Summary: We will soar above stress when our confidence rests in God.
How do you know when it is going to be a bad day? Bad days are going to come. Some days can be down right ugly can’t they? One writer offered several clues to identify these inevitable bad days. He wrote:
You know it is going to be a bad day when you wake up face down on the pavement.
You know it is going to be a bad day when you wake up to a Sixty Minutes crew outside your home.
You know it is going to be a bad day when you turn on the television and they are broadcasting emergency routes out of your city.
You know it is going to be a bad day when you wake up to discover your water bed is leaking. Then you remember you don’t have a water bed.
Everyone of us are going to experience some bad days; days when disappointment and disaster create tension, frustration, and anxiety; days when everything that can go wrong does go wrong and we feel washed up, and wiped out by a tidal wave of stress. Stress seems to be the ‘in’ disease for our generation. Many of us are all stressed up with no place to go. Last year Americans consumed five million pounds of aspirin. That does not take into effect all of the aspirin type products, sleeping pills, pain pills, or tranquilizers. The American Medical Association reports over two-thirds of the office visits made to family physicians are stress related visits. We are a stressed out society, and no longer is stress confined to the workaholic.
According to the United States News and World Report up to thirty-five percent of America’s children suffer from stress related health problems in their pre-teen years ranging from pulling out their hair to migraine headaches. Stress affects us all. How can you and I conquer stress before stress conquers us?
I encourage you to open your Bibles to the fortieth chapter of Isaiah where the prophet shares with us: How to Soar Above Stress. We will soar above stress when our confidence rests in God. Isaiah’s generation faced some stress filled days. Isaiah had broken the prophetic news that Babylonian captivity was imminent and irreversible. God’s people would be carried away from their homeland. They would live in exile. They would be slaves in a foreign land serving a foreign master. The storm was coming. The wind was about to blow, the rain was about to fall, and everything in their lives that was not nailed down was about to come loose. Talk about stress! The promise of being a blessing to the nations was about to be severely tested.
It is in such times of testing that we wonder: “Where is God? Why is He silent? Why doesn’t He do something?” But in the fortieth chapter of his prophetic work, Isaiah seeks to help God’s covenant people trace the rainbow through the rain. He encourages them to put their confidence in God. God is the one who will sustain them. God is the one who will protect them, preserve them, provide for them, and prove Himself to be faithful to the promises He has made to them. We will soar above stress when our confidence rests in God.
Read Isaiah 40:27-31
What is stress? That is a very important question is it not? If we are going to have success over stress we must clearly understand what it is we are trying to have success over. Stress is the gap, the gulf between the every day demands placed upon us and our ability to meet those demands. When your ‘have to’ exceeds your ‘can do’ stress occurs. It is not a sin to be stressed out. None of us can avoid stress, but we can avoid being overcome by it. How can you and I conquer stress before stress conquers us? When a stress storm hits, what should I do?
ELEVATE YOUR EYESIGHT BEFORE YOU SACRIFICE YOUR SANITY.
The first thing most of us do when stress hits is panic. We pull out our hair. We tie our stomach up into knots. We frantically start looking for a way out of the storm we are in. We desperately examine our resources seeking a solution to the seemingly insolvable situation. But the first thing we ought to do is elevate our eyesight. Try to view your problem from an eternal frame of reference. The prophet urged the Jewish people to take their eyes off of their circumstances and look to the One who rules and reigns above their circumstances.
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable”. (Isaiah 40: 28)
God says the first thing we ought to do when stress hits is pause to remember who He is. Put your problem in perspective from God’s vantage point.