Pastor Dom Cardamone
Have you ever been stressed? It can come upon us from situations at home, work, church, and anywhere else for that matter. Stress looks like a mom struggling to keep up with house chores, homework, ball practices, etc. while still trying to maintain some form of a social life with other adults. It’s a dad wondering if the latest mandates and impacts of Covid are going to affect his job and how he will be able to continue to provide for his family. Teens can experience stress when trying to navigate school, sports, work, friends, etc. Stress touches all of us from time to time.
Simply defined, stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. That definition would place many Bible characters into the category of experiencing stress. Could you imagine the strain Noah had on him when given the massive task of building the ark and then caring for all the animals brought on to the ark? I can only imagine what must have been plaguing Joseph’s mind and heart through the years when he was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, and taken to Egypt. How about David? For years, he had to hide in caves and be on the run because King Saul wanted to have him killed? Jesus himself experienced stress in the garden while praying before his crucifixion the next morning (See Luke 22:43-44).
Stress can have adverse effects on us physically and spiritually if not managed properly. Does the Bible offer any insight on how to handle the stresses of life? I believe it does. Dealing with stress involves:
Some stress is self-induced and brought on because of the poor choices we make. For example, financial stress can be experienced because of bad spending habits and the absence of prudent budgeting. We should do the best we can to avoid that type of stress in our lives. Some stress, however, is unavoidable. And when that is the case, we must endure and carry it. And if we must carry it, we should seek to do so in the right way and with the right attitude for the glory of God.
2 Timothy 2:3
Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I have found that carrying stress by myself is not manageable. I need the help of others and especially God’s help. God assures us that we don’t have to carry stress alone. We can cast it upon Him and he will carry it with and for us. Whatever it is that stresses you out, trust it to the Lord and bring it before Him in prayer. He can help you handle it.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
In order to carry our stresses well, we need guidance and encouragement. The chief place to find both is in the Word of God. Therefore, we must consult it often. God gives wisdom, grace, and strength to those who seek it in these times. Search the Scriptures for the principles and truths that will help you make the right decisions and provide reassurance when faced with stress.
Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.