Sunday, September 16, 2018 - Living Stress Free!
Pastor Roger C. Marcos
Sept. 16, 2018
Delivered at North York Church of Christ
We live in a nation more abundantly blessed than any other nation on earth. And, at the same time, it is a nation with more ingratitude and un-thankfulness than any other nation. A result of this un-thankfulness? We are a nation suffering from stress, worry and anxiety.
Yes stress, worry and anxiety can kill a person. In fact, stress has been labeled as the silent assassin. Stress and worry along with anxiety can cause damage to a person's heart and create blood clots that keep a person's blood from flowing properly. Stress/worry and anxiety can lead to heart disease and eventually lead to a person having a heart attack.
In today’s world IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIVE STRESS FREE? Yes, In Jesus.
The trio of stress worry anxiety can be the one of the leading causes of high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers, stomach problems, panic disorders, headaches, sleep disorders and chronic depression.
Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
Here is God’s secret to spiritual strength: “Quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” The word for quietness in Hebrew means “repose.” And repose means calm, relaxed, free from all anxiety; to be still, to lie down with support underneath.
A couple of questions we must ask ourselves are, "Does Jesus offer us a stress free life?" And does the Bible offer us solutions to living a stress free life? I believe the answer to both of these questions is yes and that's what I want to look at in this message. We will be looking at the subject of stress and the constructive solutions we can apply for living successfully in an environment that fosters stressful living.
A Biblical Picture Of Stress Free Living the gospel of Matthew
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you-you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
What Is Stress By the Way?
Stress is simply defined as "a factor that creates a mental, emotional, or physical strain." It is "a state of unresolved tension arising from the pressures, irritations, and demands of life.
Let’s face it: If you don’t stop worrying, you will die. That’s not me talking. That’s your body talking.
There are Varying Degrees of Stress:
1 Acute stress disorder - tension, headaches, emotional upsets, gastrointestinal disturbances, feelings of agitation and pressure. Explanation irritability, NO PLEASURE, high anxiety
2. Episodic Stress is more serious and can lead to migraines, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, anxiety, depression, serious gastrointestinal distress.--- Episodic acute stress. When acute stress happens frequently, it's called episodic acute stress. People who always seem to be having a crisis tend to have episodic acute stress. They are often short-tempered, irritable, and anxious.
What is Episodic Stress?
Episodic stress occurs when someone takes on too many tasks, becomes overwhelmed by all the demands with an inability to meet those demands. They seem to have many different disastrous situations, live in chaos and disorganization. Things like being late for meetings, work, or appointments happen because the car broke down or they forgot to get gas. They misplace things because they are preoccupied with trying to fix an episodic event that occurred prior to the next one. It seems like they live under Murphy’s Law; “What can go wrong, will go wrong.”
3. Chronic stress is the most serious of all. It’s the stress that never ends. It grinds us down until our resistance is gone. Serious systemic illnesses such as diabetes, decreased immune-competence, and perhaps cancer are its hallmark.
Is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period of time in which an individual perceives they have little or no control.
Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow its sorrow..its empties today of its strength. Cory Boom
Burnout vs. Stress
When you’re stressed, your whole nervous system reacts and releases specific hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) into your blood stream. These hormones speed up your heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and metabolism.
It’s easier to prevent burning out if you’re able to identify early on the signs of experiencing too much stress. If you’re too stressed for too long, you might feel:
- angry or annoyed for no reason
- anxious or worried all the time
- like you want to withdraw from people
- extra-sensitive to things that wouldn’t normally get on your nerves useless or incapable.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
Stress is a universal problem which periodically troubles Christians and unbelievers alike. Even Paul referred to the stress he experienced when he wrote: "We were pressed out of measure".
2 Corinthians 1:8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.
Stress often produces a sense of anxiety, irritability, frustration, restlessness, and depression. It creates a feeling of hopelessness and disillusionment which undermines a person's sense of purpose, direction, and meaning in life. Stress can keep you from fulfilling God's purpose for your life.
Unresolved Stress can become an extremely destructive condition. The accumulated effect of longstanding stress can eventually lead to a condition which is commonly referred to as "Burn-Out Syndrome."
Principles For Stress Free Living.
Let's keep in mind that God desires for each one of us as His precious people to live a stress free life that is rich in God's fulfillment.
Psalms 66:12 ...We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
When we look to God's solution in any matter that has the tendency to bring stress in our lives, He will bring us into a rich fulfillment. The key is learning to trust Him and His way rather than our poorly devised plans. Let's look at some of God's principles for stress free living.
1. We Must See Things From God's Perspective.
Life is filled with a wide variety of circumstances. Some situations are positive, some are negative. However, the circumstances we encounter, regardless of the nature, often produce feelings of stress. This is especially true of the adverse situations which suddenly affect or alter the course of our lives.
A great deal of stress can be alleviated or minimized by viewing our circumstances from a godly perspective. If we fail to perceive our life situations, at any point, as God perceives them, then we become susceptible to stress.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
2. Deal With Unresolved Sins & Conflicts.
Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Sin generates inner tensions and conflicts and if it's unresolved, whether public or private, we must sincerely seek Christ's cleansing power and forgiveness.
Whatever your conflicts may be, learn to deal with them as they come up. The more you put them off, and the more they pile on top of one another, the more stress you will experience. If you are experiencing irritations in your marriage or whatever, deal with them.
Conflicts with others create incredible amounts of stress. If we are harboring hostility, hatred, resentments, or offense, we should seek genuine reconciliation, healing, and forgiveness through the scriptural steps God provides.
Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, "leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
3. Give Everything To God In Prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
A great deal of stress is the direct result of shouldering the burdens of life without turning to The Lord in prayer. We have access to "the peace of God" when we release our burdens to The Lord.
1 Peter 5:7 ...casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
When we fail to release our problems and cares to Christ, we begin to experience increasing tension, anxiety, and fear. Prayer is one of the most powerful remedies for stress.
In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears (Psalms 18:6).
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me (Psalms 120:1).