Stress can come easily. Trying to provide for our families, working a demanding job, raising kids, and maintaining relationships can be very rewarding, but also very stressful at times. Life can get so overwhelming that it can feel like there isn’t anything else to do but worry.
Who hasn’t found themselves feeling drained, sick or consumed as a result of worrying? Stress not only makes our stomach twist and head hurt, but according to the National Health Survey, stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many individuals.
Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. While stress may seem like just a normal reaction to the trials of life, God has something better for us.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul speaks about the issue of stress:
“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 4:6-7 ESV)”
Paul counsels believers to not distress about their problems, but to tell God about them. God invites us to come and pour our hearts out to Him. He truly cares about our lives, and He longs for us to come to Him and lay out our anxieties before Him. It’s not that God doesn’t already know about our troubles, but He loves to commune with us. He has the heart of a Father, and He loves when His children ask Him for what they need.
When we are frustrated and want to see change in our life, it is so easy to forget what God has already done for us. It’s easy to take for granted that we have a Savior and have been made free from sin and death, and are Heaven bound. We need to remind ourselves of the goodness of God. He will never forsake us or leave us alone to fend for ourselves. Through every challenge, He is with us helping us through.
When we trust God to help us, we can stop putting so much pressure on ourselves. God fills our hearts with a peace that is contrary to the storms that may be raging all around us. In a situation where peace seems far from possible, God does the impossible and saturates our hearts with a peace that comes from Him.
This peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, so that our heart may not race and our mind may not spin over the present circumstances. We can continue to trust the goodness of our Heavenly Father. We can stand strong in the strength that comes from Jesus.
God wants us to be free from stress and anxiety. This is a truth that cannot only save our health, but help us to walk closer with God. It is certainly easier said than done but by the grace of God we can choose to come to Him instead of despairing. We can choose to spend time in prayer instead of time worrying and analyzing. God is devoted to us and He makes Himself available to us, so that we may not have to resort to stress.
by: Jenny Duffy