How to Eliminate Stress Part 9: Change Your Perspective

When the fig tree does not bud, and there are no grapes on the vines; when the olive trees do not produce, and the fields yield no crops; when the sheep disappear from the pen, and there are no cattle in the stalls, I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!  

Habakkuk 3:17-18 MSG

How you view things in life is very important, especially as a Christian. The world will point out everything that is wrong, but it is up to us to see the good, especially in our own circumstances. I’m going to translate verse 17 of today’s scripture in modern language in terms of how life can try to get us down:

Though my bills keep pouring in and my bank account is in the negative;

Though my workload at my job is overwhelming and people are testing my patience;

Though my enemies are plotting against me and my health is declining; 

You can substitute anything you may be going through in the scripture references above, but you get the point. As you can see, this is enough to stress anyone out, but notice what verse 18 says, “I will rejoice because of the Lord; I will be happy because of the God who delivers me!” It’s easy to get down in the dumps if you focus on the problem, but to help relieve the stress that negative circumstances will cause, you have to change how you look at it. You have to sing for joy in the midst of it, focus on God’s deliverance, stir yourself happy, and take heart! Do you notice the action verbs? You can’t just sit and be passive and expect things to change! You must take action, and it all starts in your mind and how you view your situations. Jesus says in John 16:33 that we will have trouble in the world—He guarantees it, but He told us what to do…CHEER UP! And why should we cheer up? Because He has overcome the world. I would take that personally and say, “He has overcome my problems and my circumstances!” You can’t go wrong with being positive, but being negative will only make things worse on many levels.

To train your mind to think like this will take a lot of work on your part, and it will only come through experience, trials, and tribulations. So yes, you’ll have to encounter some less than desirable situations, but with a trained mind you’ll be able to lessen the amount of stress that it would normally cause. The one reassuring fact that should automatically comfort you is “God will take care of me. Psalm 112:7 NLT) states, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.” Be the person in this verse and don’t fear, but trust in God. He will not change your circumstances if you’re faithless and operating in fear, doubt, and unbelief. This means you’re moved by what you see. In times like these you have to be moved by what you know (the fact that God will take care of you), and only then He will start working on your behalf. Will you choose to focus on the problem or on the Problem Solver?

Life is stressful, so the more we apply God’s principles to our lives and to our circumstances, the less stress we will have because we know that God is in control. You’ll get so trained in God’s Word that you won’t even notice negative situations as much because you’ll cast them all on God for Him to handle (see 1 Peter 5:7). I know for me personally if a negative circumstance has the nerve to show up, obviously I do what I can do regarding it, but then I say, “Lord, I can’t do anything else with it so I’m leaving it in your hands” and I go on about my business. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s pointless stressing over things that I can’t do anything about. When the devil tries to bring it up again, I simply remind myself “God is working on it.” I can honestly testify to you today that I hardly get stressed these days because I apply the Word of God to my life. I’m more optimistic now in the face of adversity. Let God’s Word transform your perspective on life. You’ll be a more powerful Christian that the devil will have to think twice about messing with!

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