Stress can be a good thing

Posted on May 24, 2017 · Posted in Shaping Influences, Worry

Stress is part of life. There is no way to avoid it. But what you can avoid is the fatigue and disorientation of continuing stress. When stress comes you can either turn to God and his word or you can rely on your own judgement and watch the stress deepen.

Trusting in God leads to peace. This means stress can lead to peace. When you attribute short, curt answers and a contentious spirit to stress, the stressful situation has overcome you. There is much in life that can be overwhelming. But God remains in control of his world. Stress can and should remind you that God is faithfully in control. So, stress can lead you to peace.

Proverbs 3:7-8 teach that our bodies don’t do well when we trust ourselves, that is, when we rely on our own understanding. Trusting God and purposely loving him in all that we do brings health to our soul and stability to our life. Trusting our own understanding  leads to a troubled spirit, to a lack of stability and to more stress.

Proverbs is talking about much more than just saying God’s name when things get challenging. Trusting God, fearing him and turning from stress brings peace to our minds and health to our bodies. Thus stress can be a blessing to you, if it causes you to trust God instead of yourself.

When stress comes it is time to take a deep breath and to ask God for clear direction from his word. When you worry about the future or if you think there is no way out of you problems you will be dominated by stress.

God has promised he is always faithful. His word is always true. These are not things you can say about your own thinking! When I trust my own understanding it does not go well for me. When you are overcome by stress reach out to God. Trust his understanding over your own. Remember Proverbs 3:7-8:

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.

Model this for your children. If you see stress in their lives consider whether or not your lack of trust in God may be a contributing factor. The promise of Proverbs three is a rich one. Live out its truth before your children and to those God brings into your life. Remember that stress can be a good thing.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.