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Living without Bad Stress

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

There is difference between eustress which is a term for positive stress, and distress which is term for negative or bad stress. Eustress is a healthy, positive, cognitive response to a stress that gives a person a fulfilled feeling. Eustress is based more on how a person perceives the stress more than the actual stress itself. Distress typically causes fear, worry, agony, and other negative emotions. Satan strives to fill us with distress by using things that we cannot directly control such as the economy, violence, natural disasters, and disease. Satan’s goal is to create bad stress in our minds, because bad stress gives us fear that tends to pull us away from God. This kind of stress also has a negative effect on our minds and health.

Going through eustress may be uncomfortable, but it leads to growth. An example would be when the Lord disciplines us, and he disciplines everyone because no person is perfect. The discipline is uncomfortable but we know that God is molding us to be more like Jesus, so the eustress has divine meaning; therefore, we endure it with hope, vigor, and a positive attitude.   And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This verse is very comforting if we trust the Lord because it tells us no matter what happens in our lives, God will use it for our good; to be more Christ-like, to have more endurance, to depend on the Lord more, and to be eternally minded.

Distress caused by Satan is fear caused by attacking our security in this world. Distress can also come from tragedies such as death, sickness, or family and friends walking away from God. God sustains us if we are close to the Lord and see him as our Master. By living free as his servant, his power and love will comfort us more than we can imagine. Also, the more eternally minded we are, the better we handle distress.

Now distress comes from fearful things that we cannot control; however, God is sovereign over everything and with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). If we surrender to the Lord, showing the faith that pleases him, then we can walk through this life guided by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit helps us to make Godly wise choices, and to depend on the Lord for our worldly and eternal security. The Lord is willing to guide us through life, taking away the thing that makes us fearful – depending on ourselves. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

Today recognize eustress and distress, and face both with a positive attitude as Christ leads you in victory and sustains you through anything in life. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). If you trust the Lord with all your heart, he will take your stress, but if you lean on your own understanding, you will be stressed out.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to trust you with all my heart and to have the faith that pleases you. Guide me to be your humble servant and to be an encouragement to everyone, so that they can put their hope in Christ and not have to live with fear and bad stress. In Jesus name, Amen