Stress Management – Part Two

How well are you dealing with the stress causing things in your life? Indications are that most people aren’t doing so well.

Industrialists estimate that annually $75 million is lost due to stress-related illness, injuries, or absenteeism.

Jesus urged us to “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these”  (Luke 12:27).

Instead we tend to see the glass half empty instead of half full. Instead of speaking of traffic lights we call them “red lights.” In reality they are very often green, but we never refer to them as “green lights.”

I Corinthians 10: 13 speaks of “the way of escape.” It is a nautical term. It depicted a ship in a storm. In order for it to ride out the storm, the crew had to throw some things overboard. Inventory your life and see what you need to throw overboard. Ask God to help you relieve the stress by unloading what you should.

II Corinthians 4: 8, 9 notes states of which we experience various ones.

Are you ever “perplexed?”  We all face circumstances when human wisdom isn’t sufficient. Often our minds aren’t sufficient to solve all our problems. You may be at a loss, but that doesn’t mean you have lost out.

Are you at times “persecuted?” Which means to be singled out for a personal attack is brutalizing. This may be verbal, social, emotional, or physical.

When those who would persecute us are in control, everything seems lost. However, note that little expression “not forsaken.”

Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Have you ever been “knocked down but not knocked out.”  Many fights have been won by persons who were repetitiously knocked down but who got up to fight on and win. The same is true in the spiritual realm.

The Bible is replete with accounts of people knocked down but not out.

See Jonah in the belly of the great fish. He was down, but soon came up to prove he wasn’t out.

Observe Jeremiah in the pit. If ever a man seemed to be down he was, but he wasn’t knocked out.

Samson, blind and bound, appeared to be down. Placed between the posts of the temple he proved he wasn’t knocked out.

Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison seemed out. His ascension to the office of Prime Minister of Egypt proved he wasn’t knocked out.

The classic of all classics is Christ. Look at the tomb and you see Him knocked down. Look three days later and you see He wasn’t knocked out.  You too can overcome your knock downs.

For what do we remember about these persons? It is that they got up. If they had never been knocked down, they would never have gotten up to become the persons we remember with admiration.