In the beginning, we were created for and lived in perfect peace and harmony with God. Then we gave it all away for a stupid grab for an inconceivable “more”, something better than community with God. It was of course something which did not exist because dwelling in the presence of our Creator is the greatest form of happiness, fulfillment, and joy we can ever know.
Still, we reached for something else. We were deceived to believe there was more we could desire than God Himself. From this one horrible mistake, stress was born. From that moment, stress has become a favorite tool of Satan to continue to keep us from God.
Few if any of us think as clearly under stress. We tend to obsess about the thing over which we are stressing, making it difficult to think of much else. Therein lies the usefulness of this tool for the devil. If he can keep us stressed, he can keep us from focusing on Christ. We become so obsessed with our problems we sometimes inexplicably forget to take them to God. Even when we do hand whatever is stressing us over to Jesus, we have a terrible tendency to take the problem right back. Satan delights in this because our constant anxiety and worry keep us from doing the work Christ created for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
For the most part, negative stress in our life comes from things over which we have little control. We fear the unknown. We become anxious about circumstances which could occur, but may not. We get stressed out because we allow our lives to cruise along at light speed, always adding more things to our plate until we can’t keep everything straight. There are multiple reasons we feel stress, but all of them keep us from maintaining our focus on God and building His Kingdom.
I wish I had a simple three step plan to overcome stress I could give you. That would be clean and neat, and probably give you some temporary hope. I don’t have a three step plan, but I do have one step you can take which can lead to a life-long victory over stress: Keep your eyes on Jesus. Recognize whatever happens in life, He never changes. The love of Christ does not waver with circumstance, and does not fail under fire. Who you are was stamped on you when you were formed. You have been created to help build the Kingdom of God. This is who you are, and nothing in your life can or will ever change that.
When you are afraid, tell Jesus. Ask Him to help you trust in Him and keep your eyes on His. Stress comes when we lose focus of our Savior. Stress builds the longer we spend time outside His presence. When you take your concerns, anxieties, and stresses to God – and leave them there – He will calm your mind and heal your soul. It sounds too simple to be true, but as with all of Satan’s attacks, they are easy to defeat. You need only rely on your Creator and Savior, the King of the Universe, and the lover of your soul. He will see you through life’s toughest storms and bring you safely into His arms where stress is abandoned forever.