Dealing with Stress

04.02.20 | Care | by Kyle Davison Bair

Dealing with Stress

    As strange as it sounds, stress is not your enemy. It’s a gift that God built into us to help navigate difficult times.

    Tip 1: It’s okay to feel stress. Feeling stress is not sin. When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane before the Cross, He experienced the most severe form of stress the body can endure—so intense that He sweat blood. If it’s okay for Jesus to feel stress, then it’s okay for you as well.

    But take note of what Jesus did to process His stress. He did not push it away. Instead, He used stress to focus His prayers.

    Tip 2: Don’t try to push stress away. Let yourself feel it, then take control of it. Stress is a warning light on your dashboard. It lets you know something is going on under the hood. When the warning light pops on, you don’t cover it up. You take a look under the hood.

    Sometimes you may immediately know why you’re stressed. Other times you may need to pray through it. Do what is needed to figure out the root of the stress.

    Once you know, take it to God. Tell Him exactly why you’re stressed. If you can identify the root feeling, tell Him about that too. It could be, “It feels like I have no control.” Or “This situation just feels hopeless.” Or, as Jesus did, you might dread what’s coming, so you ask God to let it pass from you.

    Tip 3: Once you’ve said it all, ask God to give you His truth. He may bring the perfect scripture to mind. Or you might simply sense Him near. Stress is a gift. It shows you where you need God’s truth most. So follow your stress, ask God for His truth and let Him renew your mind (Romans 12:2).

    Tip 4: Cast your cares on God. Then leave them there. We all need help. It’s okay to ask for it. Ask God specifically for everything you need. Cast your cares on Him "because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Then, as Jesus did, pray for God’s will to be done if it’s different from what you asked for.

    Asking helps you feel heard. Leaving it in God’s hands helps bring peace. You don’t have to carry these burdens. He will do that for you (Isaiah 53:4).

    Kyle Davison Bair is Prayer Ministries Pastor at New Hope Church. He has a passion for people to call on the name of Jesus for direction and seek an authentic culture of prayer in this church.