A Rescue Remedy for Stress
Many of us are stressed out! Stressed out because we have too much to do! And stressed out because we are always hurrying to catch up. Stressed that we can’t accomplish more. And because some people don’t like us. Stressed about our finances and our families and our jobs. And of course stressed about politics and health. The list goes on and on! But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Jesus is the “Prince of Peace” and He calls us to stop stressing out about all these things and give them to Him. And He offers us His peace. Jesus tells us: “My peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) And Scripture says: “Cast all your troubles on Him (Jesus) because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
If we believe in Jesus we already have His peace, because He promised it. It’s there! But if we have been given this wonderful peace, then why is it that sometimes we can’t find it? Does Scripture tell us what we can do to hold on to this peace that is ours? Do we have a part to play in keeping this peace?
Yes, of course Scripture says that we have a part! God always gets us involved and lets us be co-creators with Him! First of all the most important part we have is to believe in Jesus Christ – believe that He is the Son of God and that He died for our sins!
Heresies are all around that are smuggled into our churches as “Christian” and these lies can mess us up and cause us to question our precious faith. We need to protect our physical bodies from germs and viruses that can sicken or kill us and we also need to protect our spiritual life from the diseases and infections of false doctrine that can sicken or kill our faith in Christ as Son of God and Savior.
The Bible says our job is to believe – believe that Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior and try to follow Him. Once when Jesus’ followers asked Him what work they needed to do to satisfy God’s requirements, Jesus answered them: “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.” (John 6:29) Of course the One God sent is Jesus. And Paul wrote: “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31) “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Jesus never said that we wouldn’t have to deal with troubles and disappointments. “In the world you will have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration.” (John 16:33) But Jesus promises to deliver us out of all of our afflictions. (Psalm 34:19) He encourages us to be of good cheer because He has “overcome the world” and we will be overcomers with Him. We need to remember that Jesus is with us everywhere we go. When we remember these promises from Scripture we are strengthened in our spirits as well as our bodies!
Our lives can be transformed with joy and peace when we obey God. Of course we humans fail but then our sins are forgiven through Jesus. But we should try to obey even in the little things. Scripture says: “In all your ways acknowledge Him (God) and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)
Joyce Meyer, a well known Bible teacher, says that the Lord spoke to her and told her that when she was exhausted if she began exalting Jesus she would not be exhausted anymore. I think that what she says is true. The Lord may give extra energy and super strength when needed in times of emergency. There is power in Jesus’ Name!
Once when I had been driving a long distance in heavy traffic and had become sleepy and exhausted, I worried that I might not have the strength to keep driving another few hours to my destination. We started playing praise music – music that glorified Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - and soon I could feel energy and strength coming back into my exhausted body and soul. Singing praises brought joy and I finished the rest of the long drive with energy to spare! We can exalt Jesus Christ by singing praise and we can exalt Him in our lives by living in obedience. .And joy always seems to light up the journey!
The Lord does refresh us. Scripture says: “God gives power to the faint and weary, and to the person who has no might the Lord increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:28-29.) “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31) When we are very tired the Lord invites us to come to Him for rest. “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Psalm 23 reads: “The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1) And: “…I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b. We can enjoy God’s peace by believing and trusting in Him.
God did not create our bodies and minds and spirits to work constantly seven days a week. We need a break – a rest in the Lord. One of the Ten Commandments is a commandment for God’s people to set aside one day a week as a Sabbath. We are to rest and relax on that day and worship God and wait before Him and let Him restore us.
This fourth commandment reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work:…” (Exodus 20:8-10). We can keep the peace that God wants us to enjoy if we obey God and worship Him and rest and relax one day a week.
And we can enjoy the peace God has given us if we try to live in peace with those around us. We are called to be “peace makers.” God commands us to be kind and patient with others and courteous and gentle and willing to suffer wrong. (2 Timothy 2:24-25) You see we do have a part in keeping this abundant peace that Jesus has given us!
Jesus gives each of us an invitation! He invites us personally to take His yoke upon ourselves – to get to know Him on a deeper level. I think taking on His yoke means that we share His life, we let the Holy Spirit guide us and listen for His voice as we live our lives. Here is Jesus’ invitation to us: “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. My yoke is wholesome and my burden is light and easy to be borne.” (Matthew 11:29-30) Are we going to respond to his invitation?
The Lord’s burden is light and easy to carry. He is gentle and humble in heart, and we will find rest for our souls by letting Him into our lives and obeying His voice. Instead of stressing out about every little problem we can let Him lead and there will be joy and light heartedness along the way. How much better can it get?
Many of the Scriptures and ideas were taken from the book Straight Talk, pages 9-48 by Joyce Meyer.