In spite of these statistics about the effect of chronic stress, the reality is that stress is actually a GIFT from God.
- STRESS SAVES: The original design for stress on our bodies was the thwart us into Fight or Flight mode! While the human body may no longer be fighting wild animals in the wilderness, we do still need to be ready to react quickly in a hairpin turn!
Think about the Father’s that can magically reach out and grab their children’s head before they crash to the ground. Think about your quick reactions to avoid the oncoming car crash. Think about all those times where you “didn’t think about it” you just “reacted!” Those are all the saving graces of STRESS which uses our Sympathetic Nervous System to SAVE us.
- STRESS SIGNALS: God uses stress all the time to help guide us in the right direction. Specifically in the form of FAILURE, God will redirect us in and out of situations with the help of stress. An abundance of chronic stress is a signal that we are doing things in OUR WILL, not GOD’s WILL.
Often, we are even subconsciously creating additional stress for our lives. Holding on to both guilt and unforgiveness for example, will subconsciously add stress to our lives and bodies. Additionally, expecting other people in our lives(like our spouses, significant others or even children) to fill a roll that only God can fill will also add subconscious stress. Stress is a gift that God gives us that will SIGNAL that we need to reconnect and realign with Him. It’s our CHOICE whether we do that or not.
- STRESS is SEASONAL: As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Stress can definitely come in seasons. When we have a season of CHANGE, this causes stress. When we have a season of SORROW, this causes stress. I am in a season of START-UP and am challenged by learning new things in new cities with new relationships, and all this can cause STRESS. But the Bible also tells us that we “reap what we sow,” both the good and the bad. What we sow in one season, we won’t reap until another season. So while you might feel stressed right now from learning something new or through this phase in your life, you will be rewarded in a new season sometime soon of the rich harvest of blessings from this work you are putting in. This is building your character of ENDURANCE. (I even wrote a blog about 10 Bible verses that help you endure more if you want to check that out HERE).
The other side of the coin is true too. You might also be feeling the stress from the ramifications of having made poor choices in previous seasons. But, instead of guilting yourself from past mistakes, choose to accept your consequences, pray for forgiveness and plant new seeds that align with how God calls you to live TODAY. Plant seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) These will reap the greatest of rewards “30, 60, 100 times over.” (Matthew 13)
- STRESS SERVES: There are some stressful situations that God designed for your life. Things you didn’t choose for yourself but God chose for you so He could build in you the character He needs you to have to fulfill the Greater Purpose He has designed for you. The stress serves as a test for your life, a way that you can grow your Faith and Trust in God. Bishop T.D. Jakes spoke about this “frustration” and why God had allowed His chosen people (the Israelites) to endure hundreds of years of slavery under the Egyptian reign before being led out by Moses. Bishop Jakes said, “The more frustrated the environment, the more FRUITFUL the individual.” (To listen to his podcast sermon, click here.) How very true!
God doesn’t care about your circumstances nearly as much as He cares about your character. So while your stress might be an uncomfortable position to find yourself in, it’s designed to be temporary and well worth the character value it will reward you with. Your CHOICES determine just how temporary this phase is.
But you gain your #godpower when you learn the key to you using this GIFT from God. Your success in life is not about your CIRCUMSTANCES but about your CHOICES.
In Love and Health,