Dear friend in Christ;
Stress is something we have to deal with continually. Actually, this time of year there seems to be more stress on people. But God wants to help us with our stress!
Psalm 40:4 says, "Blessed is that person who makes the Lord their trust". You could also read this verse, "Stressed is that person who does not make the Lord their trust." Our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him. He does not want us to live stressed out! So let's look at a few things that can cause stress in our lives and consider some ways to handle them through God’s promises to us through His Word.
One of the biggest causes of stress for us is change. Most people don't like change, because it means dealing with the unexpected.
Change happens in all of our lives. Hebrews 6:19 tells us we can deal with change if we have Christ our Anchor as the unchanging center of our lives. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever". Malachi 3:6 says, "I am the Lord, I do not change". Jesus never changes, and with Him as our center of our lives, we will be all right. Knowing He has our lives in His hands, we don’t have to be all stressed out.
Conflict can also bring stress on us. Confrontations are inevitable. They will happen to each of us sooner or later. But we can still remain at peace!
Jesus said in John 14:27, " 'Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid...”. We need to realize that Christ is our peace! We may have conflict all around us, but if we learn to let the peace of God dwell in our hearts, we do not have to be uneasy and worried.
Being criticized is another big cause of stress. When this happens, we can become defensive and start arguing, or we can realize that there's no point in letting it bother us. Why? Because God has already told us that if we will look intently into His Word, it will give us freedom and we'll be blessed (James 1:25).
People criticize me all the time. Really, some of the things they say are horrible. "Doesn't that bother you?" you may ask. "That would upset me." Well, I have to get to a place where I don't pay attention to it. I choose to live in the blessings of God, knowing that I don't answer to them but to my Heavenly Father.
It's not wrong to be concerned. But it is wrong when those concerns consume us, crushes us and cause us stress.
We have to do as it says in 1st. Peter 5:7 "cast all our anxiety on Him because He cares for us." Look at what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 11:
28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
There's no use in being upset or having anxiety. It will choke out your Joy!. Cast your care and concern on the Lord and let Him carry it. You may say, "That's a simplistic way of looking at it." That's what God says! And if we want to get out of stress, we've got to do what God says.
Letting your conscience bring past mistakes to your remembrance can be a real problem when it comes to stress. Around the holidays especially, some of our family members, or others, may try to remind us of things or accuse us of things. That's when we need to remind ourselves that Christ is our Righteousness, He is our Judge and declares us Righteous because He has forgiven us by His own Blood.
2nd. Cor. 5:12 For our sake God made Him (Jesus) to become sin for us- who knew no sin, so that in Him we would be the righteousness of God.
Certainly, if we have unresolved guilt we need to go before God and acknowledge His forgiveness and trust and believe Jesus paid the full price for our sin.
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
But we don't have to feel guilty or live in condemnation about anything we've already asked Him to forgive us for.
First Corinthians 4:4 says, "It is the Lord who judges me." People may try to judge us, but if we're walking with God, we shouldn't let anyone put a guilt trip or condemnation on us and cause us stress.
We are who God made us, and we do ourselves a disservice when we compare ourselves with others. That only brings stress. 2 Corinthians 10:12 tells us it not wise to compare ourselves with others-
You see, if we're not careful we'll begin to compare what we're doing, where we are, and what we're accomplishing with what other people are doing. Eventually, we'll erode our spirituality to the point where we think we're a nobody. And that's exactly what the devil wants.
But God doesn't look at us that way. He only looks to see if we are where He asked us to be, doing what He asked us to do. If we are, we should just enjoy it! We can accomplish more where He puts us than out somewhere else.
Stress is harmful—emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But God doesn't want us to live stressed out! Remember 1 Peter said 5:7 "Cast all your cares on Him." To cast means to Throw it over.
That's why we just can’t let anything bother us. We don't carry cares or get stressed out about them. Just throw everything over on Him. Refuse to carry stress around. Instead, let the Word work in your life and live in God's peace and blessings.
Like 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace, good will toward all people.
May this Christmas be a stress free Christmas in your life- as you Trust and believe Gods promises He birthed to you this Season through All His Promises- Believe and activate His Promises in Your life-
Love in His Grace, Pastor Joe
See You On Sunday 10AM
Speical Christmas Services
Dec. 20 7PM Christmas with Two Or More
Dec. 24 5PM