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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

May God bless the Pastors and Bible Teachers all over the world, we thank God that Sermons to the World is now reaching 148 countries and all 50 States and The District of Columbia in the U.S.

MISSION

Mission: To be a resource to Pastors and Bible teachers in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. – Sermons to the World

VISION STATEMENT

Vision: To reach the world on the internet to fulfill the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 – “to go into all the world and teach all nations”.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A LIFE WITH LESS STRESS

VIDEO LINKS TO THIS WEEK'S MESSAGE





A Life With Less Stress - Part One
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  (Philippians 4:5-7)
Most people have some stress in their lives and that is normal.  But Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit to live a life with less stress.  Statistics reveal that stress actually causes eighty to ninety percent of illnesses. Stress related illnesses can be anything that make you miss a day of work, from a common cold to a migraine headache.  75% of the general population experiences some type of stress every two weeks.. 75%-90% of all visits to the primary care physicians are stress-related complaints or disorders. Nearly half of all worker-related turnover in the market place is stress related. This is the type of stress we do not need in our lives.
In this series of messages I hope to give you both spiritual and common sense strategies to handle the stress that comes into your life.  We know it is not God’s will for us to live our lives with worry, anxiety, and stress.  Our Lord has told us  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34-35).  He told us: “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14: 1).
First of all, you must recognize you need a life with less stress and that God wants you to live that kind of life.  It is something you can do something about with the Lord’s help.  Maybe you have lived in a stressful life for so long, that you think it is normal, but it is not.  Not everyone deals with “drama” everyday.  Some people have chosen to draw boundaries in which they have chosen not to stress out about everyone else’s problems.  These people live with a thing called “Peace”.  That is their day is full of thoughts and actions that bring joy into their lives and into the lives of others.  Boundaries are important and we will learn how to set them and live within those boundaries as this series continues.
Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  We will identify some of those sources later, but first of all lets think about why God created us.  He created us after His image.  That image includes joy, peace, and love. Our Lord and Savior came for many reasons but one is that you could enjoy life.  “I have come that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Sometimes we get so busy with life, we forget to live.  Our lives should include periods of happiness and relaxation and enjoying the many blessings God has given us.   These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” (John 15:11).  Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.  Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.  Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
Healthy ways to relax and recharge can include: taking a walk; spending time in nature; call a good positive friend; sweat out tension with a good workout; write in a journal; play with a pet, work in a garden or flower bed; listen to music; and many more things that bring you joy.

The second thing the Lord wants us to have in our lives is peace.  Most people are disconnected from peace on a daily basis due to one of three reasons: (1) sin – loss of peace with God; stress – loss of peace with self; conflict – loss of peace with others. That’s the bad news. The good news is that God has an answer in the form of one of the names of God. Jehovah-Shalom. The God of peace desires to come into the broken lives of humanity. 

Have you seen the bumper sticker, “No Peace, No God…Know Peace, Know God.”?  Quite simply, that’s what this peace is all about. If we don’t have peace with God, we will certainly never enjoy any other sort of peace. This peace comes to a man or women when they invite Christ to come into their lives and follows His teachings and direction from the Holy Spirit.

Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

This is probably the most important mental tactic when it comes to dealing with stress. You have to understand that only you are in charge of your life. Only you are in charge of what you think, and most importantly only you decide whether you are stressed or not.

”Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.” (Colossians 3:15).  The key word is “let”.  Make a choice that you are going to think on things that bring peace into daily life.  What are thoughts that will bring you peace?  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”  (Philippians 4:8).  Think about what you are thinking about.  “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3).  If politics and world problems stress you out, avoid talking with people about these subjects.  Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.  You might say “I am married to them, or they are my children.”  In that case you have to work on yourself which we will talk about later.

To live a life with less stress, I would encourage to begin praying and making your requests known to God about these two areas.  The first is to take time for yourself.  The second is to take control of your life, especially what you think.  Ask God to help you and as you make progress, give thanks to our Heavenly Father for helping you.