By Dr. Ed Young
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing the same way over and over again, and expecting different results. The problem is, when it comes to the high levels of stress and anxiety we experience, too many of us keep on trying to cope in all the same ways that have never worked for us in the past. And the bad news is that it’s literally killing us.
Did you know stress causes over half the deaths of people who die before they’re 65? Plus, some sources say 80 percent of people who see their doctor feel sick because of stress.
But the truth is, God has a better way for us to leave the stress behind and live in His peace. Before I share that secret, let’s examine some of the most common stressors we face…
Stressor No. 1: Ambition. We put pressure on ourselves to get more, have more, be more. Some parents create schedules for their children that would kill an adult – music lessons, recitals, sports, grades, parties – and it creates stress for everyone!
Stressor No. 2: Storms. Some storms are very real: a challenging health diagnosis… a family breakup… something you couldn’t anticipate. But so much of what we spend anxious hours worrying about never actually comes to pass. As Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
Stressor No. 3: Appetites. God has drawn loving boundaries around your life; and when you move outside of His boundaries to satisfy your appetites, stress comes… grows… and builds. Insatiable, driving appetites you cannot satisfy can lead you to live a lifestyle filled with stress.
Stressor No. 4: Procrastination. When you put things off, you keep your life cluttered up… creating more stress!
Now, I know you’re eager to ask, “Well, Dr. Young, how do I let go of all the stress and anxiety I feel?” I’m going to give you the answer very simply from a proven truth in God’s Word. Psalm 46:10 says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Take a deep breath and just stop for a moment. Ask the Lord to show you what you are trying so hard to do or to be that is bringing you stress. Paul says in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” So what should you do when you are feeling stressed?
Two things: pray and give thanks! And look what happens: “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
God’s Word provides a proven way for you to overcome stress and the irrational responses it causes in your life.