Why Am I Feeling Stressed? — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

Why Am I Feeling Stressed? — Morning Devotions

Jesus gave the instruction - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." - what an awesome thing to hear.

By Chris WittsMonday 9 Oct 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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Do you feel stressed out sometimes? And if you do, you’re not alone. Many people feel like that. For lots of people, stress has become a way of life. The sad truth. What has it taught us? Well, our experience with stress has taught us that not only does it eat away at the joy of life, it eats away at us as well, because living with stress hurts us in our family relationships.

For example, of a husband who works 12 hours a day, comes home tired, exhausted, his children miss out on his company. And this, if it’s not watched, can easily destroy or damage families. That’s what stress can do. Stress hurts us physically; it can cause everything from panic attacks and heart palpitations to high blood pressure and coronary disease. And it’s even been linked with cancer.

And what about our panicked efforts to complete those to do lists that never seem to end? It’s no secret that today’s society is under a great deal of stress that can be financial, emotional, physical and even spiritual stress. We face it every day. It complicates our decision making, causes sleepless nights and robs us of the joy of living. So what can we do about it? Where are the answers? We are plagued today with what some have called the hurry worry syndrome.

Chuck Swindle wrote something very helpful in his book ‘Stress Fractures’, he said, “Gone are the days of enjoying babbling brooks along winding pathways or taking long strolls near the beach. The relaxed bike ride through the local park has been replaced with a roar of the motorcycle whipping through busy traffic. The easy come easy go lifestyle of the farm has been pre-empted by a hectic urban family going in six different directions. Too little sleep, too much television.”

You know, stress can be caused by many things. It’s different for all of us. You may be stressed out by the demands and pressures of work. Or maybe you get stressed out by something as simple as a call from a pesky telemarketer. And there are three common words that cause stress. There should, ought and must.

And those words have caused more stress than any others. Can I say today that the Christian faith offers some help? I’ve read books by Rabbi Harold Kushner, Rabbi Kushner said. My religious faith satisfies the most fundamental human need of all, and that is the need to know that somehow we matter that our lives mean something, count as something more than just a momentary blip on the universe. Stress is an engineering term, a word used to determine how much weight or pressure steel can endure before breaking to the point of collapse.

The self-help guru Earl Nightingale has got some statistics about things we get stressed out about. He wrote that 40 per cent of the things will never happen. 30 per cent concern the past that can’t be changed. 12 per cent deal with criticism and petty problems. 10 per cent is related to health which worsens with worry and only eight per cent are real legitimate concerns. I think we’ve got to realise that troubles are going to happen. There’s no way around it.

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Stress is here. We’re going to have things that go wrong. Some things will be our fault. Some things we will have no control over. I think a lot of people are overwhelmed by stress because they’re not expecting it. Does the Bible give any tips about how we can deal with stress. Yes, it certainly does, Jesus said in Matthew six Verse 34. Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.

And these are the words of Jesus. And you notice that Jesus didn’t say we won’t have trouble. He didn’t say we wouldn’t experience stress. He said we would.

But in the face of that trouble, he says, relax, don’t be overwhelmed by it. Don’t be preoccupied by all the potential problems that may or may not happen down the road. Just focus on the realities of today. And maybe you’ve heard of Corrie Ten Boom – She was a Dutch woman who suffered in one of the concentration camps during the Second World War because she helped Jews escape from the Nazis.

And she was punished. So you’d think that if anybody had a cause to worry day after day, it would be her in a Nazi concentration camp. But she said, worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength. Take one day at a time.

Let’s Pray

Lord, it’s a good question to ask, why am I getting stressed? You know all about me. My worries, my concerns, the big and small. And yet you said, don’t worry about tomorrow. It’ll take care of itself. And when we have faith in you, we can trust all our tomorrows to your divine hand. Help me to realise that today as I trust you for all things, amen.