Too Blessed to Be Stressed!

“TOO BLESSED TO BE STRESSED”

Stress is impossible to avoid and it is not always a bad thing. Some stress is good for us. Going on vacation is a positive stress that relieves negative stress. Getting a promotion at work is a positive stress. Becoming a parent is a positive stress. A moderate amount of stress pushes us to exercise our bodies, minds, and emotions, keeping us functioning at our best. But excessive stress can cause real problems in our quality of life. If not properly dealt with, stress can make a mess out of our life. Some typical manifestations and reactions to excessive stress are:
Injury or increased illness
Overeating
Drinking to alleviate problems
Abnormal sleep or apnea
Loss of interest in normal activities
Increased impatience or irritability
Relationship problems at work and home
Poor performance at school or work

Many things can cause excessive stress. Last week we looked at overbooked schedules, unavoidable loss, lack of provision, and persecution and ridicule. If there is one thing that we need every day of our lives, it is the ability to endure the stress of life. I have good news: God has an app for that! But an app is of very little use unless it is used!

ISAIAH 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

God has a lot to say in this one verse that will enable us to properly handle stress if we do what He says.

1. Do not fear

God knows all about our fears and His Word says, “Do not fear”. He commands that because He is the Prince of Peace, able to banish our fears if we will draw close to Him and trust Him.

(Oh, I know that, but what if…?) Anxiety creates unnecessary fear. We worry because we are not trusting God, thinking He is unaware, doesn’t care, or is unwilling to do what is best for us. Fear is the opposite of faith. It is from the enemy. That is why He commands us not to fear.

PS. 34:4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Therefore, seeking the Lord is the key to being delivered from the enemy, worry, and fear; thereby, alleviating stress. And fortunately, the Lord is not very far away!

2. For I am with you

PSALMS 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,    for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

God is with us! This is a remarkable statement and revelation of His love. God is leading his children through this life all the way till the end. Even during the time of death, we do not fear evil, because He promises to be with us! Jesus said He would never leave or forsake us, and He would be with us always, to the end of the age. Death is not the end, for we have eternal life.

Since God, The Almighty One, Creator of Heaven and Earth, is our God, and since He is with us, this should put all our problems into their proper perspective. They are not as big as they seem. They are certainly not too big for Almighty God, who is with us, to handle.

3. Do not be dismayed

To be dismayed is to be discouraged. Discouragement comes from the devil, whose aim is to get us down and keep us down. He tempts all of us to give up. Even David was greatly dismayed and stressed.

I SAM. 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God.

Notice where David found his strength, not in himself or a self-help book, but in the Lord. In Jesus, there is no cause for discouragement, but full confidence of His love for our blessing.

4. For I am your God

This is a very personal word: God says, “I am your God.” Notice, it is not the believer who is saying to the Lord, “You are mine.” it is the Lord saying to the believer, “I am yours.” Almighty God, who is love, is ours!

So the question is “Is Jesus your God, your Lord and Savior?” If so, then you are blessed and you can depend on Him to be your God and act on your behalf exactly as His Word says He will!

5. I will strengthen you

The Lord gives us strength and endurance. God gives us grace to have peace and joy during times of stress and trials. God uses these trials for our benefit and blessing even though they are difficult to endure.

2 Cor 12:8-10 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This is why James encourages us to count it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds. God has allowed them for our benefit, blessing, and His glory. Therefore, we should accept what He wants to do in our life and realize we are too blessed to be stressed by these things.

6. I will help you

Even when we are so stressed that it is difficult to pray, the Lord says He will help us. His Word reminds us that the Holy Spirit will make intercession for us.

ROMANS 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Whether our need is physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, at home, at work, or a concern for a loved one, the promise remains true—“I will help you!” He may not remove the problem, but the Holy Spirit will help us throughout the problem. He will work it out for our good.

7. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

JOHN 10:27-30 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Never forget that He who died on Calvary, and was resurrected, promised that He would never leave us or forsake us! He will hold us, but He will not prevent us from leaving Him if that is our will.

Trials and stress will come, but they cannot separate us from the love of Christ. Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter what the circumstances appear to be, God loves us and we are never separated from His love! If we leave Him, He eagerly awaits our repentance and return. Nothing can separate us from His love, except our own choice to forsake Him and be our own god.

Yes, there will be trials and stress. However, God can turn a mess into a message, a test into a testimony, a trial into a triumph, a victim into a victory! By His wounds we have been healed!

1 Pet 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

Yes, we are “too blessed to be stressed”! However, there are occasions we do not feel this way. Regardless of our feelings, we are highly blessed because we have the app for dealing with stress, the Word of God and His eternal promises to His children. To be effective in relieving stress, we must use His app, (that is His Word) by reading it, trusting it, and obeying it.

Peter said in I Peter 5:6 & 7, Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Peter is saying take all of your worries to Jesus, because He cares for you. I believe this is some of the greatest counsel that we could act on. It takes humility to give God complete control. Pride won’t do this. The prideful try to keep control, and they get all the stress that goes with struggling for control.

We just sang, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. In that song, it says, “What peace we often forfeit, because we do not carry everything to Jesus in prayer.” We mistakenly carry our burdens instead of laying them at the feet of Jesus and taking His yoke and burden, which is light.

Matt. 6:33-34But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

When we seek the Lord first, we limit many of our negative stresses. We no longer have to worry about food and clothing. We no longer have to worry about economic down turns. We no longer have to worry if a tornado strikes our home. We no longer have to worry about life and death, because all of these cares leave us when we seek Christ first.

Furthermore, when we give our tithe, we know that our needs will be met because God has promised to meet them. Phil. 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Yes, the Bible has many apps for stress. In summary, they are called faith. Heb 11:1 & 6, Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see….And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Faith is not a passive belief. Faith seeks God to hear Him and obey Him. It is actively doing what it believes with full confidence and assurance that God exists, He is in control, and He will do what He says.

When we get into His presence, we find rest, confidence, and full assurance that what God said will happen. In His presence, there is joy and peace; stress is gone. This is what God wants for His children. When we quit seeking the Lord, the enemy brings fear, worry, and stress that robs us of our joy and peace.

 Phil 4:4-9 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Stress is unavoidable, but not impossible to conquer. If we take our problems to the Lord, seek Him, focus on Him, obey Him, and think on the things His Word tells us to think about, we will be delivered from stress. His Word shows us that we are indeed “too blessed to be stressed”.

The trial will still be there, but the stress will be gone. Joy and peace will witness to other people of God’s grace in our lives.

If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, none of this is possible for you, but God has an app for that! No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but only to those that belong to Him. Give yourself to Christ Jesus today by confessing Him as your Savior, repenting of your sin, giving your life to Him through baptism, and receiving His life, the Holy Spirit. Then you will know true peace and joy. The stress will be gone and you will be blessed.

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