What price are you paying for allowing stress in your life? How much money would you have to lose, how many health problems would you have to have, and how many relationships would you have to give up, before taking action to reduce your stress?
Stress is a common topic around our house. Juggling my overcommitted life, while trying to prioritize my time with God, family, and friends can be hectic and stressful. And — my type-A, OCD, control-freak personality only adds to the issue for me.
For as far back as I can remember, I’ve said time and time again, “this year I’m eliminating all unnecessary items from my schedule so I can slow down.” But, I always seem to find a way to put at least one new item on my list for every item I take off!
“Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Give it to God
The answer to this rhetorical question asked by Jesus during His Sermon on the Mount is an emphatic — No! Actually, God’s Word repeatedly instructs us to cast our worry, anxiety, and stress aside. He tells us to seek Him first, stand firm, and give Him all our concerns — because He cares for us and will uphold us with His righteous right hand. Easier said than done – right?
But — if we would stop and seriously consider how anxiety, tension, and nervousness affect our bodies, our everyday lives, and the lives of those around us, — we might work harder at reducing our mental pressure by trusting God more with our issues.
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
1 Peter 5:6-9
Heart disease is the leading killer in America. Stress dramatically attacks our health, our heart, our productivity, and our relationships. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause headaches, muscle pain, stomach problems, heart problems, and sleep disorders. It can negatively impact our eating habits, exercise, drug and alcohol consumption, and our tendency toward outbursts of anger. Stress can change our personality, make us difficult to be around, and even cause the simplest of tasks to become difficult or impossible. It can actually become a habit that turns into a lifelong stronghold — if we allow it to.
If your deadlines, bills, relationships, or to-do lists are stressing you out, isn’t it time to put the breaks on this destructive force and lean into your relationship with the Lord for healing? Will you begin today putting your faith first and allow God and His Word to reduce your stress?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Set time aside today and implement God’s instructions in Philippians 4:6-7.
- Thank God for all He has done and confess your worry, anxiety, and stress to Him.
- Give God your concerns and trust Him to give you wisdom and guidance.
- Embrace and rest in the peace and encouragement God is offering you.
 Stress and Heart Health, article by the American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/stress-and-heart-health, accessed 1-21-19.
 Stress symptoms: Effects on your body and behavior, by: Mayo Clinic Staff, February 16, 2016, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-symptoms/art-20050987, accessed 1-21-2019.