Psalms 46 – – Please read.

Philippians 4:6-7 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” NASB

I would venture to say that more people are suffering under the heavy burden of stress and pressure today than in any other generation.  Increasingly people are facing physical, emotional, and spiritual disorders in their lives because of the unbelievably face paced, pressure-packed way of living that is the norm in our present world.  Stress and Pressure are two common, constant companions of many in the church and the world. 

Several years ago, I saw something in a Children’s Book that was too close to reality for comfort but hilarious at the same time.  The book was by Judith Viorst entitled, “Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”  The account was:

“Alexander [7 or 8] had one of those days!  Nothing goes right.  He has back-to-back-to-back disappointments and tragedies like no one can believe.  His day is one continuous predicament after another.  In short, he cannot win for losing!  When he awoke in the morning, he found that he had gone to sleep with gum in his mouth and now it was in his hair.  When he got out of bed he tripped on his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running.  So, he declared, “I can tell it is going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!”

After a terrible day at school, a horrible visit to the dentist, and a no-good stop at the shoe store, Alexander slumped in his chair at the dinner table and his troubles continue to mount.  He looked at the offering of food and there were lima beans and he hated lima beans, there was kissing on television, and he hated kissing, his bath was too hot, he got soap in his eyes, his marble went down the tub drain, and he had to wear his railroad train pajamas to be, and he hated those pajamas.  His Mickey Mouse night light burned out and he bit his tongue getting into bed.  The cat wanted to sleep with his brother not him, so he once again concludes – “This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day!” 

Most of us have been there!  Humans are really strange creatures.  Have you ever wondered why we run or hurry about when we get lost?  Instead of regrouping and finding our way our senses tend to run in all directions, and we hurry, worry, and bury!  What we need to do is Stop and allow the Holy Spirit to take control and restore order to our lives.  We need to relearn that GOD is GOD!

Stress is a result of taking more on ourselves than God intended.  In a sense, we play God in the matter.  Dr. Thomas Homes of Washington University has done research into the problem of stress and published his findings in terms of “Life Changing Units.”  He gave them on a scale of 100 points.  Death of a spouse = 100 units.  Divorce = 73 units.  Pregnancy = 40 units.  Remodeling a home = 25 units, and Christmas = 12 units.  The conclusion was that from a strictly human viewpoint, no person in his own strength could handle 300 or more units in a 12-month period without suffering physically or emotionally and I add spiritually during the next 2 years!

In truth, if we are crippled by stress, we cannot be very useful to God, ourselves, or anyone else.  If we are crippled by stress, we cannot enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  Therefore, it is imperative that we learn “God’s Secrets of Handling Stress.”  You cannot avoid stress totally, but you can avoid being crippled by it.  As Paul says in Philippians 4:6 – “Be anxious for nothing….”  The converse of that is “Be content and at peace in everything.” 

I want to deal more with this briefly tomorrow but until then may God help you to rise above the chains of stress and rejoice! 

I pray that God’s Blessings and Peace will cover you like a glove as you go through your day!

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