Life is full of stress. Some of the greatest stressors are death in the family, moving, divorce and finances. There are so many things that create stress in our lives. Jesus’ answer to stress was, “Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me.” John 14:1
So, how do we do that? How do we remove the stress in our lives while in the midst of it? And, how does believing in Jesus removed the troubled feelings and stress in our hearts?
I think we need to have a deeper understanding of who Jesus is in order to understand how we can not be troubled I the midst of events that are stressful.
In the same chapter of John verse 6 Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In John 10:9 Jesus says, “I am the door.” John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.” John 1:14 says “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.”
This can sound confusing. What was John talking about? He was talking about Jesus Christ. It is saying that Jesus existed before creation, He is God and dwelt with God. It is saying that He came to earth to live among us. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.”
The opposite of a troubled heart is a heart filled with peace. Here is a simple way of looking at these verses.
Jesus is the only way to the Heavenly Father. He is truth and life. Without Him we live with stress. With Him we live with peace. He is the creator so He is capable of instilling in us all that we need to live stress free lives and to live them to the fullest. Truth brings peace and sets us free from bondage that we are so used to that we do not even recognize we are in bondage to lies. Jesus is the door. If we go to Him and knock, He will open the door and let us in to His domain of freedom, truth and peace. That leads us to life, full and free.
But we still have stress. Life hands us stress on a platter and we take it in. There are two basic types of stress.
1. Events that happen such as losses. Those are very stressful. We need to acknowledge them and grieve them. If we stuff those truth based emotions, we will suffer exponentially worse and it will come out eventually in a distorted way with lie based thinking attached to it. That compounds the whole thing. The key is to work your way through it with Jesus as your companion and guide. I also add things like life changes to this category.
2. Events that happen in which we believe lies or have misunderstanding. These stressors create havoc in our lives because evil spirits love to attach to those and make them worse. In fact, the more we think on those things, the worse it gets for us. We begin to expand on the misinterpretations compounding the emotional stress.
In both types of stress we need Jesus. We need to bathe in His truth and immerse ourselves in His word and presence. 2 Cor. 10:5 admonishes us to “take every thought captive” so as to not be led astray and controlled by lies and sin. We tend to try to argue with the devil and our own thinking. That does not work. When we believe we are at fault when we are not, or we believe something about the core of who we are that does not line up with scripture, we need Christ in our hearts. The Holy Spirit was sent to us to lead us into all truth. It is through Him that we receive truth in our hearts where we can apply it.
Removing the stress in our lives means we make sure to receive truth from Christ who is the Truth and walk through it close to Him. The Holy Spirit is also our comforter. John 15 and 16 talk about the Holy Spirit being sent to us to comfort us. When our hearts are troubled, we can receive comfort from the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts.
So, to remove stress, seek truth and comfort from Jesus through the Holy Spirit. You will be able to live with a peace that passes human understanding.
How do we know when God is speaking to us? He never leads us in a direction that is not in line with scripture. Get to know the scriptures and listen to the Lord. Take all your troubles to Him. He did not promise us a trouble free life. We still live in a broken world. But, with the help of God and His truth we can be filled with peace even in the midst of stress and trouble. We do not have to take stress into our hearts.
Handing our stresses to Christ is a daily practice that will teach us how to dwell in His peace. May the peace of Christ which is beyond our human understanding, dwell in your hearts more and more fully each day as you practice living in His presence.