Are you Stressed Out?

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We live at the most amazing time in history. It is an era of immense technological advance, profound opportunity, and numerous physical conveniences. For instance, we typically have ready access to astounding time-saving devices; comfortable land, water and air-travel; and global cellular communication. In addition, we have vast information available on the internet at our finger-tips which enables us to access helpful historical, medical, financial, and even Biblical information … yet, we have never been more overwhelmed and maxed-out in everyday life.

 

Instead of these tremendous advances making our lives easier, they (or is it we) have often made our lives much busier! Sadly, when it comes to measuring the daily stress levels of the average American, there is not much difference between the professed born-again Christian and the avowed secular unbeliever.  At the end of most days, most of us are physically and emotionally spent. Why? Because our frenzied pace rarely leaves us any margin on our daily calendars.

So then, is it really any wonder why our stress management methods need an overhaul? What is stress? Stress is the popular word for the “wear and tear” that this lifestyle takes upon our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives; it is another word for our common experience as we adjust to our continually changing environment. Stressed-out lives are often characterized by anger, depression, headaches, an upset stomach, rashes, insomnia, ulcers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. Brethren, it is our own sin arising from personal choices that take this toll upon our physical and spiritual lives. Often our Christian testimony is deeply affected in a very bad way.  On this topic, Dr. Wayne Mack comments:  “If you don’t handle stress differently than unbelievers, don’t expect to make an impact for Christ.”

How then are Christians to live in such an age? We need to begin by heeding the timeless words of the sons of Korah, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:11). This Psalm is telling us that if we are to glorify God in this age of gospel opportunity, we must give God and His worship the first place in our lives, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent” (Colossians 1:18).

In other words, a stress-out life is a life that is in a spiritual mess. It is a life that has lost its priorities and it will soon have to face a wakeup call. We need to repent of this sin to our Father in Heaven (1 John 1:9) and begin to make the worship of our God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the focus of our lives (John 4:19-24; Hebrews 12:1-12). Why? Because Jesus is our life (Colossians 1:27; 3:4)! So, return to personally reading and meditating upon God’s Word (Colossians 3:16; 1 Peter 2:2). Then, publically aim to be aligned with and accountable to Christ’s people (Hebrews 10:24-25; 13:17). Dear reader, there is no rest from stress until you learn to rest in God’s absolute control over your life (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7). Joyful obedience brings great peace (Isaiah 26:3; 1 John 5:3).

Lastly, let us never forget the following words of our Lord: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world (John 16:33b).”

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