Your Stress is Harming Your Spiritual LifeThursday, February 19, 2015
“I wonder if we’re growing too comfortable with the amount of stress we have in our lives. I wonder if we realize what it is actually doing to us, not just physically, but spiritually.”
—Andrea Lucado in Your Stress Is Harming Your Spiritual Life
(RelevantMagazine.com, February 12, 2015)
In a recent article at Relevant Magazine, writer Andrea Lucado addressed the issue of stress and how to deal with it. If you’re like most people, being an adult means never going back to the carefree days of childhood. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to have peace as you face bills, deadlines, difficult relationships, and a myriad of other pressures. In fact, if you don’t learn how to have peace through the storms, you’re damaging yourself both physically and spiritually, argues Lucado.
Lucado defines stress as “feeling worried about things that aren’t going your way presently, didn’t go your way in the past, or might not go your way in the future.” She confesses to having gone periods of dealing poorly with all three worries at once and describes what she learned from it: “When we forget the character of God, the troubles in our minds escalate quickly. But when we remind ourselves of who God is—He is good (Exodus 34:6), He is just (Nehemiah 9:32), He is merciful (Hebrews 4:16)—the pressure to solve our own issues and take care of our own stress is off.” (Read the whole thing here.)
“A contented Christian is not free from the weight of desires, heartaches and trials, but one who experiences adversity in a paradoxical way, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything” (2Corinthians 6:10). We have much sorrow, but because of our redemption we are always rejoicing. Temporal pleasures are only able to provide temporary happiness. The spiritual realities of our lives are what secure our joy and peace.”
Far from leaving the reader with a simple platitude of “just trust God more,” Andrea Lucado also lists practical steps that have helped her and she invites us to join her:
“I set a challenge for myself this year that you may want to consider if your stress level is high. I’m starting every day by writing down five things I am thankful for and five things I know to be true about God’s character. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, and though I can’t say my stress is completely gone and everything is roses, I have felt more aware of how good my life is and more aware of God’s presence in it. Reminding myself of these things has allowed me to be less skeptical of God and more trusting of Him. And in that trust, there has been peace.”
Your turn: Have you ever been through a period of being stressed out but you learned how to deal with it? Share your experience in the comments below. What do you think of the advice given by the writers above?