What Causes Stress?
Stress is an often-misunderstood emotion – and can have a huge, detrimental affect on our lives. To many, the bible is a guiding source of wisdom and solace, so let’s take a look at what it has to say about stress.
Stress is caused by the demands of life, often when the demands seem to be greater than we can manage. Life’s demands can range from relationships, financial concerns, workplace pressure, or even just daily life activities. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and start feeling like life is too much to handle, which only serves to further increase feelings of stress.
Though these causes of stress are not technically biblical, the Bible does discuss how it can affect us. In 1 Peter 5:7, it says: “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” This verse encourages us to hand our cares over to God – instead of focusing on the problem and worrying about it, we’re supposed to leave it in God’s hands. This means that we need to acknowledge that what we’re feeling is stress, and then actively seek out help from God.
The Effects of Stress
Stress doesn’t just affect us psychologically – it can have physical effects as well. According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated, stress can contribute to a number of health problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
The Bible outlines some of the effects of stress on our lives too. Matthew 6:34 says: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” This implies that stress can cause us to worry and be anxious about the future, and this worrying will only serve to make things worse. It also implies that stress can be debilitating and destructive, with far-reaching effects.
Rethinking Our Perspective
We can choose how we respond to stress. The Bible says in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This suggests that we shouldn’t become overwhelmed or discouraged by stress – instead, we should focus on doing whatever is necessary, and take comfort in the fact that tough times will eventually pass.
It’s important to remember that the way we think about stress can have an impact on the way it affects us. Philippians 4:8 says: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This suggests that if we focus on positive and good things in life, it can help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.
The Bible contains numerous verses that tell us how to handle stress. For example, John 14:27 says: “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This verse encourages us to find inner peace, and to not let our hearts be filled with fear and dread.
In Matthew 11:28-29, we see another example of what the Bible says about stress: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This verse implies that, by focusing on God and His love for us, we can find a way to better manage our stress.
The Power of Prayer
The Bible makes it clear that prayer is an important part of managing and reducing stress. Philippians 4:6 says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” This implies that we can lessen feelings of anxiety and stress by opening up to God and talking to Him about our problems.
God does not just hear our prayers – He answers them, too. In Proverbs 3:5-6, it says: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” This shows us that if we all trust in God, He will guide us and help us to reduce our feelings of stress and worry.
Forgiveness As A Stress Reliever
Forgiveness is an important act mentioned in the Bible that helps to reduce stress. In Mark 11:25, it says: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” The verse implies that, by forgiving our enemies and ourselves, we can unburden ourselves from the guilt and bitterness that can cause us to feel a heightened sense of stress.
Stress In Our Relationships
Taking time for our relationships is essential for reducing stress. In 1 John 4:19, it says: “We love Him because He first loved us.” This implies that, by loving others unconditionally, we can find peace and rest from stress and worry. The Bible also encourages us to love our neighbors as ourselves – this means being kind and compassionate, and taking the time to lend an ear or help out when needed.
God’s Presence As A Source Of Strength
The Bible teaches that God is present with us even in the most stressful situations. Isaiah 41:10 says: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” This verse tells us that God is always with us, and that He will give us strength even when we feel overwhelmed.
Upholding Our Faith In God’s Presence
It can be tempting to give up our faith during times of stress, but this shouldn’t be our response. According to Hebrews 12:1-2, it says: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” This verse emphasizes the importance of perseverance in the face of stress, and reminds us to keep our focus on Jesus.
Seeking God’s Help For Stress Management
The Bible teaches us that God can help us manage and reduce our stress. In Psalm 55:22, it says: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” This verse encourages us to trust in God and the hope He provides, and reminds us that He is always with us and will never forsake us.
Through the Bible, God reminds us that He has a plan for us, and that our path will ultimately lead to peace and prosperity. He provides us with the necessary guidance and wisdom to learn how to overcome, manage, and reduce our stress – so that we can ultimately find happiness and contentment.