Ever had an anxious day? Ever had one of those days where you are extra stressed and pressured? Most people would admit they have those days every now and then. Life can be stressful and few people are immune to anxiety and stress. The question then becomes; how do you deal with stress? If you talk to 10 different people you will probably get 10 different answers as to the best way to handle stress. Here is an idea that comes from the apostle Paul:
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
Considering that this is part of Holy Scripture, we might also add that these are the very words of God. In the Canon of Scripture, God inspired about 40 different human authors to write His very words. In the case of Philippians, what Paul said, God said. In the case of the gospel of John, what John said, God said. I think you get the point. So in quoting this passage from Philippians, I don’t want to give the impression that this is just one idea alongside a bunch of other ideas. What God says is authoritative truth, and therefore, we must listen up.
Ok, so what are we to do about stress? Paul writes, “do not be anxious about anything, but……let your requests be made known to God.” That sounds good, but is it really possible?
I think it is next to impossible to avoid all anxiety, but we can eliminate unnecessary stress and anxiety by committing everything we deal with over to God. All too often we try to deal with things on our own. We rely on our own resources and our own wisdom. We forget that the Creator of the universe can manage the affairs of our lives a lot better than we can. As Christians, we must humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our great need for Him. When we do that, the power of God is unleashed in our lives. There is nothing too big or too small for God to handle. The key is to (forgive the cliché) let go and let God.
When we actually do this, it is remarkable how the peace of God floods our lives. Paul calls it a peace “which surpasses all understanding.” No one wants to be stressed-out 24-7. Instead, we desire joy and peace, the very things God wants to give us through his Son, the Lord Jesus.
If you want to rid yourself of stress and anxiety, then give your life to Jesus. Repent (turn from your sins) and believe in Jesus. I know it sounds strange to unbelievers, but when you become a Christian, you will “rejoice in the Lord.” You will delight in pleasing Him. You will gladly give all your stress and anxiety over to God, and stop trying to deal with it on your own. That is why Jesus is the hope of the world.
The choice is yours – continue to suffer under stress and anxiety or gain a peace that surpasses all understanding.