Worry and stress can be a pest. A pest is something that annoys. It is a nuisance. A pest can be something that is destructive as well. Worry and stress are two of the biggest pests there are. And the can destroy a life and relationships.
We all worry and we all get stressed. What can cause worry and stress? Some of the top stressors in America are:
Job Pressure. Someone put it this way: “If we don’t have a job, we worry about it. If we do have a job, we worry about losing it."
Money. It seems that most prices are going up. How many stressed when gas went up to $4.29 a gallon? And what about the price of beef? Finances or money problems are a great stress that most people are faced with. Why? Because it costs money to live! To buy food, to pay bills, to purchase anything, to eat out, go places, enjoy life, to buy gasoline, etc. FINANCIAL STRUGGLES ARE STRESSFUL!
Health and Nutrition. Everyone wants to be healthy and some get really stressed out trying to be what the television tells them they should be.
Relationships. Stress in relationships? Never! Guess again. A husband once said to his wife, “We have been married five years and haven’t agreed on a thing.” Wife, “You’re wrong again. It’s been six years".
The marriage counselor asked them, “When things go wrong, do you blame each other?”
“No, not always,” the wife said, “Sometimes we blame the children. Sometimes we blame the President. And sometimes we just slam doors.”
What about friendships? Is there any stress there? He said this, she said this… Talk about stress in relationships, go back to Middle School. And let’s not even go to the stress of dating.
Children. Our pride and joy never cause stress. What if they get really sick? What if they make bad decisions? No matter how good your children are or are not, raising them is a very stressful thing.
There can be stress in nearly every area of our lives. And if there isn’t stress there is worry, which is almost the same thing. We are all faced with a certain amount of worry and stress in lives. ALL OF US. We know this, but what we can do about it?
There are two different ways we can deal with worry and stress in our lives. As matter of fact who we really are, our true character will always show during times of worry and stress. How we act and how we deal with those times are important. We can deal with it from a human perspective or we can deal with it from God’s perspective.
The best way to deal with worry and stress through God’s perspective. God’s perspective is this; Bring it to God. If we truly want to overcome worry and stress in our lives then we need to bring it to God.
This is not saying that God is going to take the stressful or worry full situation out of our lives. But it does mean that God is going to help us through it.
So what is God’s perspective?
The first is found in Philippians 4:6.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 NIV
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Philippians 4:6 NLT
In this simple verse we see the first prescription to overcoming worry and stress in our lives. It comes from right praying. Prayer is one of the most important elements for a believer in his walk as a Christian. Prayer is an expression of our fellowship with our heavenly Father. Prayer is our communication with God.
The right prayer is having the right attitude when we pray.
When we experience worry and stress we want action, and we want it right now! And sometimes the only way to get it, is to spend some time in prayer. If you are worried and stressed take some time to pray, even if it’s only 5 or 10 or 15 minutes. Also, and this is important, prayer is not just a matter of always asking something from God. That verse reads, “Prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.”
We can take all our requests to God in prayer and supplication. Supplication is claiming that which God has already promised. But our attitude must be one of thanksgiving. When we put in words of thanksgiving in our prayers and we have an attitude of thanksgiving in our hearts we can be sure the worry and stress will fade away.
The second prescription is found in Philippians 4:8.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
Right thinking. Here is the deal about thinking; if you think about something long enough and hard enough, eventually you will probably do what you are thinking about.
It is all in what you think about. Solomon said,
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
I have always believed that what you put into something you get out of it. So if we are thinking about bad stuff all the time you are eventually going to have bad stuff coming out as a result. Garbage in, garbage out.
Put in it hatred, unbelief, jealousy, lust, greed, and you will get garbage for output. Input faith, hope, charity, selflessness, contentment, etc and you will get high quality output. If we keep putting the bad stuff in then we are destined to live a life of worry and stress which will stifle any chance of a quality output in the life of the Christian. We must set our minds on the Word of God and His righteousness in order to do the right things in life and overcome worry and stress.
Are there things in your life right now that are causing you worry and stress? Are you ready to get rid of the worry and stress in your life? God has promised to take care of us during those times of worry and stress. Come to Jesus.