How’s your stress level?
We know that stress isn’t good for us but eliminating it is easier said than done.
Where do you turn when life is stressful?
I looked online for some healthy tips and found…
- take a hot bath
- go outside
- light some candles
- get more sleep
But we also know that we do some unhealthy things when we’re stressed…
- hours of screen time
- unnecessary shopping and spending
Whether healthy or unhealthy, the majority of the things we do will only soothe stressful feelings for a moment.
The Bible doesn’t tell us why David was stressed when he wrote Psalm 31 but he appears to feel trapped in his circumstances.
Yet, David didn’t try to soothe himself with short-term solutions . . . David turned to God…
Turn your ear to listen to me;Psalm 31:2
rescue me quickly.
Be my rock of protection,
a fortress where I will be safe.
He asked the Lord to hear his prayer and be his place of safety . . . a place of calm for his stressful heart.
And that’s really what we need when we’re stressed, isn’t it? We need to feel safe in the moment and hopeful about the future.
I’ll admit that I typically feel stressed when I’m overwhelmed by my circumstances and let my mind grow anxious about the future. I end up mentally “spinning my wheels” and physically unproductive.
But the Lord doesn’t want you or me to deal with life fretful and overwhelmed. He doesn’t want us worried about the future . . . He wants us to trust His love and care with confidence.
I will be glad and rejoice in your unfailing love,Psalm 31:7
for You have seen my troubles,
and You care about the anguish of my soul.
God loves us so much that He is willing and able to help us carry our stressful burdens and give us what we need when we need it. He doesn’t give peace and strength in advance; He gives it when it’s needed … when we willingly surrender our cares and concerns to Him.
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.1 Peter 5:7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.Philippians 4:6–7a, Romans 8:28
We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
And Solomon wrote…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs 3:5–6
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
and He will show you which path to take.
We’re not alone and we don’t have to deal with our stressful situations alone. We’re loved by the One who keeps the sun, moon, and stars in place; the One who cares for the birds in the air and flowers in a field. And He is more than able to take care of every one of our needs.
When you and I give Him our cares and concerns He promises that He will show us the way to go and give us the peace and strength we need to follow wherever He leads.
A Prayer to Calm a Stressful Heart
Father, I need Your help. I feel overwhelmed and anxious. My mind is spinning with unproductive thoughts and I don’t know what to do or where to turn. Lord, I come to You for protection and direction. I’m sorry I’ve let my current and anticipated concerns burden my thoughts for as long as I have.
So, I’m gathering up my burdens and I’m laying them at Your feet. I’m trusting You to give me what I need today.
Thank you for the countless times You have helped and guided me in the past. Thank you for the way You care for all You have made. Your mercy, grace, and love are evident everywhere I look.
I believe You guide me according to Your plans and purposes. I believe You are able to care for me now and in the future. I believe that You will give me whatever I need to walk the path You have chosen. You are greater than anything in this world. And I will “take heart” when I’m stressed because I know that Jesus has overcome the world and its troubles. Thanks and praise now and forever. Amen.
And there’s one more thing that I believe is important for us all to remember…
Giving our burdens and stressful hearts to God is the first thing we should do. But then, it can be helpful to get that exercise, take a hot bath, take a walk, read something positive, or take even a nap.
Our Heavenly Father encourages us to “be still and know” that He is God.
The Message says it like this…
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!Psalm 46:8–11
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across His knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.”
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
May we take our stress to the Lord and trust Him to be with us and to graciously give us everything we need today, tomorrow, and always.
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