Brian C Houston

2 January 2019

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6 NLT) 

More and more young people struggle with stress in the early stages of their life. Unfortunately, when we are ruled by stress, it limits our ability to move forward. But you don’t have to live that way; you can develop the capacity to manage and use stress for your advantage.

When stress crosses the line to become distress, it is destructive. If you find yourself in the ‘red zone’, running on high ‘RPM’, it is a dangerous place that potentially leads to anxiety, panic attacks and depression. Perhaps you didn’t realise there is another way to handle stress. So then, what should you do before your stress becomes distress? Many people choose to draw back and step away from the sources of their stress, but this is always at the cost of fulfilment. The better choice is to grow your capacity, forging a pathway to fulfilling all that God has put in your heart. You were never intended to face life’s challenges alone; the Scriptures are filled with assurances of God’s faithfulness, protection and deliverance. Paul exhorted the Philippian church to exchange worry for prayer. In fact, as Christians, we are commanded to, “Be anxious for NOTHING”!

Can you identify the sources of stress in your life? Sources can be many and varied. Personal issues related to your upbringing and history can have a significant impact, causing internal stress. Family and relationships as well as work or ministry are all common sources of stress. There are also times when unexpected, unprovoked challenges or crises are thrown at you. Usually, the cause of your stress is not one single thing but a combination of factors. Rather than blaming the external things, look within yourself to find out what is going on to cause the feelings of stress, so you can deal with it.

3 STEPS TO DEAL WITH STRESS

  1. DECIDE!

Move beyond your comfort-zone and perceived limitations with a firm decision to grow bigger than the sources of your stress.

  1. TRUST GOD

Trusting God is foundational and will give you the confidence to grow beyond your challenges. God will build your life, step by step. He will make a way where there is no way.

  1. SPEAK LIFE-WORDS

A generous confession focuses on the positive, and faith-filled expectations will move your life forward. Be intentional with your words; the carnal nature always defaults to the negative.

God has big plans for you, but you won’t fulfil them if you stay small inside. When your capacity increases, what once caused you distress, no longer does. Developing your capacity is an ongoing journey that yields a fulfilling life.

PRAYER:

Lord, give me the courage to step outside of what is safe and comfortable as I trust You to cover me with your all-sufficient grace. Holy Spirit teach me how to grow my capacity to handle life’s challenges from a posture of trust and expectation of good. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me, even when I don’t see it. You are my refuge and my strength and with You, all things are possible!

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