There's no way to sugarcoat it.  We are a stressed out society.  As Christians, we are stressed out.  As a society, we struggle with anxiety.  This is not purely a modern phenomenon, but in my lifetime it certainly has become a more central problem in our culture. 

Stress/Anxiety join a long list of issues we think God's Word doesn't address.  We always seem to run to other means to help us first (they do have their place) rather than to God's Word.   We think the Bible might have some helpful quotes for us, but we don't think it actually might be a provision from God to deeply help us.   But, combating anxiety and stress is all through the scriptures.  One of the most concise places we find help for our weary souls is in the letter to the Philippians.   Here is a process you might go through with the Lord and His Word the next time stress overwhelms you.   It really is helpful to pray, and to meditate on God's Word.   There really is help for us there if we take advantage of it.  I commend this pattern of reflection, prayer, and reading to you.

       ". . . .and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will 

                                            guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus"  


1) Why am I stressed?

a) For the sake of Christ, persecution 
(perhaps family looks down on you for your faith; or perhaps you are making a tough financial decision because of your convictions which makes life a little tougher)
Phillipians 1:29
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for His sake.

b) Issues from my past
Phillipians 3:13
Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

c) Present circumstances
Phillipians 4:11-13
Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to get along with humble means, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.

We can be strong in faith in any of these situations. Don't necessarily try to escape the situation, bring it to the Lord.  

2) What should I do to counteract stress?

a) Be committed to seeing the Grace of God in many circumstances
(it’s so easy to see the 2 things that went wrong instead of the 10 things(or 10,000) that God did for you today)
Phillipians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your patience.

If you can't see anything good, or see that God is with you. . .ask God to show you.  

b) Pray for help
Phillipians 4:6-7
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

3) What can I replace stress with? 
(it’s important to not just try and avoid stress with things (mentioned above) but to replace your stress with new thoughts)
Phillipians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

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