Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. -Philippians 4:6 (TLB) Most thinking, informed human beings are well aware of the fact that stress can lead to a great many physical difficulties in life. While most of us put forth effort to avoid it, it seems like certain individuals seem to actually thrive on it. The Bible tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and, as such, should be treated with a great deal of respect. Succumbing to a lot of stress would hardly seem a respectful thing to do to our ‘temples.’
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) While these verses happen to be specifically discussing sexual immorality in context, the same awareness can be applied when thinking about anything with the potential to harm the body or offend the Holy Spirit.
So many things can bring on stress, from lack of exercise, sleep, proper nutrition — you name it. One of the greatest causes of stress is worry, which certainly leads to other things that can exacerbate it. I was listening to Rick Warren preach a sermon on worry once and he happened to mention that it is a sin. For the purposes of this blog post, I shall focus on worry as a leading contributor to stress and a diminished witness for Christ. I had not actually every considered it to be sin until he mentioned it — then the light bulb came on. Whether you like him or listen to him at all does not negate the fact that he is right about that for a number of reasons to support his assertion. I list three ways that worry adversely affects us below:
- Worrying means we are not taking the Word of God with the faith we should and are not expecting God to make good on His promise. Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. -1 Peter 5:7 (TLB)
- Worrying robs us of the peace available to us as children of God. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. -John 16:33 (KJV)
- Worrying and fear go hand in hand. As believers, we are not expected to live in fear — especially since we know who our Father is. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. -Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)
There is only one way to have the peace of God that passes all understanding and that is through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it clear that there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus. Once you enter into that relationship with Him you are open to a relationship with God in His entirety: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. -John 14:6 (ESV) The obvious question if God is calling you, then, would be: What must I do to be saved? The Bible gives us a simple, clear answer to the way in which we embark on an eternal life with God that is beyond our wildest imagination. Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. -Romans 10:9 (ESV) If you are ready for a new life in Christ, the beginning is simple and you can start that new life right now! Acknowledge that Jesus Christ came to Earth and sacrificed Himself for you on a Roman cross, suffering and dying for your sins. Admit that you could never do anything to be good enough to come to God through your own works. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your Savior. If you really mean it, He will then be your Savior and the Lord of your life. Find a Bible-believing Church and go there as soon as you can. Explain that you have recently given your life to Christ and ask them to show you the next steps. An excellent resource is Peace with God. At that Web site you will find a link where you can search for a decent, Bible-believing Church to fellowship with during your journey here on this Earth. May God continue to richly bless you on your journey with Him into a new and wonderful eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ!