Does stress dominates your life? It is easy to become overwhelmed with so many responsibilities especially at Christmas time. Here is an Online Study to help you.
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I can hear the words being sung, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”! I love the lights and sounds and more importantly, the meaning of Christmas. Emmanuel, God with us! Why, then, can Christmas sometimes be the most stressful time of the year?
Recently, I spoke to a group of women on what God has to say about stress. I began by reminding the women about God’s heart. He loves you and nothing can separate you from His love. He knows you and your circumstances. Psalm 139 explains that nothing about you or your life is a mystery. He knows about stress. Jesus experienced anguish in the garden of Gethsemane. He bled as He prayed considering what He was about to endure. The Lord sees things differently than you. His thoughts and ways are higher. He wants you to learn to trust Him. Your faith is more precious to Him than gold. God’s character is unchanging regardless of what life brings. His promises do not change. He is for you and not against you and He will never leave nor forsake you.
All of the above is truth but we have to let God help us with stress. In my own life, my failure to pray, believe and trust Him do not prove that He is unable, only that I have been unwilling.
Paul learned some secrets in his life. He knew stress. He was beaten, shipwrecked, in danger, even in chains. He wrote Philippians from prison.
• Know Jesus (Phil 3:7-11). To Paul knowing Jesus was worth being beaten and flogged, risking the loss of his life, troubles, and hardships. Paul would say, “cultivate your relationship with Him”. The more you know Him, the more you will trust Him.
• Forget what is behind (Phil 3:12-14) Paul did not dwell on the past nor his mistakes but when he fell down he got back up again like running a race for a prize.
• Rejoice in the Lord (Phil 4:4-5) Not happiness in the circumstances but joy in Him in spite of the circumstances.
• He is near, don’t be anxious but pray (Phil 4:5-7) Bring everything to Him. Lay it in His hands, at His feet, for Him to care for. Thank Him, expect Him to answer.
• Guard your thoughts (Phil 4:8-9) Think about what your thinking about. Your thoughts are stressing you.
• The Secret of being content (Phil 4:12,13). He gives strength. He enables. He gives the power.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Lord, please help me to learn the secret of being content. Please help me to know You, to forget what is behind, to rejoice in You despite my circumstances. Please remind me that You are near and help me to pray continually. Please give me the ability to guard my thoughts. In the midst of the stress this Christmas, teach me the secret of being content. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions: If someone took God at His word, what could their reaction to stress be or life look like? Based on what God has to say about stress, what step(s) could you begin today that would help you to cope better with stress?
About this Author Donna Mitchell
Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, Releasing Your Regrets, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog