The world around us would tell us that Stress is inevitable. Work pressure, home pressure, time pressure, pressure of expectations and pressure from our fears.
So many of us are running around trying to survive, in a constant battle with tiredness, worry and fear. We want to support our families and spend time with them, but in order to support them we are so tired we can’t enjoy them! We want to have good relationships but the faint buzz of adrenaline steals some, if not all, of our joy.
Does God have an answer? I believe He does. Do I still struggle with stress? I most definitely do. Why am I writing this post? Because the things I have learned from Him so far have helped me so much.
The first time the human race sinned God said that men would have much toil in producing food from the earth. To us that means we will struggle to make enough money for our mortgage, supporting our families will not be easy, we will constantly struggle to survive. Which is, lets face it, a bit of a bummer, if God says that about life what hope do we have? Thankfully for us, God didn’t leave it at that, He fixed the problem.
Jesus is the answer to the fall. He cancels out our sins and bears our burdens for us. Jesus in my life is the answer to my stress.
Whilst Jesus was on the earth and teaching His disciples He taught some amazing, life altering ideas. Here are a list of some of them that help me handle my stress.
Give what you have back to God. When I am squirreling money away in my bank account I am controlled by it. In the time that I was saving for my deposit on my flat the stress my savings account gave was HUGE. I would check it every day, despair how slowly it was growing and not enjoy anything that required me to spend money. I was out of balance, Stress was the result. It was only when I followed the prompting of God to give a large chunk of it away that I really felt peace. The control of my finance now belonged to God, so did my deposit, I didn’t worry because I knew He was in control. I didn’t lose out because out of the blue my fiance and I received 10 times as much as I had given away to use for our deposit. True story, amazing God!
- Do what you can today, don’t think about tomorrow. If you have a huge job ahead of you and you imagine all at once what it will take to get there you will feel overwhelmed. If you are stuck in a situation you hate and can’t see a way out, if you constantly focus on your rubbish future you will have no hope. Jesus told his disciples that today has enough worries of it’s own, I also believe it has enough blessings too. When I have a big job ahead of me, rather than collapsing under the belief I can’t do it, I now try to simply do the little I can each day. I tackle what’s in front of me and enjoy the things I have right then. Taking time to enjoy a cup of tea, trusting God with tomorrow (or even the next hour), and simply not thinking about it has given me so much peace.
- Take responsibility for your own life, don’t try to judge or control other people’s. If you are surrounded by lying, cruel, gossiping, nasty, selfish people it is so easy to be stressed and controlled by them. I have to admit that at this moment in time my BIGGEST stresses are coming from both living and working with people like this. Jesus is teaching me, and this is very much a work in progress, to let their actions go. I am not responsible for how they behave, but I am responsible for forgiving them, not going to bed angry with them, showing them love, believing the best in them and not gossiping about them. When I take my eyes off what they are doing and focus on reacting to them the way Jesus asks me to, I find peace to wash the stress away.
Have hope for the future. The biggest and BEST way I have found to do away with stress is to believe the best out life. The whole meaning of this blog is show that it’s when you hope in the darkness, in the hard and stressful situations, that this is how you let light in. Hope can be found anywhere because Jesus is our answer to any problem. Believe he come to bring you life, to set you free, to be your joy, to give you a future and a hope, NOT to bring disaster. My recent post The Black Spot explains how I still have trouble fearing the worst in my life. My answer to myself is to believe in Jesus to work everything for my good. Simple but effective.
I really hope that these suggestions will be able to help you as much as they are helping me, if you have any more please let me know! I would also seriously encourage you to spend time with God talking about what is happening in your life, why you feel stressed and telling him what you will believe He can do. He’s not a distant God, He loves to hear about us, our lives, and our struggles.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/dexxus/3996683276/”>paul bica</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>cc</a>