Stress is not always a bad thing. Some stresses are good for us. Going on vacation is a positive stress that relieves negative stress. Getting a promotion at work is a positive stress. Becoming a parent is a positive stress.
We can limit negative stress by applying the counsel of Jesus.
Matt. 6:25-34, "25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."When we put the Lord first, we limit many of our negative stresses, because He has promised to meet all of our needs; He is the Rock of Ages; He is there for us in time of trouble; and He is the refuge from the storm.
The Bible does have an antidote for stress. It is called faith. Often when we are worried, it’s because we are worried about something that might happen. Many of our fears never come true. Anxiety is worry about what might happen. I think many people fear what is on the other side of the wall. We cloud our minds with so much of the darkness of doubt, that we prevent the sunshine of hope from coming into view.
Heb. 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."The Bible also encourages us to be cheerful.
Heb. 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Ps. 51:12 "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit."I'm sure that you can point to many other verses about joy and cheerfulness.
So, we can limit worry, anxiety, and stress. But here is where the rubber meets the road....many of us will take our burdens to the cross, and lay them there. But as we turn to go, one hand will slip out and grab it up! We must leave our troubles with Him!
Our title for this study is "Nail it to the Cross." I want to encourage each of us to visualize taking our burden to the foot of Christ's cross. Then I want you to pick it up and hold it against the cross, as high up as you can. Take a hammer, and nail that worry, that anxiety, that stress, to His cross.
You see, it takes a lot more to take back your burden if you have put it there more permanently. You will need to get your hammer back out, and slip the clawfoot portion under the nail and pry, and pry, and pry.
Let's leave our burdens with Him -- He is powerful, and compassionate; He cares for us; He is able to handle anything we nail onto the Cross.