Managing Stress in a Crazy World

Stress is a very personal and individual thing. It can be physical, mental or emotional. There are things in our lives that we see as causing stress, such as children, family, work, illness or money, for example. Are these the originators of our stress or are they symptoms? Some believe that stress originates from the way we think about things.

I am certainly no expert on the subject, except to say that I, like most, have experienced various degrees of stress and anxiety in my life. I do find; however, that my belief in God, the hope He offers, the forgiveness He provides through His son Jesus and the guidance and direction He provides throughout the Bible are incredibly helpful.

Jesus said to the believers that each day contains its own anxiety so they should not be anxious about what they eat or drink, their bodies or the clothes they wear. He put life in perspective for them when he said, “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing?” (Matthew 6:25-28).

Trust and simplicity seem to be the message! Jesus tells the believers to trust in God because He knows their needs, wants and desires. God wants us to trust that He will provide. This becomes a matter of faith. Jesus told them to pursue the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness and He would provide (Mathew 6:31-34). This requires us to learn about God and the promises He has made and to trust Him. The simplicity comes from not worrying about the issues of life, but allowing God to provide. This may mean that we drive a basic car, not a luxury vehicle or we live in a modest house or apartment. But if stress is a matter of the mind, then our perspective on life is essential. Jesus provides that perspective for us and tells us that we do not need to be anxious.

The apostle Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7).

The apostle Peter says much the same thing and adds, “…because he (God) cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7).

Casting our care upon God and praying to Him about our needs and concerns and being thankful can bring peace in our lives. There are many different schools of thought on stress and how to relieve it. Jesus’ solution requires some effort in terms of learning about him, his Father and the hope of eternal life. Jesus requires us to pursue these things and develop faith in them and trust in his Father. We may have to make adjustments in our lives; however, the Bible teaches that this life is only temporary and what awaits the true believer is eternal. Such a perspective on life can change the way a person views the things of this life when we realize God knows, cares and will provide and yet, what awaits us is a life free of stress and anxiety.

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