Summary: Take time to contemplate the many ways that the Lord calms the stormy seas in your heart, mind and relationships. Thank God specifically for the ways that He enables you to be an island of calm amidst the pressures of life’s problems.
Illustration:Traits characteristic of the stress-prone:
1. Plans day unrealistically
2. First to arrive, last to leave
3. Always in a hurry
4. Makes no plan for relaxation
5. Feels guilty about doing anything other than work
6. Sees unforeseen problem as a setback or disaster
7. Is always thinking about several other things when working
8. Feels need to be recognized and overextends because of this
What to do:
1. Recognize aggravating aspects of your job and accept them rather than fight them. Wisdom to discern what can and cannot be changed, attempt to change the first and accept the second.
2. Identify your emotional needs and find ways to meet them.
3. Practice listening--it is more relaxing than talking
4. Be sensitive to change--sense it coming and make adjustments. This makes change manageable rather than insurmountable.
From Leadership, V. 1, #3, p. 99.
1. Daily Joy - "Rejoice in the Lord always, delight, gladden yourselves in Him. Again I say rejoice!" It takes a willful decision to sing and make melody in our hearts to be happy in the Lord. Whether you are feeling depressed, anxious, or bothered by some annoyance you can exercise your ability to rejoice. Encourage yourself in the Lord by recounting all the good things you have been given through Christ: His strength, His wisdom, His identity, His love, His purposes, His power, His truth, His ability to overcome temptations, His perspectives, His peace, His patience, His kindness, His gentleness, His faithfulness, His self-control, and His plans for your life.
2. Daily Patience - Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). When our rights are yielded totally to the Lord we are not apt to become irritated when things do not go our way. We become an example to others in our teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, persecutions, sufferings and how the Lord delivers us from every problem. We can communicate in verbal and non-verbal ways that our God is greater than any problem.
3. Daily Trust - "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything." Like the song says, "Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pains we bear! All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer." Let us learn to follow the faith and the truth in the words of the famous hymn writer who sang, "Simply trusting everyday. Trusting in the homeward way. Even when my faith is small. Trusting Jesus that is all. Trusting as the moments fly. Trusting as the days go by. Trusting Him whatever befalls. Trusting Jesus that is all." Isa. 26:3 says, "He will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the Lord because He trusts in Him." I
4. Daily Prayer- "In every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests) with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God." Prayer in the morning programs our thinking, attitudes, spirit, and actions to call on the Lord for everything. Not only when you are feeling worried, bothered, or fearful, but, even when you are waiting for your next action, ask the Lord to fill you with all spiritual wisdom in every situation. Trust Him to allow you bear fruit in every good work and to increase in the knowledge of God. Ask Him to help you to excel in love, faith, hope, and wisdom through every encounter.
5. Daily Reflection - "And God’s peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding shall guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Take time to contemplate the many ways that the Lord calms the stormy seas in your heart, mind and relationships. Thank God specifically for the ways that He enables you to be an island of calm amidst the pressures of life’s problems.
6. Daily Inventory of Good Things - "Whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of th~se things." Every good business takes regular inventories to see what resources are available to them. Without a recognition of one’s resources we can become timid, reactive, and uncertain of ability to cope.
7. Daily Meditation - "Fix your minds on these things." Take time to memorize, study, read, discuss, and pray through the promises of God. Without a consistent habit of scriptural meditation we do not have the capacity in ourselves to live by the power of the Holy Spirit.