Summary: Every person under the sun – from the young to the old, those with little or much – each live with stress each day of their lives. Are you able to identify - and more importantly - deal with the stress that come your way?
Theme: Learning to lean on God and His word when faced with stressful times.
A. David – after Saul knew God was going to make him king – was in great distress as his enemies
sought his life.
1. For a period in his life he lived constantly and wearily fleeing from Saul, literally walking through
“the valley of the shadow of death.” cp. Psa. 23:4
2. He was distressed by the Philistines, fleeing from them.
3. He was distressed by his own son (Absalom) and fled from him.
B. Like the men of old, eve ry person under the sun – from the very young to the very old, whether little
or much – live with stresses each day of their lives.
1. We usually see the manifestation of stress via: anger, hatred, jealousy, envy.
2. Verbal and non-verbal (body language) manifestations also occur: darting eyes; folded arms with a distant demeanor; demeanor of anxiety; huffing and puffing; cold shoulder; etc.
C. The questions we must answer are:
1. Can we identify (negative) stress and its associated behavior(s) in our lives? If so, how?
2. How do we handle the stresses that come our way? If so, what does the Bible teach us in answering this question?
I. IDENTIFYING STRESS IN OUR LIVES
A. The following list are factors and/or stressful behaviors. (Note: this list is not exhaustive and many
identifiers overlap with one another.)
1. Expectations: the pressure of living up to expectations (from others or self). Exo. 32:21-24
2. Uncertainty: financial, medical, family relationships, work.
3. Fear or defeatist attitude : being afraid of a person, thing, or eve nt. 1 Sam. 15:24; 1 Ki. 19:13-14
4. Life Changing Events : near death, death, birth, marriage, etc.
5. Anger: arguments, disagreements, lack of control, etc. Acts 15:36-39
6. Sin: recognizing your sin bringing guilt, shame, and remorse. Matt. 27:3-5
B. We need to ackno wledge that we all have stress.
1. We’re fooling ourselves if we thought we didn’t have it.
2. Having stress tests our character, and overcoming improves our character. Jas. 1:2
C. Yet, we may not identify the behavior influenced by the stress until it (the behavior) has been
negatively displayed before others.
1. We may live with worry; walk around venting in anger or disbelief, or continuously sulk not
recognizing our reaction to the stress in our lives. Matt. 6:31;
2. You see, it is much easier for another to see sin – or in this case stress – in the life of another than it is to see it in their own life. cp. 2 Sam. 12:1-7
3. Thus, having humility by allowing others to candidly share their loving views about our behavior
can be a great aid in helping us identify what behaviors they see in our lives…typically associated
II. HANDLING STRESS WITH GOD’S WILL IN MIND
A. Like everything else, we want to handle stress with God’s will for us in mind.
1. Christians want to live a life to the glory of God. cp. Phil. 4:20
2. We do not want to be a hindrance or stumbling block to our fellow brethren or those outside the
body of Christ.
3. Thus, we should strive not only to identify, but to deal with the stresses of life consistent with the
holy calling of God. cp. Eph. 4:1
B. Naturally, to deal with the stress we need to pinpoint exactly how we are behaving since that is what
may be contrary to God’s will.
1. Finances may be the stress factor, but an ungodly behavior as a result is what needs to be dealt
2. It is the behavior of an individual that needs to take accountability.
C. Let’s look at the (non-exhaustive) list again to see what God teaches about the behaviors associated
a. Expectations can bring about positive stress: God expects His servants of righteousness to be
holy. Rom. 6:12; 1 Pet. 1:16
b. It is when expectations bring about ungodly behavior that such need to be recognized and
repented (this will be true of the other “stress factors” below).
a. Uncertainty can lead to arrogance, which is contrary to God’s will. Prov. 27:1 (James 4:13–16)
b. It can lead to a lack of trust in God, also contrary to God’s will. cp. Matt. 6:31
a. Living with fear is contrary to trusting in God. Matt. 10:28
b. Even when all seems “dark” and “low” in your life, yet with God NOTHING is impossible. Psa. 23:4
4. Life Changing Events:
a. Some shut down and give up. cp. Num. 13-14
b. Instead, embrace the challenge of these life changing events knowing God takes care of those
who belong to Him.
a. Anger, without (just) cause is contrary to the Lord’s will. Matt. 5:22 (NKJV)