Christian Are You Stressed Out—WHY?

According to a recent ABC News’ poll, 65% of Americans fear a widespread outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. When we cannot control something it creates anxiety. When the government cannot control it, the results are near panic. Many times we are more stressed out about what could happen than what is actually happening. How do we overcome being stressed out over what’s in the future or the present?

From the beginning of time, the world has been in a mess. Wars, murders, deviant acts, stealing, etc. It is no different today. God has punished and disciplined, people repent, but it did not last long until evil crept back into people’s lives. God sent His Son to show mankind how God expected each of us to live. Through Christ, prophets and Jesus’ disciples, He gave us a manual on how each of us was to live. Man didn’t want to know what was expected and mostly ignored God’s guidance. So the world continues to be a mess. How do the world’s gigantic problems affect you? Have you forgotten that God is in charge?

It seems everyone has some degree of stress. I posted a blog on stress in 2011: “How Scripture Tells Us To Deal With Pressure”, it was one of the most read blogs, so I recently reran it on Facebook. The Bible emphasizes that we are to live happy and stress free lives. We are told to condition ourselves in order to have self control over our emotions and feelings. The way we do that is by increasing our faith and gaining heavenly wisdom. The greater our relationship with God, the more assurance we will have that He will allow only what He wants us to have and He will be with us no matter what!!!

The Bible gives us an example of what the Apostle Paul went through and he was filled with joy and taught that we can handle all stress and remain confident and happy. We are told that the more we feel blessed by God, the more happiness and confidence we will find in life. You may have met individuals who have been Christians for many years and yet, they are extremely negative and have problems coexisting with others. Their lives seem to be miserable.

Every serious problem Paul endured was not self inflicted. Every beating or injustice was not self caused but what he knew God wanted him to witness. Whether it was as an example for others or to build Paul’s faith, he knew God was allowing it for a reason. At all times, Paul was a positive thinker, never down on himself or feeling it was happening because he was unworthy or God was punishing him.

Most Christians that had Paul’s problems would be thinking: What did I do to deserve this? They would be thinking: Why is God punishing me rather than, God, what am I to learn? We should be filled with joy realizing that God would not allow it if we could not handle it. God loves us and it is happening for either our benefit or as an example for others, now or later on. Every problem we would see as an opportunity, realizing that God is allowing it to make us better. Maybe it is not for this life but for our life in eternity. This is a major reason that Christ came, to show us how to handle life and still be free of negative thinking and living.

Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. We must learn, no matter our circumstance, our thinking determines whether we will be sad, depressed or enjoy a happy life. Our attitudes will determine how we will handle a particular circumstance. The more faith we have, God will help us deal with every situation and it can be solved in a positive way. The more problems we deal with successfully, the more wisdom we will obtain. If we lack confidence and suffer a poor self-worth, stress and life’s pressures can become unbearable. Thus, the more faith and confidence we have, the more capable we are of controlling our emotions and feelings in every problem faced.

Negative thinking can cause destructive behavior by overeating, drunkenness, lying, stealing or sexual misbehavior. Too many Christians try living life on their own without the guidance of the Holy Spirit that God placed in them. The Devil is the world’s great deceiver and he tempts us with the pleasures of the world. Self caused problems are harder to deal with than those that come from outside our control. We must not be tempted if we want peace, joy and to be blessed. If problems happen, for reasons beyond our control, we will know definitely that it was allowed by God and God truly loves us. It is for a reason!

We will become the person we tell ourselves to be. If you think like a junkie, you will become a junkie. If you think like Christ, you will become more Christ-like. How we think determines what kind of a life we are going to have. How you see yourself is who you are. How others see you, should not be who you end up being. You can allow your background to establish your character or you can make the future whatever you want it to be.

God allows problems to build our faith and give us wisdom. We should not pray for God to take this problem from us immediately. Our character is built by how we deal and face what is confronting us. I am often reminded of what the Apostle Paul went through and then wrote much of the New Testament telling us how to have joy and happiness in our life. Would you trade places with the Apostle Paul?

II Corinthians 11:23 – 26 – “I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.”

Too many Christians do not believe they can change who they are; even knowing what the Bible says: We are to become a new person once we accept Christ as our Savior. We can always change what we believe about ourselves. However, unless you can believe you can change, you won’t. No matter what our circumstance may be, we must determine whether we will be happy or become stressed out.

Happiness and freedom or stress is yours to choose. You must have the faith that what God promises is meant for you, His child. He tells you He will meet your needs if you follow His Ways. We are told the way we think is also the way we will feel physically. The Bible tells us what we read and what we think and believe will determine the life we will live. Scripture says if a man changes his beliefs it will change his feelings and behavior. Our attitude tells us how a particular situation will be handled. Negative attitudes create destructive behavior. Too many Christians try living life on their own without allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them.

Do you want a joyful life, a life of happiness free of stress? What you tell yourself or what you think about yourself is who you are or who you will become. If you are not thinking right, you can become so depressed that you believe life is hopeless and it has little value and meaning for you. No matter what: God loves us.

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