Have you ever had a moment when the eventualities of life cause you more stress than they should?
Of course, there is a certain amount of stress that we face that is good for us, but it is often that stresses build up, situations get out of hand, and the body is taxed beyond its normal limits.
What do you do when the stresses of life go beyond your physical and emotional capacities?
Do you let it get you down?
Do you let it cause you physical damage?
As I said earlier, there are normal amounts of stress that each of us faces on a daily basis and which are actually good for us. These may include deadlines to be met, presentations to be prepared and delivered, and meetings to be attended and managed.
But there are other stresses that can be harmful if improperly dealt with. These may include emergencies, accidents, and forgotten preparations.
And many of these are avoidable. Proper planning certainly can inhibit undue stress. Extra care can often eliminate accidents and emergencies. Better communication can prevent misunderstandings.
But even with these precautions, stresses still can build up.
So I believe that God has given us one (and only one) sure-fire way to combat stresses in our lives.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT).
Worries, cares, anxieties, and concerns: these are what the Bible most often calls the stresses of our lives. These are the things we need to leave in God’s care. And when we leave them in His care, that doesn’t mean that we simply neglect them and stay hands off; it does mean, however, that we leave the “worries” about them in God’s hands. It means that He is the One Who is working things out. We still pay the bills. We still participate in the meetings. We still work through the preparations. BUT … we don’t stress. We don’t fret. We don’t lose sleep over the issues of life; instead, we let Him do the “worrying.”
And that’s somewhat funny, because we know that God doesn’t fret over things. Instead, “… we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).
God has His own agenda for our cares and concerns … and as we follow Him, we will see that the stresses are resolved, that situations are taken care of in a godly and timely manner, and that God receives all the glory.
Here is what Jesus had to say about all of this in Matthew 6:24-34
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.
So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Matthew 6:24-34 NLT).
And so, I encourage you … and me … for today.
Let’s reduce the stress.
Let’s reduce the worry.
Let’s cast our cares upon the One who cares for us.
And let’s give Him all the glory!