Ever feel stressed out? Stress can cause huge physical and emotional damage to your life. Weight loss, lack of sleep, anxiety, hurt relationships and numerous other issues can arise from a stress-filled life. My prayer for you is, “The Lord gives strength to his people. The Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
So how do you get strength and peace? How do you know you are stressed? There are several indicators of stress. Luke 21:34 says, “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.” Have you ever felt like the anxieties of life have closed in on you suddenly and trapped you? This verse says harmful things like carousing and drunkenness weigh you down as well and offer no peace or strength for stress. They tend to compound or postpone stress. You need to examine yourself in a few areas. One, are your emotions inconsistent? Is this verse true about your life, “My days go by faster than a runner; they fly away without my seeing any joy” (Job 9:25). Also, check your productivity. Stress can make you hurry and worry. Proverbs 19:2 says a person in a hurry makes mistakes. Proverbs 21:5 says careful planning benefits while hurrying and scurrying harms. You also need to check your outlook on life. Stress can lead you to a “why bother” attitude. It can also lead to depression. How are your relationships? Do you make time for them or do they seem bothersome or worthless? How is your relationship with God? Are you distant? Sometimes we need to, “be still and know He is God” (Psalm 46:10) and find peace and strength in Him. He can put order, meaning, and joy back in life.
So what do you do if you are stressed out? One of the lost “prescriptions” from God is observing the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a day of rest observed by God Himself. Hebrews 4:9-11 tells us, “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest.” You need to take time to do nothing but rest, relax, and unwind while spending time with your mind focused on being refreshed in God. Psalm 127:2 says we must rest our body. “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for He grants sleep to those He loves.” Constant rest will settle your soul. Refueling your soul comes from not just resting your body but filling your mind and heart with the things of the Lord. Psalm 23:2-3 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Sometimes you just need to be quiet and feast where God leads you. Another thing that lessens my stress level is having fun. What are you doing to enjoy life? We need to laugh! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Another thing that refreshes me is being with God’s people. Hebrews 10:25 says that encourages us.
I encourage you to evaluate the reasons for stress in your life and apply these principles from Scripture. Consistently investing time, energy, thoughts, and emotions into God is really investing into yourself. We often allow stress and the cares of this world to rule in our lives. Remember, Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”