Not long ago, I saw a study done among people who had heart disease. In the study, the researchers found a 74 percent reduction in cardiac events for people who worked on managing their stress level. This included people who were facing very serious heart conditions such as bypass operations and heart attacks. So even among those in the most dire heart-health situations, stress management was the key to overcoming their physical problems.
Now if you’ll notice, I didn’t say that stress elimination was the key. That’s because it’s impossible to completely get rid of stress. No matter what we do, stress has a way of finding us! And because of these constant pressures you and I face, the goal of life shouldn’t be to eliminate stress, but to actually turn your stress into strength. To make stress work for you and not against you!
Stress isn’t a new thing. In fact, the Bible is abundantly clear about the issue of stress management. Just take a look at Psalm 37:1-3, which says…
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Now, the word fret here is a stress word. It means “to burn” or “to boil over.” The Scripture here tells you to “fret not….” In fact, three times in this particular Psalm, it uses that very imperative. It’s telling you not to let stress affect you to the point that you are consumed by it like a fire consumes what it burns. And the most important step in not reaching that point is remembering the Lord’s faithfulness to always provide for you. That’s the only way you can find real and lasting peace in the midst of the turmoil of life.
[Pull Quote] The most important step in not letting stress consume you is remembering the Lord’s faithfulness to always provide for you. That’s the only way you can find real and lasting peace in the midst of the turmoil of life.
You see, peace in itself is not the absence of problems. That’s what the world tells you is peace, but it’s not true. Rather, real peace is resting in God’s provision and presence despite your problems. It’s achieved by reflecting on God’s faithfulness, and by understanding that the world isn’t going to stop if you say no to something. God designed you not to constantly be on the go, but to take time to worship Him, to trust in Him, and to do good by honoring Him.
There’s a joke I’ve heard from people in other countries that says, “The American culture could be described in three words: hurry, worry, bury!” But what if instead of living your life like that, you trust in the Lord enough to lighten your load? I guarantee you that if you’ll rest in the Lord and remember His faithful provision, it’ll transform the way you think—and it’ll turn your stress into strength!
If Jesus Christ showed up on your doorstep today, what kind of faith would He find in you?
As he continues the series “Dare to Believe,” Pastor Jack Graham brings a message today that will help “Fortify Your Faith.” The identifying mark of a Christian is faith, so as believers, our faith should be strong and growing and able to withstand the storms of life.All Sermons by Jack Graham