Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Coping With Stress

Scripture: Matthew 11 v 28-30

"Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; take My yoke upon you, and lear of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light."

Stress is one of the major problems human beings face today. It is the underlying factor that triggers a multitude of woes and many tragedies. Stress is sometimes referred to as tension often related to nerves as in nervous tension.

The two most common areas that increase stress or tension levels are the home and the workplace. In the home disagreements can spiral out of control into heated verbal or even physical battles. Other areas of extreme stress are death of a family member or divorce.

Unresolved stress can result in road rage or even non-premeditated murder. Many random acts of unkindness stem from feelings of rejection or belittling.  It can cause a parent to take out stress upon the children. Thankfully some of the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit include  self-control, love, gentleness, patience and peace. 

There is a need for better communication in the home between all members of the family. The home should be the family sanctuary where burdens are shared and dealt with lovingly. When one or both parents are "being difficult" by accusation, temper tantrums or refusing to engage in conversation, stress escalates. Children often develop health problems when there is stress in the home.

So before this happens both parents should take a step back into a neutral corner and ease the tension as much as possible. As Christians this would be the time to look at one's own behaviour and bring yourself back into line with God's ways. Even turn the other cheek if necessary.

James 4 v 6: "But He giveth more grace, Wherefore He saith, God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

If both parties submit to God in humility the tension and stress will disappear. If only one of the two gets humble the fight will be resolved.
If the tension is caused by children not behaving correctly, the parents should not take sides but rather be in agreement together. Parents should be praying together for their children and receiving wisdom from God on resolving issues.

In the workplace stress comes through various pressures that want to force employees to be more productive when they are already pushed beyond capacity. Unrealistic expectations cause many tensions that result in many people taking sick leave for stress related health issues.

Changing jobs may be just more of the same. It may be necessary to find a whole new career path to get out of a cycle of stress. Pray for the wisdom of God to direct you into His perfect will for your career. He knows where your talents will be most appreciated because He knows that lack of appreciation causes tension.

We saw Jesus suffer the maximum amount of stress in the Garden of Gethsemane when He knew He would shortly be crucified. It caused Him to sweat blood in anguish but submitted Himself to the Father for our sakes.

This was when He took on all our stress and tension so when we are losing it, apply the Blood Jesus sweated in Gethsemane to your heart and mind and feel the relief as He eases our burdens.

We need to combat stress which leads to heart problems, nervous disorders, emotional instability, arthritis, cancer, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, and death. Jesus is the answer and He invites us to learn from Him and be humble.

Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that all stress will be conquered by our complete submission to Jesus and His nature of love, joy, peace, meekness, faith, self-control, patience, gentleness and goodness. In Jesus' name. Amen.