Stress is a normal part of life. We deal with some type of frustration nearly every day.
Some stressors we bring on ourselves due to poor planning, lack of organization, over commitment, or distractions.
Other stressors are beyond our control stormy weather, an unexpected car repair, or a sick child. Unexpected situations pop into life.
Positive stress can be beneficial in terms of increased energy and mental alertness, which can lead to more productivity. Negative stress can paralyze, causing worry and lack of motivation.
We can’t eliminate stress but we can manage it.
No matter how it originates, we have a choice in deciding how we will navigate the issues it causes in our lives.
Recently I prepared a workshop called “Are You Blessed or Stressed?” for a woman’s conference. Distractions interrupted me as I studied God’s Word. Frustrations tested me.
After traveling to the conference, I settled in my room, reviewing my talk before going to bed.
I set my phone alarm to wake up in plenty of time the next day. My mind kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning. At 1:30 a.m. I realized my phone was on silent, fumbled with the phone, switched the ringer to “on” and then went to sleep.
The next morning I awoke 30 minutes past the time of the alarm. Oh no! Why the alarm hadn’t gone off? At closer look, I discovered I set my alarm for 6:30 p.m., not a.m.
What was even more surprising to me was that I felt peace instead of panic. I was as prepared I as possible. The Lord used His Word to calm my heart that morning.
Four Biblical principles for standing strong against stress
- God is sovereign over stress. He sees the big picture, not a little snapshot of life. One of the best ways to stand strong against life’s pressures is trusting that God’s ways will prevail with a good outcome. Faith is strengthened in the trial when believing in God’s greater purposes.
- Stand strong in prayer. We have the privilege of connecting with God through prayer at all times, but sometimes we use it as a last resort. Prayer may not change the stressful situation as much as it changes the pray-er.
- The Bible reveals God’s eternal perspective. Many passages direct our thoughts to see God’s perspective, not a solution. His perspective and purposes are eternal.
- Praise diffuses stress. Turn thoughts of worry into praise and thanks as reminders of God’s moment-by-moment presence. In the middle of the mess, choose an attitude that looks expectantly to the lessons God will teach and the wisdom He will provide. Be thankful for His continual presence.
Learning how to stand strong during stress kept my heart calm when I could have been frazzled. God’s peace kept me from panic when I overslept.
Unplanned situations bring stress upon us when we don’t want it, but we have to carry on with our lives.
How do you stand strong against stress?