If left unchecked, stress has a way of hindering the essential parts of your life. God’s Word provides powerful yet practical ways to address mounting pressure.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Evaluate the Nature of Stress
- What are the leading causes of stress present in people’s lives?
- What are the primary ways that people cope with stress (positive or negative)?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how stressed out are you right now (10 is the most stressed)?
- What is causing you to select that number?
- What could make it go down?
6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Examine Your Reasons for Stress
- Relationships – Are my primary relationships pointing me toward Christ or pulling me away from Him?
- Responsibilities – Are my responsibilities a reasonable amount, and do they have a meaningful purpose?
- Routines – Are any of my routines increasing my level of stress?
- Refusals – Am I refusing to do the type of things that would lower my stress?
- Rest – Am I taking adequate time to rest in order to rejuvenate myself?
Employ Your Plan to Reduce Stress
- Prioritize Spiritual Practices – You must intentionally strengthen your soul if you are to endure through life’s challenges.
- Emphasize Physical Wellness – If you neglect your health, it will affect every other part of your life.
- Evaluate Your Calling – You can better determine what you need to do once you resolve why you are here.
- Regulate Your Commitments – You will probably never be able to say “yes” to God’s will until you learn to say “no” to everyone else’s expectations.
- Address Lingering Frustrations – We are unable to process today’s stress if we are backlogged with yesterday’s disappointments.
- Befriend Spiritual Influencers – Surround yourself with people who help you maintain a godly perspective.
- Schedule Your Priorities – You only have enough time in life to do God’s will, so don’t let anything else get on the calendar.
- Apply Philippians 4:6-8 – Don’t be anxious about anything, but pray about everything.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.