“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace (shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7-8).
We live in a stressful world. Every day we are confronted by stressful circumstances. It seems that each one of us needs to learn to cope with an increasingly stressful lifestyle. Our responses to these situations reveal our spirit. The verses above teach us how to combat this stressful life through prayer and the peace of God that transcends all understanding. We need this kind of peace. Our bodies can’t cope with such high-level stress unless we learn to live in God’s peace. We can be either a thermometer or a thermostat. We either register what is happening just as a thermometer registers the weather. In other words, we are totally affected by our environment. Or we can regulate what is happening like a thermostat that sets the environment. God wants us to be like a thermostat that influences our environment and responds properly to life’s situations.
Looks at what we often say to ourselves and what He says to help us not to be stressful but to instead walk in His peace.
- You say: “It’s impossible.” God says: All things are possible – Luke 18:27.
- You say: “I’m too tired.” God says: I will give you rest –
- You say: “Nobody really loves me.” God says: I love you –
John 3:16 & John 3:34.
- You say: “I can’t go on.” God says: My grace is sufficient –
2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15.
- You say: “I can’t figure things out.” God says: I will direct your steps – Proverbs 3:5-6.
- You say: “I can’t do it.” God says: You can do all things –
- You say: “I’m not able.” God says: I am able – 2 Corinthians 9:8.
- You say: “It’s not worth it.” God says: It will be worth it –
- You say: “I can’t forgive myself.” God says: I Forgive you –
1 John 1:9 & Romans 8:1.
- You say: “I can’t manage.” God says: I will supply all your needs – Philippians 4:19.
- You say: “I’m afraid.” God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear – 2 Timothy 1:7.
- You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.” God says: Cast all your cares on ME – 1 Peter 5:7.
- You say: “I’m not smart enough.” God says: I give you wisdom –
1 Corinthians 1:30.
- You say: “I feel all alone.” God says: I will never leave you or forsake you – Hebrews 13:5.
Here some very practical ways to help you to reduce stress in your life and live in God’s peace. Realize that most people are not enjoying the trip of life. They are merely coping with stress just like a thermometer. This is a tragedy because God has promised us an abundant life (John 10:10).
Ways to Reduce Stress
“If life is a journey, then life’s greatest tragedy is not having enjoyed the trip.” Peebles
- Pray about everything, and always be thankful.
- Go to bed on time. Get enough rest.
- Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
- Say no to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule.
- Delegate tasks to capable others.
- Simplify and unclutter your life.
- Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
- Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time.
- Take one day at a time.
- If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
- Live within your budget. Less is more.
- Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, extra stamps, etc.
- Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
- Eat right. You may want to add food supplements as well.
- Get organized so everything has its place.
- Write down thoughts and inspirations.
- Every day, find time to be alone.
- Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud.
- Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy. Hold onto God’s truth.
- Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
- Make friends with Godly people.
- Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.”
- Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).
- Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
- Talk less; listen more.
- Slow down.
- Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for.
“Peace I leave with you; My own peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled; neither let them be afraid. (Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful; and intimated and cowardly and unsettled)” (John 14:27 Amplified).
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International