Stress and anxiety walk hand in hand when we take the responsibility for our lives and our futures to the edge. Anxiety comes on us when the pressure to perform in the world apart from God adds a psychological and physiological state of apprehension. The stronghold of stress puts more importance on things, people, money, and worldly success than on God.
The pressures of placing importance on the things of the world can destroy our future and God’s plan for our lives–the stress it invites can eventually cause death. The stronghold of stress will bring on health issues, accidents, unwise decisions, and accelerate the natural aging process.
In fact, the emotional stress we place on our lives to achieve may rob our lives of the blessings God intended for us. Stress stalks in clumps of fear, greedy ambition, selfishness, arrogance, and many other strongholds that turn up the pressures of a life God means for joy.
Jeremiah 29:11 I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.
1. Relax in Christ Jesus. There is nothing this world has that is more important than the love and goodness of God.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give andbequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
2. Trust God to guide you in the truly important issues of life. Trust God to direct your path. He will prepare you for anything he means for your life without undue stress.
Philippians 4:6 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.
Romans8:31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]
3. Reduce or eliminate stress by simplifying your life. Live within your budget above the law and avoid debt, intensive people or situations. At the end of your life you will see that your connection to God, how you lived, and whose life you touched in a positive way for eternity is what matters.
1 Timothy 3:16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [ God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.
Luke 16:15 Jesus said to them, “You try to justify your actions in front of people. But God knows what’s in your hearts. What is important to humans is disgusting to God.
4. Be prepared. Always prepare yourself emotionally and physically for situations that might otherwise cause stress. There are some situations that are best avoided, but there is a path in life that God directs. When you are prepared to move forward on that path, peace will follow.
Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways and be wise!—7 Which, having no chief, overseer, or ruler,8 Provides her food in the summer and gathers her supplies in the harvest.
Proverbs 22:3 Prudent people see trouble and hide, while the simpleminded go right to it and get punished.
Matthew 6:33 But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.
5. Look to the positive and expect God to intervene whenever a situation seems too hard to bear.
Romans 8:28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.