Biblical Insights Relating To Emotional Health—Stress
Any external influence that disturbs the natural functioning and internal equilibrium of the mind and body.
Think of some examples that apply to you:
Remember!!! Stress is a normal, natural physiological and emotional response. We all experience stress on a daily basis—it is unavoidable. Also, stress is neither good or bad. What makes stress either negative or positive is how one perceives, and ultimately deals with, the stressful situation. So then, our ultimate goal is not to eliminate stress, but to manage stress and our own response to it.
What is a good example of how someone might misperceive or deal inappropriately with a stressful situation?
What might be a more appropriate solution to the stressful situation?
Our minds and bodies are magnificently designed by God to withstand great measures of emotional and physical stress. Without stress in our lives, there would be no change, no growth, no productivity. Change, growth and productivity are all difficult; and stress enables us to accomplish things that would not be accomplished in its absence.
But…if the stress persists for to long (police officers, rescue workers, firefighters, law and medical students, etc.) or the nature of the stress is too extreme or intense (tragic loss, traumatic incident) our stress management systems may become overwhelmed and illness may result. Illness may manifest itself physically, emotionally, mentally, or a combination of these.
How can we manage our stress appropriately?
By maintaining a spiritual perspective.
A. Remember that stress should keep us prayerful.
1. James 1:2-5 – We should seek God’s wisdom.
2. II Corinthians 1:8-11- The importance praying for others undergoing affliction.
B. Remember that stress gives us the opportunity to glorify God and our Savior, Jesus Christ
1. I Peter 1:6-7; James 1 – Rejoice!
2. I Peter 4:12-19 – Keep on Rejoicing!
3. Philippians 1:29-30 – We will experience conflict for Christ’s sake.
C. Remember that stress molds us as Christians.
1. Romans 5:1-5 – It is not easy, but it builds character and hope.
2. II Corinthians 4:16-18 – Focus on what has eternal value.
3. Hebrews 12:5-11 – The victory produces peace and righteousness (the process of learning submission).
D. Remember that stress helps us to prioritize our time.
Should our stress produce worry ? NO!!!
~ Worry is very different from stress. In fact, worry is a SIN for several reasons:
First, it demonstrates distrust of the truthfulness of God’s word. When you worry, you accuse God of lying (Romans 8:28; Mark 7:37; Philippians 4:13, 19; Hebrews 13:5; 1Peter 5:7; Matthew 6:31, 32. The truth is that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2; 1John 5:10).
Secondly, it is detrimental to the temple of God. Since God dwells within the heart of every believer (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 1 Peter 2:5; Galatians 4:6), the ailments caused by your worry destroy you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Thirdly, worry is symptomatic of prayerlessness (1Samuel 12:23; Isaiah 26:3). When your mind is in close union with Christ, you have His assurance of perfect peace—worry is therefore banished!
Fourthly, worry can destroy family life (Ephesians 5:22,25,33). FYI… The number one cause of worry and argument within marriages is concern over money.
Fifthly, worry undermines our Christian witness (Matthew 5:16). Worry is a joy-stealer that demonstrates our misplaced priorities. It removes God’s sovereignty from our lives and replaces it with our own finite desires and needs.
* Matthew 13:22 – The worries of the world may choke the Word and render it unfruitful.
* Luke 21:34 – Focusing on the worries of the world removes your focus from Christ.
* II Timothy 2:4 – Don’t entangle yourselves in the affairs of everyday life.
* Philippians 4:4-8 – Be anxious for nothing, dwell on good things.
* I Peter 4:19 – Entrust your soul to your faithful Creator.
* I Peter 5:7 – Cast your cares upon Him.
* Matthew 6:25-34 – “The cure for anxiety”
~ Learn to release what is outside of your control and submit those things that are under your control to Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember… In the words of Hudson Taylor, “It doesn’t matter, really, how great the pressure is; it only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord—then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast.”