Summary: The lesson today is for anyone and everyone who desires to live stress free in a stress filled world. David the sweet psalmist of Israel gives us several the keys in Psalms 37. David is not a novice. He has an earned degree in finding contentment.
Living Stress-Free in Uncertain Times
Text: Psalms 37:1-9, 25
Introduction: I want to talk about a subject today that affects everyone in the room. It doesn’t matter, what your age, gender, or economic status, it affects us all. Today’s message addresses the subject of stress and worry. Did you know that there are 17, 800,000 different sites on the internet about stress. There are thousands of studies, books, teaching tapes, clinics, doctors and therapists; all standing in line to help us deal with stress, but the world is still stressed out. A few years ago, Bobby McFerrin wrote a song “Don’t Worry Be Happy:
"Here's a little song I wrote, You might want to sing it note for note, Don't worry, be happy!
In every life we have some trouble, But when you worry you make it double, Don't worry, be happy,
Ain't got no place to lay your head, Somebody came and took your bed, Don't worry, be happy
The landlord say your rent is late, He may have to litigate, Don't worry, be happy!"
It was a great crossover song played on many station across the country, but it was not able to impact the stress of the world. How can anyone live peacefully in a stressed out world? That’s what today message is all about. A recent study on stress in the workplace reveals some eye opening statistics: Over $200 billion a year is lost to industry from stress-related ailments.
We’ve all heard that you could have peace in the time of storm. But when the storm is raging, how do you handle your discontentment? How do you hold your peace when you’re under attack? How do you stay free from anger when the frustrations and disappointments of life are beating you down? I believe discouragement is one of Satan’s most effective weapons against Christians and especially pastors and leaders.
A story is told of a day when Satan had a yard sale. He wanted to get rid of some his weaponry, so he priced it right. Lying-$5, cheating-$7.50, Gossip-$12.95, Lusts- $29.95, and many of various priced items. Over in the corner of the garage was an item price $2500. The customer inquired, “Why is that crooked piece so expensive?” Satan replied, “That’s one of my best weapons, it is discouragement. Discouragement works on almost everyone.”
So the lesson today is for anyone and everyone who desires to live stress free in a stress filled world. David the sweet psalmist of Israel gives us several the keys in Psalms 37. David is not a novice. He has an earned degree in contentment. Not only that, but David also has many years of experience. Listen to verse 25 of our text, Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.“ Remember the saying, ”Experience is the best teacher”, well David has a wealth of experience that qualifies him to share on the subject of Contentment. Experience maybe the best teacher, but it is better to learn from someone else’s experience.
Today, as in David’s day, there are a lot of things that created worry and stress. When I speak stress, I mean things like fear, pressure, strain, anxiety, tension, trauma, or hassle. Fear is a close relative to worry. They both paralyze. Many people today are living in bondage to fear, fear of all sorts: Fear of death, Fear of sickness, Fear of failure, Fear of poverty, Fear of being alone, and even fear of germs. Do you realize how many kinds of phobias there are? There are hundreds, fear of baldness and bald people, fear of drafts, fear of the color purple, fear of hairy people, fear of objects on the left side of the body, fear of writing in public, fear of being afraid, fear of height, fear of flying. It has been said that “Fear is the great enemy of the human race.” Fear inhibits and paralyzes; it causes us to live as spiritual grasshoppers instead of spiritual giants. David chooses to address another level of fear which he calls “fretting.” Fretting rob us of peace through our unregulated feelings. Have you ever heard the impression, “he makes my blood boil?” David cautions us about emotions of our hearts. 1) We wish we had what someone else has. 2) We wish we could be what someone else has become. 3) We wish we could do what someone else does. The emotions of our heart can disturb our peace! Let us look at the remedy, the keys to living a peace filled life in a stress filled world. The first key to finding contentment and peace is to resist jealousy and envy. This simple statement embraces the first step to peace. Our lives are troubled not only from without, but also from within. Jealousy is cruel to the grave. Envy robs us of our peace. They are born of our unregulated emotions.