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;  Continue reading

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Truth or Convenience?

A few days later Felix and his wife, Drusilla, who was Jewish, sent for Paul and listened to him talk about a life of believing in Jesus Christ. As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment, Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him. “That’s enough for today. I’ll call you back when it’s convenient.”      

(Acts 24:24-25 MSG emphasis added)

People today would rather hear what sounds good rather than what will benefit them and help them grow. Sadly, telling the truth in this day and age is more like a sin than lying. Wanting to hear what always feels good does more damage than hearing the heartbreaking truth. We can only grow when we know the error of our ways and only hearing the truth will do this. People draw back when the truth is spoken. They withdraw from people, places (church), activities (Bible reading), and God when confronted. We love convenience too much to the point where we are in jeopardy of Godly living. We want to interpret and twist facts to help benefit our individual agendas. We actually stifle our own growth by doing these things. In today’s scripture, Paul was trying to explain to Felix how to live right before God and his people, discipline, and God’s soon coming judgment. Paul was sent away until a more convenient time because what Paul was telling him was hitting the wrong cords for Felix. When we do things like this, we are setting ourselves up to live a life of deception. Everything will not always be easy, and it surely won’t always feel good, but we’ll never grow in God if we don’t hear the hardcore truth daily. The more we run from the truth, the more the devil can use and deceive us. Ultimately, this sets us up to live a life of bondage.  Continue reading

How to Eliminate Stress Part 8: Tackle Financial Debt

“The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get”

Proverbs 21:20 NLT

A lot of people’s stress comes from money problems, which can lead to stress in other areas of their lives. Some of our financial difficulties come from the demands of life, but honestly, most of the problems stem from not budgeting, living beyond our means, and not controlling our fleshly desires. We put a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves for these very reasons. It really boils down to not wanting to do what the Bible says regarding money and wanting to spend whatever you want to spend. If you have this mentality you’ll have stress your whole life.  Continue reading

What the Devil Really Wants

“…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10 KJV (emphasis added)

The world is full of “things.” People work hard for them, go to great lengths to protect them, and will sometimes do anything to get them. Having “things: makes people feel good and they can give a feeling of accomplishment and prestige. When the devil comes against you, he’s not after your “stuff.” Think about it, why would he be? He’s a spirit being so he doesn’t need to take tangible things from you. Rather, he’s interested in taking something much more powerful—your joy and your strength. The devil will throw attacks at you that will make you doubt if God is really on your side and protecting you.  Continue reading

How to Eliminate Stress Part 6: Stop Trying to Fight

not your battle

He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!”

2 Chronicles 20:15, 17 NLT (emphasis added)

One way we add stress to our lives is by trying to handle what only God can handle. I am guilty of this myself, even to this day, but I am getting better. I think unless you’ve had a strong upbringing in the Lord, people typically operate by using Him as a last resort. We tend to try to figure things out ourselves first and then if what we planned doesn’t work, then we turn to God. What we need to realize is that we need to go to God FIRST and let Him direct us on the path we should take (see Proverbs 3:5-6). When we get involved, we cause more mess and then it becomes a vicious cycle which usually ends with God getting the blame at the end. It’s funny how we blame God for something that he had absolutely nothing to do with (both the problem and the solutions that we cooked up on our own).  Continue reading

10 Bible Verses & Tips to Get You Through a Tough Day

Make a Conscious Decision to Have a Good Day

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:24 NLT emphasis added)

Take Control of What You Let Bother You

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.] (John 14:27 AMPC emphasis added)

Control What You Think About

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. (Philippians 4:8 AMP emphasis added)

Control What You Say

“People who want to live a full life and enjoy good days must keep their tongues from saying evil things, and their lips from speaking deceitful things.” (1 Peter 3:10 GW)

Lean on God

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16 NLT)

Be Thankful

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT emphasis added)

Know the Power Working in You

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV emphasis added)

Know that God is Always with You

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT emphasis added)

Stop Worrying about What Hasn’t Taken Place Yet 

“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 TLB)

Pray Your Way Through the Day

Never stop praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT)

How to Eliminate Stress Part 2: Cast Your Care

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Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].

1 Peter 5:7 AMP (emphasis added)

Another way we add stress to our lives is by spending countless hours trying to figure out what only God has the answer to. This doesn’t mean that when a situation arises that you just sit and do nothing, but what it does mean is that you leave the outcome to God. Your job is to do what you can do in the natural, but most importantly, do what you can do in the spiritual realm as well. This includes praying, speaking God’s Word on the matter, seeking God’s face, etc. Believe it or not, operating in the spiritual realm produces more results than anything you can do in the natural. Continue reading

How to Eliminate Stress Part 1: Ask for Help

asking-for-help

For apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 NLT

We can eliminate a lot of stress in our lives if we truly believe what Jesus said to His disciples…you can’t do anything without Him. I believe people fall into many different categories as to why they try to handle life on their own. I know for me personally, even though I always knew about God, I really didn’t know that I can go to Him for everything, and because of this, I didn’t. Once you truly know what you have, the need to be independent and do everything yourself subsides because you realize that no matter what you do, if God isn’t in it, it won’t work. When we try to do what only God can do, not only do we mess things up, but we cause unnecessary stress on ourselves.  Continue reading

This Too Shall Pass

it will get betterEven when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

Psalms 23:4 TLB

 

There are times when life gets the best of us and we just want to throw in the towel. Sometimes our circumstances just seem to never end or get better. Everything that happens in life happens for a reason. James 1:2-3 states that our trials are meant to test our patience, bring us into perfection, and to help us grow spiritually. Today’s scripture shows that the Psalmist is going through a very trying time, but the key is he is walking “through” it.  He did not say that he was stuck in it, but because He is focused on God, he knows that with God, the only option is to get through it victoriously. We have a tendency to say, “I’m going through it right now,” but if Jesus is on your side, thank God you’re going through with Him.  Just imagine people who do not have Jesus on their side. They’re in their mess without Him, if they make it out at all. God will always be with us and guide us through anything that we encounter. His Word and His promises are our comfort. We can be happy in the midst of turmoil because God is our refuge.   Continue reading

Like a Child

beautiful-child-happy-kid-Favim.com-121743Then Jesus called the children over to him and said to the disciples, “Let the little children come to me! Never send them away! For the Kingdom of God belongs to men who have hearts as trusting as these little children’s. And anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get within the Kingdom’s gates.”  Luke 18:16-17 TLB

Children are a beautiful example of the simplicity of life. They don’t have a care in the world and they put their complete trust in their parents. They’re not worried about if they will eat, if they will have clothes to put on, if the bills are paid, if they will have a roof over their head, or what problems are going on in the world. Each day is a day of excitement and God wants your life to be the same way. This is not to say that you just blow off your responsibilities and go through life oblivious. In contrast, what a childlike mentality does mean is that you wake up each day trusting God with everything that concerns you and believe that He will take care of you. You give every care to Him and enjoy your days like you don’t have a problem in the world. Now that’s simplicity at its finest.  Continue reading