Someone asked me the other day how I handle stress. It made
me stop and think because I’m hardly ever under any stress. I
think it’s because most stress is caused by worry and I know for
sure that I never worry, so for me stress is more of a non-issue!
And, naturally, that makes folks want to know how on earth
I can go through life without worrying! It’s simple …. I just pray
An old preacher friend of mine told me a long time ago that
anyone who claims to know and trust Jesus should be ashamed
to worry about anything! When you think about it, that’s very
true! Break it down….
What are we taught to believe as Christians?
a) Jesus loves us unconditionally
b) He promises to be with us always — every minute of
every day even to the end of the age!
c) God has a plan & a purpose for everything that happens
in our lives and He will make sure that good comes from
even the bad things.
& d) Jesus always protects those who trust Him and He will
never let the righteous fall.
Now before you see that word “righteous” and hit the panic
button, remember THIS: Righteous does not mean perfect!
Righteous means that you are doing the best you can, every day,
to keep your focus on Christ, to learn and obey the command-
ments He gave us and you try to share His name & His Gospel
with as many people as we can.
Nowhere in the bible or anywhere else does it say that we
have to be perfect in order to claim His promises! If that were
the case, Heaven would be so empty it would echo! Because
no one is perfect. We were all born sinners and even though
we’ve committed our lives and our hearts to Jesus, we’ll continue
to sin as long as we’re in these earthly bodies! Jesus knew this;
that’s why He came to earth, suffered so much agony on the cross
and ultimately gave His life — to pay the price for every sin we
had and would commit. He knew we’d need blanket protection
….that’s why perfection is not a requirement for salvation. All
you need is what He’s already given you…..faith!
That’s why I don’t have any stress in my life. Even when
bad things happen I know God is right here with me. And I know
that there is no panic in Heaven — God has no problems; only
I don’t need to know every detail of every solution He’s got
up His sleeve either (which is good because He’s never developed
the habit of letting me know what He’s going to do ahead of time!)
and I know from experience that when the crisis has ended and I
look back I will be amazed and able to see clearly what He did
When that happens over and over again in your life, it gets
easier and easier to “let go and let God!” When His children
display that kind of trust and dependence in Him, I believe God
is truly delighted! He loves it when our faith in Him runs so
deep that we’re willing and able to turn control of our lives over
to Him. It does take practice though! It won’t happen over-
night….just keep reminding yourself that it’s difficult for God to
direct your life if you’re constantly fighting Him for the wheel!
Giving up control doesn’t come easily for most of us. We’re
so used to being in control that handing over the reins to anyone
else can be downright scary! But God isn’t just anybody!
He’s GOD! The safest place in the world for you to be is under
His care! So no matter what’s going on in your world, just re-
member God is in control; of everything and everyone, all the
time! Once you get that truth engraved on your heart, you
won’t have to deal with stress either.
Now, does that mean that from now on you’ll skip through
life under blue skies and rainbows picking daisies as you go?
Afraid not…..troubles, pain and problems are part of everyone’s
life….what it does mean is that you’ll never face any of it alone!
You’re going through life sheltered by the hand of the living God
and there is simply no safer place you could possibly be!
So when others are stressed? You can be at peace. When
others are terrified? You can be grateful. When others are
worrying? You can be praying! And always keep in mind that
the word stressed is just desserts spelled backwards!!
Two main factors that I’m pretty sure confront every
Christian at some point in their lives are Faith and Fear.
Or perhaps I should say Faith versus Fear.
God has granted each of us a certain measure of
faith, we know this because the Bible tells us so.
And fear? Fear is an undeniable fact of life for all of us!
Fear of different things, of varying degrees and at certain
times in our lives. There’s no escaping it It’s unavoidable
and attacks everyone, believer and non-believer alike. It
can take many forms; stress, doubt, tension, uncertainty,
et,. but it’s an issue we’ll all have to address at some point.
Even Jesus acknowledged it when He told us that we
would face trouble and suffering here on earth. He also
said that we should not give in to fear because with His
amazing sacrifice at Calvary on the cross, He had already
overcome the world and all the problems in it!
The Bible says it and faith is what allows us to believe
it’s true. Being afraid is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s
part of being human and Jesus knows this. That’s proba-
bly why there are over 365 “fear nots” in the Bible!
But we can experience fear and acknowledge it with-
out letting it beat us over the head! We are overcomers in
Christ. Period. The best way to overcome fear is to not
let it get the upper hand. Start out by considering the
source. Know what fear stands for?
F.alse E.vidence A.ppearing R.eal
In other words? A lie. And we all know who’s the king
and father of all lies. The devil. And the only power
that old pest has is what we choose to give him. So even
when you don’t understand the reason for problem, ill-
ness or trial – all you have to do is trust God. Just be-
cause He hasn’t explained why something is happening
doesn’t mean He doesn’t know! But when you’re left
temporarily without answers that’s when the devil turns
up the volume in a fierce attempt to convince you that
you’re all alone, that God doesn’t care or that God can’t
bail you out of this one. Please don’t buy into that hype!
Just grab Romans 8:28 and beat the devil over the head
with that particular scripture!!
The devil’s lies are just empty words and rhetoric
unless you give them power. Trust Jesus and you’ll be
able to laugh off whatever the devil tries to throw at you!
I’ve had lots of practice with this maneuver since
the whole cancer thing reared it’s ugly head 2 years ago.
I’m facing this diagnosis of terminal cancer that is sup-
posedly going to kill me. Now dying isn’t what frightens
me — I know what’s out there beyond my final breath!
Heaven here I come! What’s terrifying to me is the inte-
rim — the whole sickness, needles, doctors, needles, pain,
medicine, did I say needles? I’m not a big fan of people
sticking me with tiny sharp things so the prospect of lots
of that in my upcoming timeline didn’t exactly tickle my
But day by day, shot by shot, chemo by chemo, test
after test, Jesus held me hand and walked me through
it all moment by moment. Looking back now over the
past 2 years it’s easy to see how Jesus managed to get me
through it AND used what was happening to me to
strengthen the faith of so many people that I came in con-
tact with at the same time!
So now, when some new symptom or test or procedure
pops up, I don’t panic because I know Jesus is going to
handle it and me just like He has all those times before. I
don’t have the words all the time or the details or the
answers and I don’t need them. All I need to know is that
Jesus loves me and will always do what’s best for me.
The same is true for you whatever you’re afraid of. If
you’re a Christian then Jesus is standing in the gap between
you and whatever it is that you’re afraid of! Don’t let the
devil succeed at convincing you otherwise becaue when it
comes to reinforcements? You have MAJOR back-up!
Always remember too, especially if you’re wading through
a public test or trial that others can see, (try keeping cancer
a secret!) then the world is watching to see if your faith is
something you only preach about or something you LIVE!
The way you handle difficulties says volumes to others
about how powerful it is to trust in Jesus and have Him in
charge of your life! They will be able to see what you have,
(FAITH), witness how you use it, (TRUST), and see the re-
sults, (PEACE). And sooner or later, they’re going to want
that for themselves!
Nothing makes Jesus happier than being audaciously trusted
by His children and He will move heaven and earth to reward
that kind of trust with His presence, His peace and His power!
Believe me, been there –seen that!!
It doesn’t matter what the trial, whether its finance, disease,
stress or relational, whatever, our challenges may be different
but our Savior is the same. Jesus has overcome the world and
anything it can dream up to toss our way….There simply isn’t
anything He cannot handle.
Talk with Him daily and ask Him to walk with you through
whatever’s ahead. Whatever’s coming it will be SO much
easier when Jesus is holding your hand. So when it comes to
fear? Faith is stronger every time!