I’ve heard it said, “Over time the adrenalin released by stress hormones creates a continued state of vigilance with damaging physiological consequences. Stress can kill you as it is known to lead to increased heart rate, cardiovascular problems, breathing difficulties and high blood pressure.”
The dictionary defines stress as “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.” Some stress is necessary and even good—such as the physical strain we put on our muscles in order to make them stronger. But when we talk about “stress,” we are usually referring to excessive or negative mental or emotional strain or tension. While “stress” is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, Scripture does speak to things such as anxiety, worry, and trouble—things we often associate with stress—and gives us clear answers on how we should deal with them.
Philippians 4:6-7 acutely reminds us not to be anxious [stressed] about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let our requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jesus also said in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
My brothers and sisters, believing leads to trusting. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Leaning on “our own understanding” often means adopting the world’s ways of relieving stress—things like alcohol or drugs or mindless entertainment. Instead, we are to trust His Word as our ultimate guide to a stress-reduced life. Notice, I didn’t say stress-free life! David says, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4). David knew that by seeking the Lord and sharing his troubles with Him that perhaps He would find favor with Him. The Lord in turn answered him and calmed him down.
As it was for David, so shall it also be for us! Gods is impartial and what He does for one; He will do for all!
Furthermore, stress of all kinds is a natural part of life (Job 5:7, 14:1; 1 Peter 4:12; 1 Corinthians 10:13). But how we deal with it is up to us. If we choose to try to do it on our own, we will not find lasting relief. The only way we can consistently and successfully deal with stress is with Jesus Christ. First, we must believe in Him. Second, we need to trust Him and obey Him.
At the end of the day, we need to daily seek God’s peace by filling our minds with His Word, lifting all things to Him in prayer, and sitting at His feet in awe and reverence. It is only by His grace, mercy, and love that the stress in our lives can be properly managed.