Reflection from my reading in Matthew 11 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Too much stress leads to:
- Damaged health
- Distracted minds
- Disrupted productivity
- Disengaged relationships
Jesus doesn’t promise us an island vacation in Jamaica every day where you sip on a coconut and listen to Bob Marley. But he does promise to help us deal with the stressful things that come our way.
1. Come to Jesus For Rest
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
The first step toward dealing with stressful situations is to stop and ask God for help. Only Jesus can give you the soul rest you need.
2. Handle What God Has Given You
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29–30
A yoke was a piece of wood that held oxen together when they were pulling a plow. A yoke involved work. Jesus is saying, “link up with me, stay connected to me, pull with me, and it will be much easier than trying to pull it all yourself.”
Jesus doesn’t promise us zero stress. But He promises to help us.
We get stressed out when we try to do more or less than what God is calling us to do.
The homeless person experiences the stress of having to find food, shelter, and staying safe on the streets. His stress comes from not taking care of the things he should.
The high level business man has a different kind of stress. He’s not worried about what he will eat or drink or sleep. He is worried about his next meeting, he’s stressed because he has three meetings in one hour, he’s stressed because he is trying to do too much.
So what about you? Are you trying to handle more than Jesus wants you? Or are you handling less?
The only solution for our stress problem is Christ’s yoke, no more, no less.
3. Learn Humility and Gentleness.
“…learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
One of the things we learn from Jesus is how to be humble and gentle. Often our stress comes when we try to take over God’s job. Too often we spend our time worrying and stressing over things that we cannot control.
One of the keys to stress relief is understanding what is God’s job and what is your job.
Are you worrying about things that only God has control over? If so, then you need to get in God’s training program. Humility is the key to stress relief.
Let God be God! I will leave you with a famous prayer called the “Serenity Prayer.” May God help you stress less!
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. – The Serenity Prayer
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