Monday Manna - Stress

Matthew 6:25-27

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Worry.  Stress. Anxiety.  We've all felt one or more of those emotions.   Some folks are worse off than others because these emotions consume them. Some people choose to take one particular issue and chew on it for a while.  Others tend to take a more global approach and worry about everything or multiple issues at one time.  No matter how you do it... the effect on a person is the same.  Anxiety has absolutely no positive outcome.  Physically it causes a stress response in our body that makes us release the hormone cortisol which leads to weight gain.  Emotionally it can cause depression and interfere with relationships.  Mentally it causes us to not focus on the things we should be focused on.  Spiritually it separates us from God because if we worry then we are pretty much telling God that we don't trust him to work it out!

So when we worry, what are we doing?  We are basically taking a particular situation and focusing on the negative aspects of it.

Example: A person who just lost their job may think...
  • I'm not going to be able to pay my bills
  • My family is going to be homeless
  • I don't have the skills to do anything else
  • What did I do to deserve this
  • I'll never find another job in this economy, etc. etc.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Sooo...Instead of thinking of all of the negative things that could happen, what if that same person turned it around and focused on the positives.

Example: A person who just lost their job may think...
  • I finally get to spend more time with my family
  • Now I can go back to school to work in the career of my dreams
  • It's going to be financially tight around here but we'll figure out a way to make it work
  • We have family and other resources available to make this right
  • This is only temporary

Now doesn't focusing on the positives sound a lot better!?  Well I say whenever that bad habit of worry threatens to consume you. Try looking at it in a positive light.  Things are usually not as bad as we make them seem.  God knows all of ours wants and needs.  Even if we've never spoken them aloud.  He knows! God is a loving God.  He made it so easy for us.  If we need something...we just have to ask.

Phillipians 4:6-7
6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.




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