Summary: Looking at how David coped with stress and the importance of trusting God in all things.

How to Live a Stress-Free Life

JCC 18.10.09 pm

Psalm 4

In this psalm David begins with God and ends with God v1 and v6-8

He is seen talking to God, men and to himself

Stress is one of the world’s biggest problems

Everyone has stress at some point in life

We live in a very stressful or stress-filled society. And it affects all of us

Let’s take a stress test, not for your heart muscle but for your heart of hearts.

Answer these questions (separate sheet): Never, Sometimes, Often, Always

1. I feel overwhelmed and confused.

2. I have difficulty sleeping.

3. I find myself feeling worn out at the end of the day.

4. I have increased digestive problems such as heartburn, constipation and diarrhea.

5. I feel self-conscious or inadequate.

6. I have difficulty concentrating, making decisions or remembering things.

7. I feel depressed or I cry uncontrollably.

8. When things don’t go my way I get angry and aggressive.

9. I experience shakiness, trembling or nervous laughter.

10. I eat more food or drink more alcohol to make myself feel better or more at ease.

11. I experience eye strain and/or have dark circles under my eyes.

12. I feel all wound up, tense or nervous.

13. I experience tension or tightness in the muscles of my neck, back or jaw.

14. I have arguments with my co-workers or boss.

15. Changes in my daily routine, living conditions or relationships cause me distress.

There are varying degrees of stress:

· Acute stress – tension, headaches, emotional upsets, gastrointestinal disturbances, feelings of agitation and pressure.

· Episodic acute stress is more serious and can lead to migraines, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, anxiety, depression, serious gastrointestinal distress.

· Chronic stress is the most serious of all. It’s the stress that never ends. It grinds us down until our resistance is gone. Serious systemic illnesses such as diabetes, decreased immunocompetence, and perhaps cancer are its hallmark.

· Traumatic stress is the result of massive acute stress, the effects of which can reverberate through our systems for years.

Do any of these things sound like you?

If so, what can we do to handle stress?

Here are some things that experts suggest:

1- Identify your triggers

2- Get a Massage

3- Do Breathing exercises

4- Do some Aerobic exercise

5- Develop a support network: Studies show that women are better able to cope with emotional stress than are men due, in part, to their stronger support networks.

As Christians, where do we find our solution to stress?

Only the Lord can relief us from the stresses of daily life

The world may have its solutions, but they will not last

What answers can we get from this Psalm?

Verse 1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

Most of our troubles continue because we don’t know how to pray effectively

It’s not a matter of throwing words to heaven; David wanted to know God was hearing him

How often do we feel our prayers are going nowhere?

The power of prayer may be lacking due to little passion

We don’t have to persuade God with emotional outbursts

Believe or not he cares about what upsets us

We need to stir ourselves up to take hold of Him

Isaiah 64:7 And there is no one who calls on Your Name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You

We see how David did this

1. Prayer and supplication

Verse 1

This is and should be our first point of action

How many times do we try to sort things out ourselves, then turn to the Lord when it all goes pear shaped?

Verse 1 is broken into three parts:

In his prayer David starts by saying, "O God of my righteousness!"

David is praising God for who He is

It is important for us to take our eyes off ourselves and become conscious of the goodness and greatness of our God

This life is not all about you it’s about God

There would be less stress if more people had the attitude: "It’s not about me!"

Secondly, David expressed his appreciation to God, saying, "You have relieved me in my distress."

Notice that David uses the past tense here. He acknowledges that God has comforted him in the past

When we are stressed we have a hard time remembering all the good that we have experienced

David reflects on the past with a heart of thankfulness

God has done some wonderful things in our lives, often using stressful circumstances to bring about His purposes

When we appreciate what God has done in the past we stop focusing inward and start looking upward!

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