7 Ways To Cope With Stress
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Revelation 22:13
Want to put stress into perspective? Then Guideline #1: Get God’s perspective.
Guideline #2: Let your relationship with Him be an anchor or a gyroscope which holds the ship of your life steady. Hebrews 6:9 speaks of faith as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast. A boat without an anchor drifts with the winds and tide, and so do individuals who don’t have anything lasting to hold them steady in the face of stress.
Question: When you were a little kid did you ever say, “My daddy can beat up your daddy”? Well, why not apply that logic to the power of your Heavenly Father in relationship to what causes your stress? Do you really believe that nothing can happen to you apart from the knowledge and will of our Heavenly Father? An acquaintance of mine will put his feet on his desk and say, “So what if they fire me? They can’t take my family; they can’t take away my wife, or my children. All they can take is my paycheck and I’ll trust God for my needs, as Scripture says I can.”
Guideline #3: Stop bearing your load and God’s, too. Stress says, in effect, “God, you aren’t big enough to handle this, so I’d better figure out what I’m going to do.” Make a note of I Peter 5:7 and Psalm 55:22, which tell us we are to take our loads of stress and our burdens of care and lay them at the feet of a Savior who loves you and cares for your life.
Guideline #4: Bring your lifestyle into harmony with the will of God. Frankly, we bring much of our stress upon ourselves, trying to do what God never intended us to do and living lives which are designed to create stress. Do you think Jesus ever ran from one meeting to another? Ever wonder if He healed everybody in Palestine when He was here? No! He knew that there were some things which were beyond His physical endurance and He left them right there.
If your life is out of harmony with what God expects, you are the only one who can do anything about it. One of the greatest stress-points today is broken families and our relationships which have broken down. And you, friend, are the only one in the entire world who can do anything about that—which brings me to my next guideline.
Guideline #5: Change! Change your schedule which is overloaded. Change your workload. Change your diet. Change your habits; change your lifestyle. Change your way of thinking. This may mean learning how to say “No!” but saying it in such a way that others understand that you’d like to do something but you simply cannot.
Guideline #6: Budget stress by learning to manage your time. Often, we create stress for ourselves because we don’t plan far enough ahead. Compressing too much into our schedules, we don’t have time to prepare adequately for the future, and when it gets here too soon, we face stress. You don’t leave for the appointment early enough to avoid traffic. You walk into the office five minutes late to the glare of your boss. You have to learn to eliminate stress by planning and by handling your time better.
Guideline #7: Eliminate stress in your family through effective communication. This includes confrontation as well as communication. Thinking of confrontation as negative, we tend to avoid dealing with issues which keep building up, and eventually we feel the pressure and stress.
To the disciples Jesus said, “…In the world ye shall have tribulation:” (or stress, as the word can aptly be translated,) “but be of good cheer,” he said, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV). And, so can you!
Resource reading: John 17:13-25.