Summary: This sermon looks at seven principles for stress management. 1. Know Who You Are 2. Know who you want to please 3. Know what you want to accomplish 4. Focus on one thing at a time 5. Make a habit of personal prayer 6. Take time to rest 7. Give your stress to Christ
How to Have Less Stress
Jesus Christ was a person who was constantly under pressure. Because of His popularity – people always wanted to be around Him. He had to seek out times for personal privacy. Other people repeatedly misunderstood Him – criticized Him – ridiculed Him. He had an enormous amount of stress in His life.
Most of us would cave in under such pressure. But as we look at the life of Jesus we quickly discover that He remained at peace under pressure. He was never in a hurry. He was always at ease. He had a calmness about His life that enabled Him to handle enormous amounts of stress. How did He do this so successfully?
He based His life on sound stress management principles. Perhaps if we understand and apply these principles to our lives, we’ll experience less pressure and more peace of mind. What are those principles – well let’s look at them. The first principle is:
"I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12 (NASB)
He also said,
"I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” John 14:6 (NASB)
Jesus knew who He was! Here is the first principle for handling stress in your life – it is:
Identification - Know Who You Are.
This is critically important in stress management because if you don’t know who you are – you will let other people pressure you into being somebody you’re not.
A lot of stress in life comes from wearing masks. We try to be somebody we’re not. People have expectations of us and we try to live up to others expectations rather than being what God intended us to be. We live double lives. We live under constant pressure.
But what we need to figure out is who we are in God’s sight. That is the first step to balance stress.
Folks here is a fact – I am a child of God. I am not an accident. I was put on earth for a purpose. I am deeply loved by God. I am completely accepted by God. He has a plan for my life and He says I am valuable – that I am significant. This fact has helped me cope with a lot of stress in my life. But folks let me tell you this too – because God put you here – you are significant too. The Bible says:
“You are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION” 1 Peter 2:9
If you are a child of God – who you are significant because of whose you are.
The second principle of stress management is:
"I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”
John 5:30b (NASB)
Jesus knew who He was trying to please. It was His father. The second principle is:
Direction – Know who you want to please.
You can’t please everybody so you might as well try to please the most important person – God.
Jesus knew who He was trying to please – it was a settled issue for Him: He said, “I’m going to please my Father.” And the Father replied, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17 (KJV)
The Bible says:
"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matt. 6:33 (NASB)
The Bible in Basic English says it this way:
“Let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition.” Matt. 6:33 (BBE)
This is a great promise. It means that if I focus on one thing and one thing only – pleasing God – it will simplify my life. If my main goal is to please God – He will take care of me. If my main goal is to please God – I will always be doing the right thing. If my main goal is to please God – I shouldn’t worry about what anybody else thinks or says about me. It is God and God alone that I am dedicated to and He will take care of me. That fact relieves a lot of stress in my life.
The third principle of stress management is:
“My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going.” John 8:14 (NASB)
Jesus knew where He was from and where He was going. He knew what He wanted to accomplish in His life. The principle is this:
Destination – Know what you want to accomplish.