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Summary: The bible has real answers for Today’s Stress.

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Use Your Memory to Relieve Your Stress

Psalms 77, 143

Man with Headaches p 538 Swindoll’s Book of Illustrations

What exactly is stress? Stress alludes to our tension level as we engage life. This tension can be healthy or unhealthy. A little stress can be helpful. We benefit from feeling the tug of deadlines for instance. Without a deadline, some things would remain undone. Procrastination is often thwarted by the underlying tension to become active and do something. I once heard stress is like a guitar string. When at the right tension, everything is at an acceptable pitch. If strung too tight, the string can pop. This message will focus on the stress that is unhealthy and can even reach debilitating levels. What causes stress? There are some obvious culprits.

#1 Overextended schedules

#2 More demands than resources

#3 Expectations become too great

#4 Unresolved lingering problems

#5 Inability to rest, relax, and cope

There are also telling signs of stress. These indicators can be hidden for short periods of time but become apparent over time. According to information from the web site for Mind Tools about Effective Stress Management there are numerous symptoms. These symptoms are worry, anxiety, confusion, inability to make decisions, feeling out of control, mood changes, and difficulty sleeping. The symptoms can also become more severe in extended periods of stress including … frequent bad moods, overreaction, fatigue, becoming forgetful, irritable, defensive, increased absenteeism, and neglect of personal appearance.

Stress is a major contributor to health problems. Our blood pressure becomes elevated during seasons of stress. There is a consensus among medical professionals that heart problems, ulcers, strokes, and other health problems can be caused or at least compounded by stress. Stress also contributes to physical fatigue, which makes us more susceptible to all disease. Unresolved stress will take its toll. We are not created by God to wear the burden of stress. How do we find relief?

The Stress Diet p 535 Swindoll’s Book of Illustrations

If we know the Scriptures we know they tell us what to do with stress and anxiety. "Pray"! James 5: says “Is anyone troubled, let him pray”. The Apostle Paul instructs us to be anxious for nothing, instead pray about everything. But my question is - how? I need more details. I need further instructions. I guess I should read more of the instruction manual. The book of Psalms gives us examples, and how-to models of praying during stressful times. Psalms 77, 143

Psalms 143

I I’m stressed but Praying v1-2

II I’m stressed by my enemies v3

How to Relieve Stress

How do top corporate executives relieve stress? A recent survey by a temporary-help agency yielded several surprising results. One way is by throwing plates against the wall! Other unusual methods for venting anger and frustration included singing opera while being kept on hold on the telephone, fiddling with children’s “Silly Putty” during meetings, and playing hockey in the company parking lot.

Today in the Word, January 9, 1997, p. 16

III I’m stressed OUT v4

Stress Reduction Salons

About a dozen new “stress-reduction salons” have opened in the U.S. and also in Japan. Members of these Synchro Energize salons slip off their shoes, climb into beds and lie with eyes closed for the next 45 minutes. Spinning patterns of intense colors appear before their eyes, and a low pulsating beat follows them as they drift in and out of dreamlike states. The centers have attracted everyone from harried executives to anxious teens. Typical cost: $20 per session. Medical research has shown that light and sound stimuli affect the brain. The results range from making a person alert or relaxed, and from deep sleep to intense learning. Moreover, changing patterns of light and sound would seem to change brain states.

Source unknown

IV I’m Stressed, but I Remember What God has done v5

-Bible heros are our ancestor just as they were David’s and we are to claim them.

V I’m Stressed, but I’m trusting God to deliver me v8

-Unless we really believe God hears and will answer our prayers, prayer will not help your stress.

Psalms 77

I I’m Stressed and God seems Distant 1-10

a. Searching for God v2

b. Sleepless v4

c. Stressed beyond prayer v 4b

II I’m Stressed but I’m reflecting 5-6

1. I remember better days

2. What has changed? Spiritual Inventory?

III I’m Stressed and Questioning God v7-10

-best place to bring questions

IV I’m Stressed But I’m Remembering God’s Acts in the Past 10-20

Verse 11 is the pivotal point on which the psalm turns, from darkness and sorrow to gladness and praise. What changes the mood? What lifts the stress?

A. He begins to deliberately recall the works of God

In verses 1-9 self is predominant, all that is seen, personal pronoun 22 times and 11 references to God. In 10-20 there only 3 personal references, and 24 mentions of God.

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