Summary: Stress is a common reality in life and learning how to cope with stress is essential to walking with Christ
Struggling with Stress
Series: Winning the Battle with Anxiety
May 5, 2013
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
When Anxiety attacks
Struggling with Stress
Winning over Worry
Facing Down the Fear
Causes of stress
Family member who is in the midst of a crisis
Job situation where demands are unrealistic
Finances are running low and bills keep stacking up
Friend who is in the middle of a messy divorce
Health issues that just won’t seem to go away
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.25"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." Luke 8:22-25
Stress happens when we least expect it
The start of this ordeal is just an ordinary day of ministry. Any day with Jesus in ministry was extraordinary. Jesus has finished a day of teaching and preaching with the intent to continue the work on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. The disciples may have thought the day was extraordinary and may not have wanted it to end. The disciples think nothing of a late evening boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. Their thoughts were already on the work of Jesus the next day.
Remember that several of the disciples were fishermen and would have been familiar with being on the sea at night. They set out without a reservation. There were zero signs of trouble on the horizon. Their extraordinary day was not yet over.
Storms were common on the sea but not at night and the disciples would have been familiar with those ordinary storms. Luke clearly describes this storm as something that was out of the ordinary.
Luke states that a squall came down on the sea. The phrase he uses here is filled with meaning that we might miss. This was no ordinary storm and was nothing that the disciples would have been familiar with. These were the kinds of storms that you avoided in Galilee. A squall was a fierce storm that has powerful winds and heavy rains. The word was used to describe cyclone type of activity and severe types of storms that rarely occurred in the Galilee region.
Luke further describes the storm as sudden. The storm came down upon them on the sea. The storm came swift and sudden with little warning. Storms would move into the region and pick up warm moist air from the Sea of Galilee. This gives storms a sudden burst of new power to fuel them. The storm descends and the stress levels start to rise.
One of the greatest problems with personal stress is that it comes during unexpected times. Stress tends to catch us off guard and throw us into a tailspin. There are many stressful situations that come our way that we have no control over.
Do you think Joseph expected to be sold into slavery by his brothers?
Do you think that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego expected to face a fiery furnace?
Do you think that Moses expected to be caught between the Red Sea and the Pharaoh’s army?
Do you think the disciples expected Jesus to be crucified?
God often works His greatest miracles and accomplishes His greatest plans through the unexpected twists and turns of life.
Stress should never create distress
Everyone deals with stressful situations and circumstances but not everyone drops into a state of distress. Distress is a state of being mentally afflicted because of pain, anxiety or sorrow. The issue that we often face is that we do not find relief in our times of stress because we do not go to Christ.
The disciples find themselves is the middle of this fierce and sudden storm. The storm was so severe that the boat was being swamped. Between the heavy rain and high waves the boat was taking on water and the situation was quickly getting out of control. Luke states that the disciples were in great danger. The situation was very real and they were in peril.