Why are you stressed?
FOR THE last two weeks we’ve been discussing stress and how it affects us mentally, physically, and emotionally. So, as we tackle this topic the big question is, what is it exactly that is causing YOU to stress? Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
But what exactly is that thing that we need rest from. Unhealthy stress can mushroom in our lives. It starts as one small thing and suddenly it can feel like all of life is falling apart. Stress, and the anxiety that comes with it, tends to exaggerate the problem and make mountains out of molehills. Stress tends to expand the problem making it bigger that it is in reality.
Persons will say, “I’m just stressed out” but what exactly are you stressed out about? Sometimes the answer may not be clear, and it feels like it’s everything, but when we dig a little deeper, it’s not usually everything. Most times it’s just one thing, and somehow when we name it, it lowers our stress level, and we can focus on the issue and deal with it.
When we find what we are stressed about we should then ask God for the solution. We need to engage God about it because He has the answer to every situation we face. Sometimes He will inspire us with an answer, sometimes He will send a word through someone else, and other times He will speak to us through His Word which will guide us.
Being in a Christian community (church, Bible study, ministry teams, and/or home groups) is also important. There we are in a position for God to use His people in our lives to help us. We also learn important skills in community that sharpen our ability to hear and discern what God is saying and how to take the next steps. We’re not going to learn these things on our own.
If the challenge is finances, relationships, a particular struggle, whatever it is God has something to say about it. As we discussed, God has promised us rest, so He has the solution already. There’s an answer for every situation we face. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” John 16:24 (NIV). Stress steals the moment or several moments of our lives. Many of us prefer to struggle with the stress and not ask God for the solution until we can’t bear it anymore. Why not engage Him earlier rather than later? The same God who saved us in the past knows how to save us today, but we must trust Him.
The first and most obvious way that this trust is demonstrated is through our obedience. When God speaks to us, we need first to be obedient to His direction. Following God’s instruction is the key to getting out of stress, so we need to respond obediently to what He says. Obedience is the key. 1 Peter says, “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:12 (NLT).
When we ask God for an answer, sometimes what He instructs is easy for us, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s what we hoped for or expected, and sometimes it isn’t. Our obedience cannot depend on how God answers our prayer. Obedience is the key that unlocks God’s best in our lives.