The foundation scripture for this study is Romans 8:28 (HCSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.
Last week we talked about the challenge of dealing with critical people who cause stress and anxiety. Here are the questions that we should ask ourselves when faced with a critical person and or criticism
I used to try and fight every single ounce of criticism that came my way…and I realized I just can’t. In the end, we all have good things in our lives we need to focus on. So don’t spend your time fighting the critics, spend your time focusing on Jesus and the blessings He has given to all of us. He is the one we will spend eternity with in heaven, and His opinion is the only one that really matters.
Intro and Definition
This week we want to talk about some of the other things that cause stress.
The dictionary defines stress as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.”
Everyone suffers from stress at one time or another. Stress can cause us to do things we wouldn't normally do and sometimes stress can cause us to completely shut down.
Stressors are anything that can cause stress. Stress is inevitable because of the fall of man and the entrance of sin into the world and sometimes we let stress influence our actions. Stress can take quite a toll on us and how we deal with it determines how we can manage it and minimize its toll on us. Stress can come from many directions. It can come from our jobs, our families, our health, our finances, even our church but it is a natural part of life.
Stress is real
Here are some examples of what the bible says about stress:
How we deal with stress is up to us
If we try to do it on our own it will be a long tough battle and the chances that we are going to lose are quite high. The answer to effectively dealing with stress is with Jesus and in believing in Him. If you don't believe in Him and try to do it on our own we will not be able to cope with stress. In addition to believing in Jesus we must trust Him and obey Him.
Jesus encourages us. Look at what He says;
John 14:1 (HCSB) “Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me.
Believing in Him doesn't mean that we won't have troubles or stress. It means that with Jesus we are better able to cope with stress.
John 16:33 (NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Believing leads to trusting
Proverbs 3:5-6 (HCSB) Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.
Adopting the world's way of dealing with stress is leaning on our own understanding. It means using things like drugs or alcohol, pornography or other kinds of entertainment. But we should trust the Word of God as our way to reduce the stress in our lives.
David was constantly under stress
David, who was constantly under stress most of his life, knew that if he sought the Lord and told Him what he was going through that he would find favor. As David says in the Psalms, the Lord heard and answered him and calmed him down.
Psalm 34:4 (HCSB) I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 118:1-9 (HCSB) 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say, “His faithful love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His faithful love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, “His faithful love endures forever.” 5 I called to the LORD in distress; the LORD answered me ⌊and put me⌋ in a spacious place. 6 The LORD is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is my helper, Therefore, I will look ⌊in triumph⌋ on those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in nobles.
That's what David said when he men were talking about stoning him. Now that's being under a lot of stress.
*10 common things that can cause stress.
I'm sure that there are things that cause you stress that aren't included in this list. We already talked about stress being inevitable but it's how we deal with it that will equip us to win the war over worry. Remember what it says in Jeremiah 29:11 (HCSB) For I know the plans I have for you”—⌊this is⌋ the LORD’s declaration—“plans for ⌊your⌋ welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
So don’t worry, God’s got this.
Here are some Christian resources on dealing with stress:
"Living Above Worry and Stress", "Out of Control", "Too Blessed to be Stressed", "Overworked, Overwhelmed, and Underpaid", "Overwhelmed: Winning the War against Worry"