The days are too long, the nights too short, there’s too much to do and not enough time. Do you feel like the chief rat in the rat race? A verifiable 89% of all Americans from time to time suffer from chronic stress syndrome. One company was having such a problem with their executive team, they brought in a consulting firm to find out why. They found that 21 of the 22 executives in this company were suffering from such stress, it was causing physical illness—ulcers, high blood pressure, and depression.
But not just executives suffer from stress. Youth doesn’t give you immunity. Anyone at any age, teenagers and children included these days, can fall prey to pressure and need to de-stress.
It’s a fact that 75-90% of all visits to primary care physicians are due to stress-related disorders and illnesses. We are emotionally fatigued, physically drained, and spiritually defeated due to stress. Stress not only kills your enjoyment of life; you’re also more vulnerable to attacks from the devil. You’re more prone to argue over little things. Minor irritations become mountains when you’re stressed
The difference between the two is what creates stress.
On one side are all our responsibilities, demands of life, opportunities, and things we want to do and ought to do. On the other side are our inabilities, faults, weaknesses, and sinfulness. We say, “I want to, I ought to—but I can’t.” Our ensuing frustration brings stress upon stress.
Does this sound familiar? Are you drained? Do you hear yourself saying, “I just can’t go on!”
Thank God, He will help us de-stress.
God tells us in His Word what He will do when we’re stressed if we will only listen and follow His direction.
The Conquest (1780)
Acts 4 tells of the great conquest of Jesus Christ, the one who died and arose from the grave.
He is still alive and well; the Christ that walked the shores of Galilee is alive through His new body, the Church, even today.
Because He lives, His persecution continues. Adrian Rogers says, “When you persecute the church, you persecute Jesus.”
At the beginning of Acts 4, a miracle was performed by the disciple, Peter. He claimed it was the power of Christ in Him who healed. As a result, the people were beginning to follow Jesus. The religious leaders didn’t like it, and began persecuting the Church. But because the apostles were acting as the hands and the feet of the Lord, it was Jesus who was persecuted, too.
Because He lives, His preaching convinces. How did these uneducated fishermen preach and five thousand come to Christ? They were not dependent upon their power of persuasion or winsomeness to bring these people to Christ. It was the people’s encounter with Christ through the disciples that convinced them to believe.
Because He lives, His power confronts. There are things happening in this world today that are undeniably done by the hand of Jesus. He is still performing miracles.
Because He lives, His presence compels. After spending time with the resurrected Christ, Peter was compelled to tell others about Him. If we spend time with Jesus, we will be as bold as His disciples. His presence will compel us with a holy boldness; a knowledge that Jesus is alive and He lives through us.
Finally, because He lives, His people confess. Acts 4:20 says, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Anybody who has known that Christ is alive cannot keep quiet; we cannot hold it in.
Because He is alive, we can wear persecution like a badge of honor. We can let Jesus convince, confront and compel others through us.
Let us not be ashamed to confess what He has done in our lives.
Apply it to your life
Do you know that Jesus is alive? Does your life reflect this? Stay in the presence of Jesus.
Like an iron in the fire, let there be a holy boldness about you. Tell someone about Jesus today.All Sermons by Adrian Rogers