Fresh Hope – 22nd November 2018

Nothing is more real and relatable to people today than the matter of STRESS! We feel the weight of financial commitments, work demands, relational complexities, health concerns, the ‘what if this’? The ‘what if that’?We are under pressure!

Did Jesus ever get stressed? If so, how did he manage it?

Well he did get stressed. Just as you may feel like you are going through a baptism of fire, Jesus also did. ‘I have a baptism to undergo and how distressed I am until it is accomplished!’ (Luke 12:50). Jesus knew that he had a huge responsibility on behalf of mankind. He was feeling the weight – emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually…but Jesus wasn’t stressed OUT. He managed his stress … how?

HE KNEW THE WORD OF GOD. Meditating on the truth of scripture calms us. It readjusts our perspective. It refuels our tank and sharpens our mind. The Bible is a powerful tool that the Holy Spirit uses to ‘build us up’. What better remedy when we feel like we are crumbling in a heap?

Psalm 119:165 says, ‘those who love your law have great peace’.

REST. ‘Stress is negative psychological pressure, which comes from the crushing demands of our fast-paced lifestyle’.

There were times in the ministry of Jesus’ life that he truly felt the pressure and demands of people. There were moments when literal crowds were following him, each person, wanting something from him.

The first thing to go when we are stressed is rest, but it is the very thing we need. Jesus would often actively seek out isolation to get with God. He knew his ministry would be unsuccessful without the active pursuit of the presence of God (Luke 5:16). In these times with the Lord he found strength, wisdom and direction to then manage the realities of his everyday life.

In the words of Philippians 4:6-7 ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer present your requests to God and the peace of God will guard your hearts.’ 

Let’s start with these two fundamentals the word of God, and rest in Him. Once these two aspects become part of your busy life, you will find a shift in heart and mind. As always, Jesus is counter-cultural. He causes us to stop. Bible reading and alone time with God are usually the first things to go when we are short on time, but what if we made them the first things we do when we are stressed? This is the key to peace-filled living.

John 16:33 ““I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.””
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Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.