Stress is defined in the dictionary as “a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.” In other words outside and inside forces that cause you to be anxious or worried sometimes to the point of physical pain or distress.
No one likes to feel like that. It gives you headaches, stomach issues and can make a body ache. We do it to ourselves all the time, we stress about everything from money to “does he/she like me”. There are people who if stress or being anxious was an Olympic sport they could certainly bring home the gold and then there are others for whom very little raises their blood pressure, yeah those are the people that I am not usually fond of. I can’t quite call myself a gold medalist, but there are days I could easily bring home a bronze.
In Philippians 4:6 it tells us “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” In verse 7 we are told why, “ And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Finally, in verses 8 and 9 we are told how, “8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Those are great verses, but it’s the second half of verse 11 that really speaks to me, “for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”
It’s hard to be happy all the time, but it is quite another thing to learn to be content. To be content means, “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.” Satisfaction is something that I have had to work hard at to obtain. For me being happy all the time is not something that I can achieve, because there are just times that happy doesn’t cut it and there are times that real sorrow encroaches on life and happy and sorrow do not go together. However, satisfaction and sorrow can coexist.
I think that satisfaction comes from believing that someone else has “got this”. That the enormity of a situation does not rest solely on our shoulders. John 14:1 tells us ““Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” Jesus is talking about our eternal salvation in chapter 14 and the many mansions in His father’s house, but He is also speaking to the fear that resides in a person’s heart when they do not easily recognize what to do or more importantly what to expect.
In 2013 the movie Frozen came out and you could hardly go anywhere and not hear the song the Let It Go (I prefer Do You Want Build A Snowman…..stuck in your head now huh?). Sometimes you wished that the song would just GO AWAY, but the words do speak to us being able to let things go and standing firm while the storm rages on. The one thing it doesn’t talk about is letting God.
In 1 Peter 4:12-13 we are told, “12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” I got the do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal thing down. I KNOW that there are going to be trials. I am not too happy about the testing part and I am especially resentful at times when I am being tested so that someone else gets to learn a lesson, but the rejoicing thing is an area that I am in serious need of grace and mercy. So, if you have the rejoicing thing down pat could you email me your secret? I can use all the help I can get, heavenly and earthly.