Conquering Stress

Conquering Stress

"In that day he will be your sure foundation, providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD will be your treasure." Isaiah 33:6 NLT

Living a stress free life is impossible.

Women report they experience stress because of the following reasons: contradictory feelings, changing expectations, new freedoms but fewer options, guilt over working outside the home, too much to do with too little time, fatigue, boredom, unrealistic expectations, role conflicts, and pressures from the workplace. The top five stressors reported by women were death of a spouse, divorce, marriage, death of a family member, and being fired from their job.

For men, the four major stressors concern their bodies, careers, families, and personal issues. Though men and women face similar stressors, men seem to handle them in an unhealthier manner. Symptoms that show up as men age are high blood pressure, body aches, ulcers, heartburn, and headache. Statistically, they also die earlier than women. (Wright, H Norman. Winning over Your Emotions) The nation of Israel faced her own set of stressors-many brought on by their repeated disobedience to God. God often used pagan nations to correct their wayward behavior, but He also assured Israel of His love and protection when they obeyed.

Small doses of stress are good. They get my adrenaline flowing and propel me into actions that can benefit me, my church, my community, and even the world. A life completely free of stressors would be boring and uneventful. Too many stressors-or the wrong type, can inflict emotional, physical, and spiritual pain-leading to my detriment.

A correct view of God helps control stress. God is not a distant deity who has no concerns for the events in my life. He walks beside me, lives within me, and wants to direct my paths to an abundant life. But I must give Him control and believe He is in control.

Building time to relax into my schedule is also important. Opportunities to serve God and others abound, but I can't take advantage of them all. Asking God which ones He wants me to snatch is important. As Jesus took time to relax, I must also have time left over for my family and myself.

Re-evaluating the view I have of myself is essential. The why of what I'm doing that's leading to stress is more important than what I'm doing. If there are ulterior motives involved, stress is sure to accumulate.

Don't let stress conquer you; let God help you conquer it.

Prayer: Father, give us life guidance so our bodies will not be conquered by the ill effects of stress.

Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA

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