MANAGING STRESS THE SPIRITUAL WAY

I read an article on Stress and Stress management recently and I noted with concern, its devastating effects on its victims. No doubt, it is a killer and we must deal with it firmly hence, my decision to focus on managing it the Spiritual way; that is the cheapest and easiest way in this write up.

Stress has been defined by many people in different ways but I find the definition that sees it as an ”emotional pressure with physical symptoms that has spiritual remedy” most appealing.

It commonly presents with headache, poor sleep, mood swing, decreased appetite, decreased libido and loss of strength amongst other symptoms. It also contributes a great deal to the increasing incidence of suicide, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, etc. seen globally these days.

Furthermore, it is not restricted to our generation alone since it affected those before us as well. For instance, it affected Apostle Paul and he reported it thus ”We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life ” (2 Corinthians 1:8 (NIV)). Thank God he survived it. Friend, if you are battling Stress or any Stress related condition right now, don’t worry; you’ll survive it also in Jesus name. Amen.

Now, let us look at some exceptionally potent but grossly underutilized Spiritual remedies meant for managing it. They are:

1. Rest. In Psalm 127:2, the Psalmist preached against unrestrained work load, which is a major cause of Stress and favours the concept of rest by saying ”It is in vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, …; for so He gives His beloved sleep”. Jesus Christ also favours rest. For instance, when He noticed that His disciples were exhausted, He told them to ”Come aside by yourself to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31). From these passages, it is evident that rest is a recognised Spiritual remedy for managing Stress therefore, use it!

2. Bible reading. In John 14:1, Jesus said ”Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me”. Like many of its kind, the passage induces calmness which is an essential requirement for Stress relief. As from this moment, please try and identify all Stress generating areas of your life, extract and meditate on biblical passages relating to them and claim their promises time after time and before long, you’ll come out triumphant in Jesus name. Amen.

3. Prayer. Apostle Paul championed the idea of prayer throughout his earthly ministry and at a time, he said ”Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” (Philippians 4:6). He even advised us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Please pay attention to his advice; pray fervently concerning your situation(s) and you’ll be fine in the end in Jesus name. Amen.

4. Being Joyous. Loss of strength is a major symptom of Stress and being joyous restores lost strength back to the body. Prophet Nehemiah alluded to this point by saying ”…the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Please be joyous in the Lord at all times and you’ll be amazed at the extent of strength you’ll garner to overcome Stress and its ilk. This is no fib!

5. Contact your Doctor if you have to. Some folks will disagree with me here because they believe going to doctors connotes lack of faith in God. I hope they’ll have a change of mind after reading Ecclesiaticus 38:4, 12 (Complete Bible with Apocrypha). It says: 4. The Lord hath created medicines out of the earth; and he that is wise will not abhor them”. 12. Then give place to the physicians (Medical Doctors), for the Lord hath created him; let him not go from thee, for thou hast need of him”. It is clear from above, that medicine and medical doctors are of God and we are at liberty to use them to solve problems of ill health (including Stress) if we have to.

In summary, the Spiritual remedies for managing Stress highlighted above are invaluable and consistent with the words of God and we should employ them without qualms.

Jesus is Lord!