Stress is unavoidable, especially in today’s fast-paced and modern world, where we used to get everything we want in instant — instant coffee, instant cash, instant noodles, instant internet connection, and the list goes on. Stress can also be in forms of unavoidable circumstances, like being trapped in traffic and being late to work, taking care of a sick family member and handling more tasks than what we’re only able to accomplish in a day. These are just simple and small forms of stress, that when added together, can lead to impatience, worry and worse; lack of trust in the Lord.
We must learn how to cope with stress to avoid getting into all these sins as well. Belonging to Christ’s family, we are to be controlled by the Spirit, and not by our own sinful nature (Romans 8:9). Moreover, as Christians, we are to be the “salt and light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-14) to shine before others in doing good deeds to glorify God. We cannot be effective Christians if we ourselves do not know how to control the growth of our sins by learning how to cope with stress. Here I cited the three Ps, or three short practical and biblical ways to cope with stress:
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says, “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.”
The next time we encounter stress, let us remember to rely on God’s power and Strength to cope with stress and do for us the things that are beyond our control. God is always accessible, and what we need to do is to pray and to ask. Inhale and exhale deeply, and lift all your concerns to him anytime. His peace will guard and help us if we trust in Him.
Isaiah 26:3 (NIV) says:“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”.-Matthew 6:33 (ESV)
One leading cause of stress is that we tend to prioritize or think about unimportant things first, like what to eat or what to wear (Matthew 6:31). If we put our trust in the Lord wholeheartedly by seeking His Kingdom FIRST and holding on to His promises, we don’t need to stress ourselves in worrying about these things. All these things will follow. He is our father, our Jehovah Jireh.
Put on the Armor of God
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” –Ephesians 6:10-11 (NIV)
Now there are six weapons mentioned all in all, which you can all read in Ephesians 13-17. But what I would like to emphasize here is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We ought to read and meditate on His Word daily, to cope with stress and avoid being stumbled by the devil’s schemes. As he continually does so, we must all the more be prepared to fight.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” –Psalm 119:165 (ESV).