By Pastor Donald Parker
Something all of us experience from time to time is STRESS! Stress at work – Financial Stress – Relationship stress – Stress over health issues – Stress of the approaching Holiday. Stress! It seems to be at every corner in our life, and if we don’t get a handle on it and learn how to manage stress, it can lead to serious health issues. So how do we deal with stress? How do we manage the stress in our lives?
Jesus addressed this very issue in Matthew 11:28-30, He said; “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (29) Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Because Jesus had to deal with stress and the pressures of life s well, we can learn from Him. First, know who you’re trying to please. Jesus said in John 5:30 “I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.” Jesus lived his whole life focused on pleasing the Father! And when you get to this place in your life; the point of living to please God; then you will eliminate a huge amount of the stress in your life. You see, a lot of the stress in our life, we bring on ourselves; like the stress of trying to please everyone else.
I don’t care who you are, you’re just not going to please everyone all the time; but we will stress ourselves out trying to make it happen. Jesus didn’t even please everyone all the time. So if Jesus can’t please everyone all the time, what makes you think you can? Jesus said; “I’m not here to please myself and others, but Him who sent me.” Don’t stress yourself out trying to please everyone else; instead, focus your attention on living a life that pleases God.
Second, recognize your need for rest and relaxation. In Mark 6:30-31 we can see what happen to Jesus’ disciples after their long and exhausting ministry journey; “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. (31) Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat.”
They were so busy and so tired from all their work that they didn’t even get a chance to rest and eat. But then Jesus said to them in the second half of verse 31; “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Jesus looked at those guys and said; “Boys, you guys are so tired and so stressed out; I want you to stop for awhile and take a break.” The same is true for us today. You’ve got to take time to relax and recharge. Set aside a few minutes each day to unwind and spend time with your spouse – the kids – or yourself; but you have to rest and relax to avoid being overwhelmed with stress.
Next, realize that you can’t do it all yourself. I said earlier that a lot of the stress in our lives is brought on by ourselves; and trying to do it all is definitely self-inflicted stress!
Notice what Jesus does in Mark 3:13-14 “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. (14) He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” They spent a period of time with Jesus, learning from Him, and then He sent them out to do what? PREACH!
Now can these guys preach as good as Jesus? No, of course not, but Jesus said; “I need your help – I want you guys to learn from me and then I’m going to send you out to help spread the gospel” Jesus chose to enlist others He could trust, and we must do the same. If you want to avoid being overwhelmed with stress, quit trying to do everything yourself and get help – delegate – and empower others.
There is one more very important thing that you must understand; that is that you also need God’s help. When you look at how Jesus dealt with the pressures of life; we see that He often withdrew to a lonely place and prayed. If you’re stressed out right now over something, stop and pray and say; “God I need you! – I come with a weary and burdened soul – I’m so tired Lord – I’m overwhelmed with stress.” If you want less stress in your life, spend time each morning with God. Time alone with God in His word will reduce the amount of stress in your life that no other book – no other person – and no drug can ever do!
Come join us Sunday mornings at 11am at First Baptist Church Van Horn; A Place to Belong!