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Summary: Stress is unavoidable and can be produced by positive and negative events. Paul gives God’s solution to coping with stress when it becomes distress.

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DEALING WITH TIMES OF STRESS

A. Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go RIGHT?

ILLUSTRATION:

The ALARM CLOCK doesn’t go off leaving you only 15 minutes to get to WORK. After getting ready you RUSH to your CAR only to discover a FLAT TIRE. You hurriedly CHANGE the TIRE and SPEED OFF to work, and then you are PULLED over by the POLICE. After receiving your TICKET, you take off again only to have your HORN go off ACCIDENTALLY and remain STUCK as you FOLLOW a leather-jacketed, tattooed, and bearded MOTOR CYCLE GANG down the street.

By the time you get to work you are an HOUR LATE and your BOSS chews you out. While at work you SPILL hot coffee in your LAP, your COMPUTER crashes, your SECRETARY quits, and your ACCOUNTANT comes by to INFORM you that instead of the $500.00 REFUND—you OWE the IRS $136.84.

Finally you arrive home from WORK ready to UNWIND and RELAX, then your NEIGHBOR comes to the DOOR holding a SHREDDED NEWSPAPER that your DOG chewed up. Your CHILDREN come in SCREAMING, your SPOUSE comes in FUSSING. So you decide to RETIRE early and get a good night’s SLEEP—the BED COLLAPSES.

COMMENT:

Days like this create so much TENSION. They become OPPRESSIVE, FRETFUL, INTENSE days of STRESS and ANXIETY.

B. What I shared with you is certainly an EXTREME, but we all have our SHARE of EXPERIENCES that can and does PRODUCE a lot of STRESS and ANXIETY in our

1. STRESS can be a CONTRIBUTING factor to chronic HEADACHES, BACKACHES, STOMACH PROBLEMS, NERVOUS DISORDERS, HIGH-BLOOD PRESSURE, HEART DISEASE, and even some forms of CANCER.

COMMENT:

Interestingly, both NEGATIVE and POSITIVE experiences can place the same PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL strains on the body.

2. However, STRESS effects people differently, depending on how well the person is able to COPE with or UTILIZE

COMMENT:

If that’s the way you are DEALING with STRESS, there’s a good possibility that you need COUNSELING. Come see me.

Some STRESS is vitally IMPORTANT to a person’s WELL-BEING. It stands to reason that without some PHYSICAL or MENTAL DEMANDS, a person will SETTLE with MEDIOCRITY and ACCOMPLISH very little in LIFE.

C. STRESS out of CONTROL becomes DISTRESS. It’s DISTRESS that we are to AVOID.

1. That’s why it’s imperative that we learn how to COPE when STRESS and WORRY get the best of us.

ILLUSTRATION:

Jay Adams, author and Biblical counselor, tells about a man named Joe who everybody knew was a WORRIER. One day Bill saw his WORRYING friend bouncing along as HAPPY as a man could be, WHISTLING and HUMMING and wearing a big SMILE. He looked as if he didn’t have a CARE in the world. Bill could hardly believe his eyes, so he had to find out what had HAPPENED.

“Joe, what happened to you?” he asked. “You don’t seemed WORRIED any more.” “It’s wonderful Bill, I haven’t WORRIED for several weeks now.” “That’s great; how did you MANAGE it?” Joe explained, “I HIRED a man to do all my WORRYING for me.” “What? You hired a man?” “That’s right,” Joe affirmed, “I pay him to take all my WORRIES from me.”

Bill mused, “I must say that it seems to be working for you. How much does he charge you?” “A thousand dollars a week.” “A thousand dollars a week?!! How can you possibly AFFORD a thousand dollars a week to PAY him?”


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