Sources of Strength For Times of Stress

January 16, 2016

                      Sources of Strength For Times of Stress

Christians aren’t exempt from trials and tribulations.  They too suffer from stress, but they have access to an abundance of resources to enable them to deal with it. Anyone can have access to that same source of strength by becoming a child of God.  It is just another of numerous reasons why you too should be a child of God.

To have access to this source of strength should not be your primary reason for becoming a Christian.  More than anything else, you need God’s forgiveness because John 3:18 says you are condemned because you haven’t believed in the name of God’s son.  “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” Condemnation speaks of eternal punishment.  II Thessalonians 1:8-9 says, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:   Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Believe me, that is much more serious than stress.

God’s forgiveness is offered to whosoever is willing to ask for it.  Revelation 22:17 says, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” It is a matter of repenting of your sin, asking God to forgive you, and make you a child of his.  He can do that because Christ took the punishment you deserve when he died on the cross.  Romans 5:10 says we are reconciled to God by the death of his son. “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Now let’s look at the sources of strength that are available to Christians in times of stress.  First and foremost is the promise of strength that God promises to give us.  In I Peter 5:7 God tells us to cast our cares upon him. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” How does he care for us?  II Corinthians 12:9-10 says “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  You have to experience that to know that it is true.  When the unsaved suffer from stress, they can do as they say “grin and bear it.” The Christian also feels the pain, but he can claim the promise of Philippians 4:13.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  You could translate that “I can bear all things if I trust in Christ.”

When Christians are experiencing stress, they find a wealth of strength from reading the Psalms of David.  They were written by David who knew what it was to suffer stress.  In Psalm 18:32 he wrote “It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.” Again in Psalm 31:9-10 he wrote “Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.   For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.”  Then in verses 14-15 he wrote “But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.   My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.”

Christians also have access to good books that encourage them and teach them how to handle stress.  One is written by David Jeremiah entitled “When Your World Falls Apart.”  Another suggestion is “Anger And Stress Management” by Wayne Mack.

Christians who attend a good Bible believing church have access to another source of strength when they are going through stress.  More than once I have gone to visit a Christian who was in the hospital.  On arriving I found their bed surrounded by friends from their church.  Nurses occasionally came to say that some had to leave.  Others in the same room only had one or two visitors.  Some didn’t have any.  When Christians go through stress their brothers and sisters in Christ remember them in a number of ways.  It may be a phone call to remind them that they are being remembered in prayer.  It might be a get well card.  It might be a personal visit.  Some may bring in a meal.  Some make themselves available to take them to the doctor or run errands for them.  The unsaved may receive some help from neighbors or friends, but Christians are commanded by God to bear one another’s burdens.  Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

Stress comes in many forms, and it comes to all of us.  If stress isn’t brought under control it may lead to depression.  That is even more serious, and may require professional attention.  Being a Christian won’t deliver you from stress, but it will prepare you to deal with it when it comes.  Strength in times of stress is just one of many advantages of being a Christian.  The blessings you receive from being a Christian far outweigh any price you pay.  Don’t wait any longer to become a Christian.

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