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Stress Management

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV)

Have you noticed all the training resources in 'soft management skills'. At considerable cost, businesses are teaching their staff: people matter more than things; that how you do things matters as much as what you do; how to handle other people's aggression; and how to prevent internal stress from crippling the individual and the business. All good stuff (mostly!), but hardly original. Jesus demonstrated how to do it all perfectly and the Bible has been training the followers of Jesus to live like Him for 2000 years. It is simply normal Christian discipleship.
 
Today's verse, reminds us that anxiety affects Christians. Even the Apostle Paul admitted to ministering in weakness and fear (1 Corinthians 2:3): it is a part of our human frailty, our internal corruption and the destructive potential of the world in which we live. But the Christian is commanded to handle it differently. Yes, some people have an easier temperament than others, whether they are Christians or not: but without the certain knowledge of a loving caring Heavenly Father, they have no other resource except themselves. However, the born-again believer is never alone, and has the massive benefit of being able to give all fears and worries to the Lord.
 
Salvation that comes by Jesus Christ, is not to make us nicer, but to transform our hearts - the very place where fear wants to roost like a vulture. A new confidence comes, not through psychological tricks but simply by knowing that we are loved, and cared for, by God. A teenager once told me, "It is a privilege to be loved by somebody as special as God!" This Christian certainty comes from the objective evidence of the Scriptures and the subjective assurance by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15, Galatians 4:6). But this knowledge needs to be used! If He cares, and He certainly does, then entrust your fears (many of which are lies from Satan to destabilise us) onto the Lord. The verse says every anxiety, not just some, should be deposited with God. Trust Him to resolve the issues behind your anxieties, and then you can get on with your service for Him, unhindered and joyful.
 

Prayer 
Faithful God. Thank You for this invitation to transfer all my anxieties to You, so that You take the responsibility of dealing with them. Help me to keep trusting that You will work in power, to dismiss Satan's lies from my mind and to deal with people and circumstances, so that You will be glorified and that I will know Your blessing. For Jesus Christ's sake, Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams

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