Mike Evans from Wholeness Ministries has written an article on stress which I would like to include here as part of the stress series. I hope you find it helpful.
Who among us has not experienced stress? Stress at home, in school, on the job, even in church. Perhaps most especially in church.
DEFINITION— Stress: anxiety, nervousness, pressure, depression, sleeplessness. It is uncomfortable, not fun. It manifests itself in the flesh.
I. WHAT CAUSES STRESS.
Stress is a result of conflict in finances, family and job.
False expectations( self-imposed and “others” imposed).
Trust: lack of trust in regards to God, self and others.
Comparisons: envy, jealousy, pride.
Fear, perception of risk in any area of your life.
Wounds or hurts: a result of those things which are done to us by another person or some experience we have been exposed to in the past. These hurts affect us in the present in the form of bad memories, and weak or wounded emotions. This in turn leads us into various forms of sin, depression, a sense of worthlessness and inferiority, unreasoning fears and anxieties as well as psychosomatic illness, etc.
II. WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE STRESS?
FIRST! Realize that our battle is a battle fought in the spiritual realm. Ultimately all that causes stress can be dealt with by knowing and employing some spiritual principles.
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
SECOND! Create an environment that will reduce stress.
“Do not worry”- FINANCES,
Matthew 6:25 (NIV) “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 important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
“Get rid of…” harmful RELATIONSHIPS
Ephesians 4:31 (NIV) Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
“Wives and Husbands” – FAMILY
Ephesians 5:33 (NIV) However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
“Children and Parents”- FATHERS AND MOTHERS
Ephesians 6:2 (NIV) “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise”
THIRD! Be willing to accept and deal with the hurts and wounds we’ve all experienced and understand the necessity of giving and receiving forgiveness. Matthew 18:15 (NIV) “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
“Be transformed–renewing of you mind”
Romans 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
“put off the old self and put on Christ”
Ephesians 4:24 (NIV) put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
“Put to death what is earthly in you”
Colossians 3:5 (NIV) Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Just because we are “born again”, our mind, will and emotions are not automatically changed. Transformation is a process where we are dealing with those areas of our life that cause fear, anxiety, depression, etc.
When the Word of God comes and convicts you, how you respond to that can release stress. Submitting to what God wants, will release the stress.
III. WHO ARE WE AND WHAT DO WE HAVE AVAILABLE?
Much of the stress we experience today could be significantly reduced by dealing first of all with the past and then by understanding and accepting who we are in Christ and what that means in terms of practical, everyday living.
Who we are:
Romans 8-Children of God
IJohn 3:1 Children
Eph.2:4-6 Seated with Him
Gal. 1:4 Chosen, Adopted, Sealed
Eph. 2:10 His workmanship
ICor.3:16 A Temple
What we have available.
ICor.1:7 Spiritual Gifts
Eph.6:10 Armor of God
Romans 8:26 Spirit interceding for us.
Romans 8:34 Jesus interceding for us.
2Tim.3:16 Word of God
WE HAVE IDENTITY-POSITION-RELATIONSHIP
We choose the level at which we believe this and live it. That decision will determine the extent of stress in you life and how you deal with that stress.
God wants to help you overcome stress. He has given us the tools to do it. Go and try them out.
Retrieved from: Dr Grant Mullen’s Article Archive
20 October 2007