Don’t be easily Troubled

Easily Troubled

Sunday 04/19/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

Message – Don’t be easily Troubled!

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Don’t be easily Troubled!

Don’t be soon shaken!

You know, sheep are very timid animals and super easily shaken..that is unless they are in the presence of a shepherd who they know is with them and with love watches over them. He IS their safe place – even when the wolf is on the prowl.

But our Lord has told us to not fear – to not let our hearts be troubled – for we have not been given a spirit of timidity or fear, but of POWER, LOVE & a sound mind!

What do you think a sound mind looks like in reference to a person who has been in heaven in the presence of the Lord? A sound mind looks like one which is aware of it’s Lord – just like the sheep is aware of it’s shepherd. THAT is the same situation we are in now – here on earth. We are NOT alone. 

With all the unprecedented trouble which are going on throughout the world right now I thought that looking at what our Lord and the Apostle Paul said regarding the coming of the Lord would give us some perspective and settle your hearts allowing you to do what our Lord commanded us to do and Be watchful and not be soon shaken.

We can be thankful that such has been the message from heaven since the fall! Every time God shows up, He says something like that!

When God appeared to Abram in a dream, He began with the words Do not be afraid”.

Moses to the people of Israel when God came to speak with them, said, Do not be afraid.

God in encouragement to Joshua as he was taking the place of Moses of the house of Israel said, Do not be afraid.

God through multiple prophets encouraged, Israel as a nation, kings as rulers and individuals to be not afraid”.

The angels who appeared to John & Elizabeth, Joseph & Mary, the shepherds…all said, Do not be afraid!

Jesus, when approaching His disciples on the water at night appearing MUCH like a ghost, said, “Do not be afraid – IT IS I”

To an anxious woman eager to serve but overwhelmed with the work Jesus said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but just one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”

To His disciples after He told them He was leaving them, said, “Let not your heart be troubled”

To Mary…shocked mad with grieved and terrified at the empty tomb of her Lord the angel’s asked why she was crying. She said, “because they have taken the body of my Lord and I don’t know where He is”, and as she turned around she saw Jesus but did not recognize Him. He said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Now, about at her wits end she explains, to who she supposed was a gardener, when Jesus said, “Mary” . Which addressed & settled her fear. 

To the initially incredulous disciples He appeared to them and said, “Peace to you!”

To Paul when in a city of growing hostility to the gospel from the Jews, Jesus said to him in a vision. “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent. For I am with you, and no one will lay a hand on you to hurt you, because I have many people in this city.”

To John on the Isle of Patmos, “Don’t be afraid…”

Paul to some very anxious saints in Philippi said, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”

Or one might say, Raise a Hallelujah! as we sang this morning!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  (5) Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  (6) Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  (7) And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:4-7 

Rejoice: Despite the circumstance from which it was written, joy is all over the letter to the Philippians. Examples of this are in Philippians chapter 1 verses 4,18, 25. In chapter 2 verses 2,16-18 & 28. In chapter 3 verses 1 & 3 and in chapter 4 versus 1 & 4.

Spurgeon has this to say about these verses,

“I am glad that we do not know what the quarrel was about; I am usually thankful for ignorance on such subjects; – but as a cure for disagreements, the apostle says, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always.’ People who are very happy, especially those who are very happy in the Lord, are not apt either to give offense or to take offense. Their minds are so sweetly occupied with higher things, that they are not easily distracted by the little troubles which naturally arise among such imperfect creatures as we are. Joy in the Lord is the cure for all discord.”

Rejoice in the Lord always: Again, Paul’s joy wasn’t based in a sunny optimism or positive mental attitude as much as it was the confidence that his life was inputted with God, and God was the One Who directed and guided and gave purpose & meaning to his life. For Paul… God was in control. 

It really was a joy in the Lord.

Again Spurgeon says, “What a gracious God we serve, Who makes delight to be a duty, and Who commands us to rejoice! Should we not at once be obedient to such a command as this? It is intended that we should be happy.”

Over and over we hear encouragements such as these from heaven. 

Over and Over we witness a God… 

  • Who is NOT far from us
  • Who is not unaware
  • Who is NOT silent concerning us
  • Who is easily moved with compassion towards us.

David in one of his most beloved psalms said,

Psalms 139:1-24,  “(1) LORD, You have searched me and known me.  (2) You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.  (3) You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. (4) Before a word is on my tongue, You know all about it, LORD.  (5) You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. (6) This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.  (7) Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? (8) If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there.  (9) If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, (10) even there Your hand will lead me; Your right hand will hold on to me. (11) If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will become night”–  (12) even the darkness is not dark to You. The night shines like the day; darkness and light are alike to You. (13) For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. (14) I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.  (15) My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. (16) Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began. (17) God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me to comprehend; how vast their sum is! (18) If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You.  (19) God, if only You would kill the wicked–you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me– (20) who invoke You deceitfully. Your enemies swear by You falsely. (21) LORD, don’t I hate those who hate You, and detest those who rebel against You? (22) I hate them with extreme hatred; I consider them my enemies. (23) Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. (24) See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.”

So the particular encouragement of Don’t be soon shaken or “don’t be easily troubled” is a phrase I’ve borrowed from Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Thessalonica. Now, this encouragement was written to them for much the same reason I felt led to teach this exhortation this morning. For though the Thessalonian believers had learned and been taught these truths, other thoughts had come in and unsettled them and confused them, for Paul in his first letter to them had addressed these very truths. 

He said, 

“(1) Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: we ask you, brothers,  (2) not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2

 I’ve seen MUCH lately from both ardent and nominal Christians that they believe the coming of the Lord is very close. 

While this would NOT be a time of discouragement for us, for the Thessalonian believers, THEY had been told by some that the rapture had already taken place! Which was the basis for Paul’s encouragement. 

But I would like to enlighten you today as well regarding the same thing.

Turn with me to Matthew 24:1-51, 

“(1) As Jesus left and was going out of the temple complex, His disciples came up and called His attention to the temple buildings.  (2) Then He replied to them, “Don’t you see all these things? I as sure you: Not one stone will be left here on another that will not be thrown down!” (3)  While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples approached Him privately and said, “Tell us, 

  • when will these things happen? When will the temple be destroyed
  • And what is the sign of Your coming 
  • and of the end of the age?”  

(4)  Then Jesus replied to them:Watch out that no one deceives you. (5)  For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. (6)  You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars.” 

Notice the things here. Jesus tells us to be watchful, and He is about to give us the tools we need to do so. 

Jesus also knows that everything happening in the world has His church and His Lordship at center stage. 

As I have told you many times in the past the world is peripheral to the church not the other way around. What God is doing now is purifying his bride. Judgment must begin in the house of the Lord. So everything that goes on Twin the resurrection of Christ and the end of this age is focused primarily upon the church.

The next thing out of the Lord’s mouth is the command we must first be watchful for… Our own hearts. He says… 

Our Command:

See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet.” 

Catastrophes around the world:

“(7)  For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (8)  All these events are the beginning of birth pains.” 

It is through ignorance of the scriptures that people make the concerning statements that they do in our days. Christians are saying all the things that Jesus just said happening all around them and they immediately default to thinking about the apocalypse at worst or the return of Christ it at best. But Jesus says here that these are just the beginning of birth pangs. 

Now you might be thinking how is that encouraging? Well, even if I didn’t have an answer I believe it’s encouraging because Jesus stated it that way. Also, when we read what Paul had to say to the Thessalonians about the same issue, he ended his dialogue with them by saying encourage one another with these words

So I imagine if we do these things the right way the automatic response inside the heart of the child of God would be encouragement.

Unlike some passages in scripture Jesus seems to outline these things in a certain order. The next word Jesus says is ‘then’… suggesting a chronological progression. 


“(9) Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.” 


“(10)  Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. (11)  Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (12) Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. (13)  But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.” 

The cure for apostasy is to not be offended, and the cure for offense is a focus on, dedication to and love for the Lord above all things. 

If this is true for you, you will fail through this time not only with success, but with every increasing joy. 

Don’t lose focus:

“(14)  This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.”

This makes it clear that the thing which is being waited for is the Good News to be proclaimed everywhere as a testimony! 

Again, this makes it clear that world happenings are regulated By God’s agenda and God’s agenda right now is the church. The world is peripheral to the church – not the church to the world! 

Just before the rapture:

“(15)  “So when you see the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place” (let the reader understand), (16)  “then those in Judea must flee to the mountains! (17) A man on the housetop must not come down to get things out of his house. (18) And a man in the field must not go back to get his clothes. (19)  Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days! (20) Pray that your escape may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. (21) For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn’t taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again! (22)  Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect.” 

If it were not for God’s children being present, things would continue unchecked until all flesh was destroyed!

Now, Jesus was answering 3 questions. Only one of which directly applies to us. 

Even with these known signs – prediction is useless:

“(36)  “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows–neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son–except the Father only. (37)  As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. (38) For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah boarded the ark. (39)  They didn’t know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be:”

Remember I’ve taught you that His coming will not be “soon” but “sudden”.


“(40)  Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. (41)  Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. (42)  Therefore be alert, since you don’t know what day your Lord is coming. (43) But know this: If the homeowner had known what time the thief was coming, he would have stayed alert and not let his house be broken into. (44)  This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (45) “Who then is a faithful and sensible slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give them food at the proper time? (46)  That slave whose master finds him working when he comes will be rewarded. (47) I assure you: He will put him in charge of all his possessions. (48) But if that wicked slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delayed,’ (49) and starts to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, (50)  that slave’s master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. (51) He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

If we were to look at Mark’s gospel we’d see the same progression. 

The coming of the Millenial Reign

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12, “(5) It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering,  (6) since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels,  (8)  taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9)  These will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction, away from the Lord’s presence and from His glorious strength, (10) in that day when He comes to be glorified by His saints and to be admired by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.” 

“(11)  And in view of this, we always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith,  (12) so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Rapture of the Church

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17, “(1) Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: we ask you, brothers,  (2) not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come.  (3) Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.  (4)  He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.  (5) Don’t you remember that when I was still with you I told you about this? (6) And you know what currently restrains him, so that he will be revealed in his time.  (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way, (8) and then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath of His mouth and will bring him to nothing with the brightness of His coming.  (9) The coming of the lawless one is based on Satan’s working, with all kinds of false miracles, signs, and wonders, (10) and with every unrighteous deception among those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth in order to be saved. (11) For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false,  (12) so that all will be condemned–those who did not believe the truth but enjoyed unrighteousness.” 

“(13)  But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.  (14) He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 


“(15)  Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, either by our message or by our letter.  (16) May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal encouragement and good hope by grace,  (17) encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good work and word.”

As I told you all of this was written because Paul has already told them of these things when he was with them. In closing let’s read that passage.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18, “(1) Finally then, brothers, we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus, that as you have received from us how you must walk and please God–as you are doing–do so even more.  (2) For you know what commands we gave you through the Lord Jesus. (3) For this is God’s will, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality, (4) so that each of you knows how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,  (5) not with lustful desires, like the Gentiles who don’t know God. (6) This means one must not transgress against and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger of all these offenses, as we also previously told and warned you.  (7) For God has not called us to impurity, but to sanctification. (8) Therefore, the person who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who also gives you His Holy Spirit. (9) About brotherly love: you don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another.  (10) In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, (11) to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, (12) so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.  (13) We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. (14) Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. (15) For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep.  (16) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. (18) Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

With all the unprecedented trouble which are going on throughout the world right now I thought that looking at what our Lord and the Apostle Paul said regarding the coming of the Lord would give us some perspective set alarm hearts allow us to do with our Lord commanded us to do and Be watchful and not be soon shaken.

And as Paul said to the Saints and Thessalonica encourage one another with these words.

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!