"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)
Does Jesus really understand what it means to be stressed?
I used to wonder ... until I got desperate enough to ask Him.
For years, I was under the impression the Bible was not a resource for handling stress, much less a place to look for stress management tips.
However, although the word "stress" is not a commonly used biblical term, Jesus referred to stress consistently by using words such as anxiety, worry, trouble, fear, burdens, anguish, dismay, trials, and adversity, just to name a few.
He spoke of the heartache of worries, frustrations and betrayals; the sadness of deceit, the pull of temptation, and the devastation of sin. He addressed difficult circumstances taking place in politics, churches, marriages, families, parenthood, communities and the world as a whole.
Despite the differences between biblical times and the 21st century, the presence of stress and our need for Jesus is the same. He understood what we would face and promised the peace we would need in our busy and chaotic world.
Throughout the Bible we're shown how to celebrate and enjoy life, despite stressful situations. How to find joy, despite circumstances. How to overcome stress, despite constant balancing acts. How to not only survive the storms of life, but stay afloat in the midst of them. From Genesis to Revelation, we can discover infinite suggestions for biblical stress relief.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 encourages us that Jesus Himself provided a solution to stress. Peace is only available in and through Him.
Stress is not a sign of the times; it's a sign of living. Always has been, and always will be. Our stressors may be different today than when Jesus walked the earth, but the overwhelming power stress holds over our hearts is the same.
Maybe you have tried massages, vacations, relaxation techniques, shopping, and soft music or bubble baths to help you manage stress. Or maybe you've coped with stress through drugs or alcohol. Perhaps you've tried every stress relief tactic known, to no avail.
All the stress management tactics in the world cannot hold a candle to the very real stress relief Jesus offers. His methods have withstood the test of time, used by generation after generation for thousands of years.
If you have been searching for a peace and serenity that seems completely out of reach, might I encourage you try a few other things? Sneak away for a few minutes and simply rest in His presence. Invite the Lord into your stressful situation and seek His perspective in Scripture. Before we turn to anything the world has to offer, let's turn to Jesus. Our number one stress solution.
Dear Lord, I am drowning in stress and I have tried everything to relieve it — except for You. Forgive me not trusting You enough to believe that You offer the peace I am searching for. Today, I invite You into my circumstances, and into my life, and ask You to open my eyes to see the real truth and stress relief that my heart is aching for. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Tracie's new book Stressed Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World can help you have a less stressed year in 2013.
Reflect and Respond: Are you trying every stress relief tactic available, except for Jesus?
Have you asked Jesus to help alleviate your stress, and fill you with His peace?
Commit to turn your stress and doubts over to Jesus today, moment-by-moment.
Power Verse: Romans 5:1, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (NIV)
© 2013 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org