Stress: The worst robber of your strength for life | Faith
by The Press and Standard | February 3, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: January 29, 2019 at 4:30 pm
As I was growing up, I recall hearing the word “stress,” but it was mostly used as a verb, meaning “to emphasize.” In my later adult years, I have constantly heard this word used more as a noun, meaning “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances” (Online Dictionary).
I constantly hear comments such as: “You are stressing me out!” “You are just causing me too much stress!” “This job is so stressful!” “I’m so tired of being stressed!” “I am just under too much stress!” Don’t let me leave myself out; I have been guilty of making some of these same comments.
However, as I continue my daily walk with Christ, I have learned that stress can rob you of all your strength if you let it. It is the worst strength robber! If you look back at the definition, focus on the words “mental or emotional strain or tension.” These words spell WORRY! Let’s take a look at what the Word says about WORRY.
Psalm 55:22 (ESV) says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Philippians 4:6 (ESV) states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Further, the Lord says in Isaiah 41:10 (ESV), “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Consequently, don’t let stress, one Satan’s worst tools of manipulation, rob you of your strength.
Recently, I read an online article from a blog, “30 Habits That Create Enormous Distress,” by award-winning author Frank Sonnenberg. “Most things in life are the result of choices that we make. In other words, life doesn’t happen to you; it’s created by you,” says Sonnenberg.
Therefore, we sometimes cause our own stress. I am going to share with you just a few of these habits, and in your spare time, please read the entire article, and focus on his advice for each one. He is an awesome thought leader. With each of these habits that I have chosen to share, I included a Scripture to explain it.
Do you: §
• Live beyond your means? “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18 ESV) §
• Worry about tomorrow? “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV) §
• Fear leaving your comfort zone? “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (II Timothy 1:7 ESV) §
• Crave approval and validation from others? “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV) §
• Feel guilty saying “no”? “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (II Corinthians 3:17 ESV) §
• Harbor anger? “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” (Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV) §
• Feel entitled? “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6-7 ESV) §
• Take, take, take? “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35 ESV) §
• Fail to learn from mistakes? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9 ESV)
• Live on the edge? “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 ESV)
Therefore, do not become a prisoner of stress. It will rob you of your strength, joy, love, peace of mind, health, wealth, just to name a few. This is what the devil wants, so don’t let him the satisfaction that he wants. Being stressed is not going to accomplish anything positive for you. If you are in what you deem to be a stressful situation, no matter what it is, find a way out of it, and put your trust in God.
In the words of one of my former pastors, the Rev. Ossie T. Brown Jr., “Sometimes you have to leave to learn.” Look that old devil in the eye and confidently tell him, “I’m too blessed to be stressed!”
Have a wonderfully blessed week, and never leave home without Him!
(Anna Bright is a minister and educator in Walterboro. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)