Summary: 2nd in a 6 part series on surviving stress. This series uses the popular "Survivor" TV show as a "hook" and Psalm 23 as the Biblical foundation.
Does your schedule have you stressed? Here’s a short quiz of five questions to find out. Take a pen or pencil and jot down a “Y” “yes”or an “N” somewhere on your notes as you answer these questions about how busy you are. Ready? 1st question...
1. Do you always seem to be in a hurry?
2. At the end of your day do you often find that your "To do" list isn’t done?
(If you don’t make lists, are you often frustrated by not getting anything done?)
3. Has anyone ever told you to slow down?
4. Do you feel guilty when you relax? (Do you know what “relax” is?)
5. Have you ever found yourself scheduled to be in more than one place at a time?
Were you surprised by how many “yeses” you had or did you already know? Do one more thing.. turn to your spouse, your neighbor and tell them how many “yeses” you had and how many “nos” and whether or not you were surprised by it. Go ahead, you can talk in church! (Allow a moment or two)
I found it interesting that in 1994 a Gallop Poll revealed that 72% of all Americans believed they would be working less due to the influx of high technology. Yet, a decade later the opposite is true. According to statistics we are working 22% more hours and have 8.5 hours less leisure time per month than we did a decade ago. Let me ask some tough questions: “When is the last time you really rested? I mean, just sat down, no TV, just relaxed?” “How long has it been since you took a walk, not for building up the physical body, just to be refreshed.” “Or take a what used to be called “a Sunday drive?” Dennis Miller, the Monday Night Football personality once wrote, "I think the single most frustrating aspect of driving is that you spend your whole life stopping at red lights. Then at the end there is a very cruel irony. When you die they let the funeral procession run the red lights on the way to the cemetery. You don’t care any more but you’re early!"
Well, if you’re living a hectic and harried life let me say this.. That is not the kind of lifestyle God wants for you. Ps. 127:2 (LB)- "It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night... God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest." Beloved, God wants you to live a whole, balanced and complete life. This is a message I know I need and I hope that you will see this part of God’s Survival Kit, His “prescription for pressured people” from His Word this morning.
I. GOD’S WISDOM IN REST:
First of all, I want us to look at God’s wisdom in requiring rest. From the very beginning of time this aspect of life was important. Genesis 1 tells us that God worked 6 days and then Genesis 2:2- “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” Now, why did God do that? Was it because He was exhausted? Do you picture God out of breath by the 7th day, saying, “Whew! I’ve got to slow down! This is killing me!”No, God is all-powerful.. Exodus 31:17 gives us the reason God rested.. “..on the seventh day He stopped working and refreshed.”(GW) God stopped because He wanted to set an example for us, we all need to relax at times and be refreshed.
Now, I don’t want you to misunderstand. This message is not to promote laziness. Remember God worked for 7 days. It is God’s will that every person be involved in some kind of a meaningful task. Whether that be running a business or running a home. Jesus is our example. No one was more active than He. In John 5:17, Jesus says, "My Father is always at work...and I too am working."
Now, there are a number of reasons why we all need to have some meaningful labor. (1)Labor enables us to achieve. Generally speaking, the people who succeed in life are the people who know what it is to work hard every day. They arrive on time, give attention to detail, refuse to cut corners. Marvin Gregory tells the story of a junk dealer who became a millionaire even though he only had an 8th grade education. Somebody asked him how he was able to make a million dollars and in spite of his lack of formal training. He said, "Well, it ain’t hard. I just bought junk for $1 and sold it for $2 and you’d be surprised how quickly that 1% profit adds up." Now, he wasn’t a great mathematician but people can make up for a lot of inadequacies if they’re willing to give 100% everyday.