The Stress Cure
"The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving." Psalm 28:7 (NLT)
Not long ago, I heard a radio preacher say, "If you have stress, that means you're not trusting God." I was having a stressful day, so I didn't particularly care for his remark. I silently argued, Why of course I trust God, my problem is I'm having a day that won't let me "phone-it-in."
My stressful day started the morning I had to drive 50 miles to do a live radio interview in another town. As the clock ticked down to my departure time, everything started to go wrong. I suddenly remembered I needed to get a tax report into the mail.
As I felt my stress rise, I got a call telling me payroll was late. This was a payroll I had to sign before I left town so my assistant could get paid and buy groceries — a habit she didn't like to break. So by the time I finished, filed, found and signed my paperwork, my stress level was high and I was late for the radio interview, which I could not do via phone.
So, I hopped in my car and with sweat trickling between my shoulder blades, I raced through freeway traffic for 50 miles. When I arrived, I sprinted to catch the elevator. When it reached the top floor, I dashed down the hall and slipped into the chair and headphones as the radio station's mike went live. The host barely managed to whisper, "And I was beginning to think you wouldn't make it!"
As I talked to the host about how we can live our lives in a deeper relationship with God, I had to laugh at myself for not including more of God in my day. Sure, I'd shot off many Help-me-Lord prayers that morning. But in all my rush to get to the radio station, I felt more flustered than peaceful.
What could I have done differently? To find a clue, let's unpack Psalm 28:7.
This verse starts with "The LORD is my strength and shield."
This is a great reminder that we can use God's strength to make it through any of our problems. In fact, God's strength can serve to shield us from the fiery darts of worry, fear and stress. This news is a great relief!
The next line of this verse says, "I trust him with all my heart."
These words prompt us to trust God. The next time you're tempted to turn a hectic day into a panic attack, instead say, "I'm going to trust God through this." You'll soon discover that your choice to trust God will calm you with a peace that surpasses understanding.
The rest of the verse says, "He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
This puts us on notice to acknowledge God's help and presence in our lives. When we take the time to count our blessings, to remind ourselves of all the ways God has helped us through difficulties, we are sure to experience His joy.
Maybe the radio preacher had it right. When we remember to trust God and to face a hectic day in His strength, we'll see our blessings and count it all as joy.
Dear Lord, I often allow stress to rule my life. I rush to achieve my goals in my own strength, forgetting that I can rely on Your strength. Help me to put my trust in You so I can relax in Your great love. Thank You for all the blessings You send my way. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 10:35, "So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!" (NLT)
Psalm 55:22, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let he righteous be shaken." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What past stress are you still holding on to?
What would happen if you gave both yesterday and today's stress to the Lord?
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