Real Stress and Anxiety Relief God’s Way
by Harvey L. Diamond
The ever increasing pace of our society has caused stress management to become a leading concern. Moms have popped stress relief pills since they were created, and men have always ventured to places like the gym, golf course, fishing stream or hunting range. All forms of entertainment can provide temporary relief, and then again, the local tavern has always been a place of relief for weary souls. Now we have computer games and all sorts of electronic gadgetry to keeps our minds busy. But, do we have peace in our souls?
Life will always throw curve balls at us. Events like natural disasters, terrorist activities and economic shifts, however, will continue to advance the effects of stress. How we respond will make all the difference.
We can take all sorts of preventative measures to counter the effects of stress and anxiety, and plan our best defensive actions. We can learn to cope with stress and manage it to our advantage. Nonetheless, stress will advance its ugly tentacles our way, adding new pressures every day.
For that reason, God too continues to advance His cause of calling hearts unto Him. For, He has always had the solution and remedy to relieve the weary soul from stress. It was He, after all, who created us.
While there are many who may point to God’s word as a place to discover “how to” find relief from stress or “what to do” about it, less understand the nature of God and way God works. For, as His word in fact says, His ways are not our ways, but higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8)
Truly, stress is not unknown to God. He does have real answers and real solutions because He created us! Please believe me, this is not meant to be a cliché. With faith in His word and real solutions from the Holy Spirit, one can find real relief from stress. God wants us to seek Him, however, for His solutions.
One individual who encountered extreme levels of stress was David. He spent years running through the wilderness to save himself from the pursuit of Saul. His enemies were real to him. So was pain of heart. His “prayer diary” reflected in the Psalms record His engagement with God about it. Listen to these few snippets. Hear him pour out his heart.
I am weary with my groaning;
All night I make my bed swim;
I drench my couch with my tears.
Save me, O God!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
Where there is no standing;
I have come into deep waters,
Where the floods overflow me.
I am weary with my crying;
My throat is dry;
My eyes fail while I wait for my God.
David knew, however, that God was his source of relief. The Holy Spirit was a real Comforter to him. Hear the response of his heart.
But I have trusted in Your mercy;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;
Your right hand has held me up,
Your gentleness has made me great.
You enlarged my path under me,
So my feet did not slip.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock….
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Engaging with God His Way to Relieve Stress
Stress is a form of bondage. God is the business of delivering people from bondage. His love compels Him to do so. The beginning of being set free from stress comes when we discover that anxiety is largely caused from fear of the future. We worry about tomorrow, and allow fears to dominate. Such can include fear of loss or failure. God's solution is to trust Him and find rest of soul in His Spirit. His Son paid the price with His life to give you peace for your future. Receive His rest. His burden is light and His way is easy.