Summary: A Biblical model for managing stress

Stress Management

Daniel 3

April 18, 1999

Morning Service


I. The Biosphere

A. The purpose: Team of scientist created a world inside a giant bubble, the goal was to create simulated living conditions for humans underground, the site was tested by the team - they lived in the structure for two years, their work was to study the variety of mini environments in the sphere

B. The creation: The Bioshpere had many aspects of this world simulated within the structure - desert, rain forest and even a mini ocean, the Biosphere could duplicate any weather condition accept wind, this seemed like a minor problem, the effects of the windless environment became apparent later on, many of the trees that were taken into the sphere bent to the ground and broke, why? - because they didn’t have the wind to build strength into their trunks, the trees were unable to hold up their own weight, these windless trees are a lot like you and I

II. The usefulness of stress

A. Human strength: The difficulties of life make us stronger, the stressful situations that we face can build our strength, everyone deals with difficult or stressful situations

* Difficulties at work

* Difficulties at home

* Difficulties in social circles

we all face difficulties and these difficulties create stress in our lives, God allows us to weather stressful times to develop strength in us, how we deal with the stressful and difficult times in life speaks volumes about our commitment to God

B. Biblical examples: We see throughout the Bible that God uses stress to bring out the best in His people

Joseph being sold into slavery

Moses standing for God in the Pharaoh’s court

Elijah being threatened by Jezebel

Solomon settling the dispute of the 2 mothers

Our passage this morning is a standout for a stressful situation



I. Recognize the stressful situation

A. The situation arises (Read Verse 1)

One of the biggest problems with stressful situations is that they catch us off guard, we fail to see them coming, worse yet - we see they coming and there’s nothing we can do about it, the erection of the golden statue in Babylon did not create stress to begin with, however the situation quickly progressed to become stressful

B. The stress level rises (Read Verses 4-6)

Demand for pagan worship - failure or refusal to comply meant certain death, this situation called the Israelites to compromise their faith, the goal was to destroy the faith of the captive Israelite nation, our society doesn’t have golden statues but it does create situations to compromise our faith, society accepts things that are in direct conflict with our faith

* Dishonest conduct - Nothing wrong with little white lies

* Greed - Strong focus on material possessions

* Selfishness - People serve their own interests: Focus becomes I, Me, Mine and Myself

Our society fights against our faith, we will face stress just by living in this society, there are Kingdoms in conflict

II. Remember who is in control

A. Human efforts to seize control (Verses 12-15)

Human nature is to want to have control, we want to be in charge of our own lives, sometimes we even supersede God’s will for our lives, the key issue becomes one of self - society promotes it and we buy it, Nebuchadnezzer was the epitome of selfishness combined with power, he was forcing the people to worship the image he created, to increase the selfishness of the act was it was an image of himself, Nebuchadnezzer attempted to totally control the world around him, even if it meant killing those who would not obey his wishes, this creates a situation of stress and distress for all of the people involved

B. True statement of control (Verses 16-18)

Shadrach, Meshach and Abendigo didn’t attempt to control the moment, it was literally out of their hands, they did have a choice to make - trust their own instincts or place their trust in God, they let go of the situation and placed it in the hands of God, the three believed that God would rescue them - either by sparing them from the fire or by taking them on to heaven, this was the ultimate win/win situation, they simply couldn’t lose

Far too often we follow our gut, we need to follow God and walk with Him, stress often leads us to our own road, if we are faithful to follow God - we can’t lose

III. Rely on God for relief

A. The sentence is carried out (Verses 19-23)

The three are sentenced to death, the furnace is prepared to an extreme blaze, Nebuchadnezzer was out to destroy these men from their faith, he wanted to make them pay for their disobedience, society may try to hurt us for our faith, they may reject us for our beliefs, Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abendigo - no matter what the world does to us they can never separate us from God

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