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Summary: Sermon Deals with Stress. Specifically geared to stress in Iraq.

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Stress

Sermon by CH (CPT) Keith J. Andrews

29 January 2006

A couple of weeks ago, I had just finished doing PT and returned to my CHU when I heard loud rumble.

This was not your normal blast. It was a long sustained rumble.

After it was over, I heard people outside asking “What was that?” Somebody finally said it was a “controlled blast.”

Now my first thought when I hear controlled blast is, “every blast is controlled – the question is who’s controlling it.

My second thought is a picture of the people that are setting those things off.

I picture a group of guys standing around like a Jeff Foxworthy joke:

“If the last words you said before you go to heaven are “Hey, Watch this!”… You might be a redneck.” 1

So, I hear this rumble and out of fear, I crouch on the floor.

As I am on the floor, I begin to look around and think to myself. “Here I am in a tin can, seeking shelter behind an inflatable mattress – this is not the smarted thing I’ve done all day.

We all deal with stress in many different ways. Stress is a part of everybody’s life.

Stress is so common that we see it throughout the Bible in the lives of many different characters.

You can imagine the stress Job experienced when his children, his servants, and his possessions were all wiped away in one afternoon; only to find himself covered with painful boils. 2

Or what about Moses when he was leading God’s people out of Egypt. He had Pharaoh’s army behind him and the Red Sea in front of him. To add to that, he was and surrounded by people who were complaining about being freed in the first place. 3

David, had lots of stress. He was the only one to fight the giant Goliath. He was later pursued by King Saul. He was king of Israel for a time. He was overthrown by his own son. David demonstrates great wisdom in dealing with stress in 1 Samuel 30:6. I Samuel 30:6 is found on page 272 in the red Bibles underneath your pew. Tonight, we are going to bounce around a bit in the Bible. There are so many passages that reflect how we should deal with stress. Tonight we won’t even scratch the surface. But in 1 Samuel 30:6 we see how David deals with stress.

Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.(1 Sam. 30:6, NKJV) 4

So tonight, we are going to take a moment to talk about stress and how to be strengthened by the Lord our God.

Following 9-11, the New England Journal of Medicine surveyed Americans on how they coped with stress after the tragedy. Over 90 percent said that they turned to religion or spirituality for comfort.

We can all relate to crying out to God in times of trouble.

Yesterday marked the twentieth anniversary of the Explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. I was reminded about it about mid-day yesterday. I began to remember how I was affected by the tragedy, how it was the first big news story that I remember, and how the country cried out to God it that time of stress.

It was one of those events that bring the country together in a common call to God. There have been times since, and there will be times in the future where we will all call to God for help.

Psalm 138:3 says

In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul. (PS. 138:3, NKJV)

God is a God who answers when we call.

Turn to Jeremiah 33:3, found on page 700. Here we find a verse that assures us that God is a God who answers us. He promises in Jeremiah 33:3;

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. (Je 33:3, NKJV)

He first says “Call to me.”

God is a God that wants us to call to him. He wants us to depend on him.

Max Lucado says:

“Want to change your life? Begin by saying “the Lord is my shepherd.” 5

God wants to shepherd us. When sheep get into trouble they call out. God wants us to call out to Him.

But God also says; “I will answer you.”

We don’t just call out to God for no reason. When we call on God, he answers our call. He is with us when we call to him.

And when he answers, he will “show you great and might things, which you do not know.” He is a God of plenty. If we ask for help, He will hear us, and answer us and show us great and mighty things.

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