Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dealing With Stress Jesus' Way

So how would Jesus have us deal with stress since the word doesn't even occur in the Bible? I believe that Matthew 11:28-30 is a very helpful Scripture for handling 21st century stress. It reads:

  1. "Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden (= stressed out), and I will give you rest." The first step is always to slow down, taking time for prayer and talking to Him, for apart from Him we can do nothing.

  2. "Take my yoke upon you ... for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Okay, so He is talking about an exchange here. We can't totally check out of all our responsibilities, but we are invited to surrender our heavy yoke and take on His. In other words, prayerfully think about the things that stress you out and consider whether it was really the Lord who has put them on you. Chances are, some things are out of whack, since He promised that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. If they aren't, find out where you've been taking on something you shouldn't have.

  3. "... and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart." Now this is very interesting; what does this have to do with the easy yoke? I believe that for one it shows the character of this yoke by showing the character of the Master: He is gentle and humble in heart. As I was looking at my stressful situation, I discovered that I had been anything but gentle with myself (and others). Gentleness is one of the fruit of the Spirit, of which love is the supreme one. How well have you loved yourself lately? I'm not talking about selfishness, but being as kind and loving to yourself as your heavenly Father is to you.

  4. The other sticky point is humility of heart. Funny Jesus should mention that among all of His attributes. He is not overbearing - am I, to myself or others? Hmmm! The opposite of humility is pride. How much has my PRIDE contributed to the stressful situation? Like wanting to be thought of as this wonder worker? Being too proud to ask for help and wanting to do a perfect job instead of an adequate job or even possibly failing? Relying on myself instead of surrendering and asking the Lord to take over? Lack of faith that God is in control and therefore believing that I need to take over?

  5. If we have a long, deep heart-to heart talk with the Lord and allow Him to show us the changes we need to make by surrendering our heavy yokes and taking on His light burden, He has twice promised that we will find rest for our souls.

Prescription: Take as often as needed until you've found the promised rest.

1 comment:

  1. Good read, good breakdown of the verse. A timely read for myself. You have given me a deeper understanding of having a 'heart to heart' with God.