I don’t handle stress well. I recently discovered that I was suffering dizzy spells because of tension I carry in my shoulders. At physical therapy, I learned some stretches to help relieve this tension. But the best stress relief comes from the Lord, from the comforting truths of the Bible. Here is a brief list that I return to often to help relieve stress.
1. You are not God. You have no idea what’s going to happen—only God does. He is in control, not you. Don’t be so foolish to worry about things you have no control over. God loves you, He’s always with you, He’s in charge.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21)
2. The most important command is to love God and love your neighbor. If you jump to judgment or let tiny things annoy you and create anger and hatred inside you, you are certainly not obeying what Jesus said is the most important commandment. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Jesus taught that the person we think is our enemy, the person who is different from us—the Samaritan—that’s our neighbor. Love that person as you love yourself.
“Jesus replied, ‘The most important commandment is this: “Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these.’” (Mark 12:29-31)
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,” (Colossians 1:11)
“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” (Luke 10:36-37)
3. When you have worries and fears, give them over to the Lord. Don’t hold on to them for yourself. There’s nothing you can do about any situation except to live in obedience to God. Worrying about things, judging, being fearful—that’s living in disobedience to God.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” (Psalm 27:1)
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (Philippians 4:6)
4. Trust that God will take care of all the things you feel responsible for. It’s better in God’s hands than yours.
“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” (Psalm 55:22)
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” (Matthew 11:28)
“I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 46:4)
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.