and all
that we say and think and do Jesus. We love
you. And it's in your name. We pray. Amen.