Summary: If someone tells you that he is free from all stress or anxiety, he is either a fool or a liar. We all have to learn to live with a certain amount of stress and tension.
Stress Can Save Your Life
Have you heard the Jamaican song: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy!” Can you picture a Jamaican man who is enjoying a stress free life? He lives a life always on vacation. There’s no stress, no concerns, no bills to pay, no children to shuttle from place to place, no sickness, no problems to solve. Don’t worry, be happy!
Psalm 55:16-22 describes how the Psalmist found the answer by turning to the Lord.
I. A Life in Crisis (1-5)
The Psalmist describes his life in crisis: “I’m overwhelmed by my troubles.” (2) “Enemies surround me and are hunting me down.” (3) “My heart is in anguish – the terror of death overpowers me.” (4) “Fear and trembling overwhelm me. I can’t stop shaking.” (New Living Translation)
At different stages of our lives we all have faced minor and major challenges and change that caused stress, anxiety and worry.
When I was a teenager my parents separated and I experienced stress and anxiety.
When my mother, sister and I moved to another town and I attended a new school as a 9th grader I experienced fear and anxiety.
During College years I as seeking God’s and during my senior year I asked Carollyn to marry me and that summer anticipating marriage I lost 20 lbs – 180 to 160 lbs. I was stressed out about my new responsibilities, starting seminary, finances and finding part-time work. It was not an easy time.
How many of you can identify with the following statements: fill in the blank.
“I’m ready to throw in the ……….
I’m at the end of my …………
I’m just a bundle of …………
My life is falling …………..
I’m at my wits ……………
I fell like resigning from the human …………
If someone tells you that he is free from all stress or anxiety, he is either a fool or a liar. We all have to learn to live with a certain amount of stress and tension.
The Christian life is not a panacea that frees us from all the difficult times of life. We are not put on a golden pedestal to remain untouched by heartache, sorrow, tragedy and the anxiety of daily living.
In Christ we are given strength to face our challenges and work through them and keep going forward. Jesus says, “Come to me and I will give you ……… Matthew 11:28
When we experience crisis and traumas in life: death in the family, divorce, loss of a job, or when life tumbles in, we can turn to Jesus.
In Mark 4 Jesus told a parable about the challenges of life. Jesus told about the farmer sowing seed to four kinds of soil. “Some seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no crop?” (Mark 4:7)
When the disciples asked Jesus the meaning of the parable Jesus explained: “And the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” (Mark 4:18-19)
Undue worry and anxieties act like strangulation and chokes the very life out of a person. One medical study stated that almost half of all people who seek medical attention are suffering ailments brought about or made worse by prolonged emotional stress, worry, anxiety or fear.
The results of experiencing long term stress worry and anxiety can lead to insomnia, digestive complaints, obesity and depression.
Rev. John Haggai, in his book, “How to Win Over Worry” says there is nothing sadder than the Christian caught in the vice-grips of worry. The person’s personality and facial expressions reflect tension and despair. Not having grasped the redemptive resources of Christ the worrier walks around with a face long enough to eat ice cream out of a pipe. He or she may shuffle into the church service dragging his/her lower lip behind. The person slides into the pew and hangs his lower lip over the back of the pew chair and looks as happy as the skeleton and cross-bones on an iodine bottle From the person’s appearance you would think he was born in crabapple time, bottled on vinegar and weaned on a dill pickle.”
II. One Possible Solution to Life’s Problems – Escape from Reality.