Have you ever had something just come out of nowhere that was so surprising that it sucked the breath right out of you? An unexpected storm of life that came upon you suddenly and threatened great damage, violence or even death? Your spouse said they want a divorce and you thought everything was good. Your doctor tells you that you have cancer and you just thought you had a cold. You lost your job right after buying a new house.
Talk about stress! These situations (and I’d venture to say we’ve all had at least a couple) are pressure-filled moments that truly test your faith in God and his word. You might be tempted to think, “this one is going to kill me” or “there is no way out of this one."
Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus understands this temptation…”He understands humanity, for as a Man, our magnificent King-Priest was tempted in every way just as we are, and conquered sin...
“Close before you doze!”
Have you heard this fun little expression about closing your bedroom door before going to sleep for safety reasons in the event of a house fire?
Well, I want to suggest to you today that you need to close some other doors in your life for spiritual and mental health reasons too.
Satan and his evil helpers have absolutely no power to destroy your life unless they can find an open door into your mind. Oh, they can bring about trouble in your life, but they can’t win unless you give them entrance into your life.
Jesus told us “In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration;” (John 16:33 AMPC) I call that pressure. Some call it stress. It’s the pressure to allow that junk inside your mind and heart. If you let it in, you have anxiety, fear, unrest, and depression.
If you don’t let it in, if you push back, you can keep toxic thinking out. You can keep thinking that goes against what...
“The devil made me do it!”
This common phrase became popular by comedian Flip Wilson and his character Geraldine who says, “The devil made me buy this dress!” She didn’t want to do it but the devil told her how good she’d look in it. Well, it might be a funny story but in light of the spiritual warfare conversation we’ve been having in the last few blogs, how much of a concern is this for us?
Stressbusting is spiritual warfare. Does this mean we look for the devil and all his demons behind every stress that happens in our life? Well, ultimately yes, the devil and people’s cooperation with him is behind everything that is wrong in this world. But in the day to day moments of the trial, troubles and problems that we face, is satan right there making it happen?
In many cases, he doesn’t need to be. Your flesh and other people’s flesh is doing it all on their own!
First of all,...
What do you think would have been the most stressful time in history to live?
Is it now with the political dramas and threats of war, the frantic pace so many people live at, and the technology that we are constantly tied to?
Would it have been during one of the World Wars when it looked like the whole world was going to kill itself? Or perhaps in the Dark Ages when there seemed like no hope and plagues ran through the town?
Have you ever considered what the stress must have been like at the time that Jesus entered the world as a baby?
Well, Jesus came to earth in a time that looked very much like our time looks...but it was actually much worse. Before Jesus came and brought salvation and the Holy Spirit, only kings and prophets had the Holy Spirit. It was a time of such darkness that we can’t understand it today. Satan was definitely the god of this world. The occultic paganism of the hour was running rampant. Spiritual oppression was so thick you could cut it with a...
Your view of stress-busting must begin with the basic foundational truth that Jesus already defeated the devil’s power in your life at the cross. The battle was won and the victory was complete. There is nothing more you can add to what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
In Colossians 2:15 we are given a vivid picture of what actually happened.
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against
us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing
over them in Him and in it [the cross].” AMPC
“And then having drawn the sting of all the powers ranged against us,
he exposed them, shattered, empty and defeated, in his final
glorious triumphant act!” Phillips
“He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority
at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.” MSG
The Greek word used for “spoiled” the enemy used in other translations is shown here as disarmed and ...
“I'm here, Satan," he said. "I can't see you, and maybe you can move faster than I can, but I'm still here, and by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit I intend to be a thorn in your side until one of us has had enough!”― Frank E. Peretti, This Present Darkness
I remember when I read This Present Darkness. It’s a captivating book. It opened my eyes up to what was happening in the spiritual realm.
I didn’t know too much about demonic activity. I hadn’t been exposed to many teachings on it or any overt operation of the devil in people’s lives. I didn’t know any person that I could tell was demon-possessed or see any casting out of demons at church.
In fact, in most places in America, we are shielded from such things. I’ve heard stories of missionaries in other countries that have seen people shapeshift and turn into snakes and werewolves. Way out there things!
In the 1920s, Hans Selye noticed that no matter what his patients were in the hospital for they all seemed to be under physical stress. He determined that this stress was coming from irregularities in the body’s function.
Others said, well, what about psychological stress such as the loss of a loved one, frustration, tending to an ill child, or work problems? And it was agreed that those circumstances could also bring on this non-specific phenomenon called stress and the very real physical reactions associated with it.
Well, if stress is a real thing then shouldn’t everyone react the same way when a stressor is present in their life? Some people are stressed by a roller coaster and others are not. Some are stressed by the idea of jumping out of an airplane and others love it. And so the study of stress was born!
Although we all have different reactions to various stressors in life, there are some things we all have in common when feeling stressed.
The recipe for stress...
When you are really stressed, your mind bounces all around. You can't focus or stay on task. You actually end up wasting a lot of time trying to remember what you were doing or where you left off on a project. Or you might say the winds of life are pushing you all around and you are feeling beaten up by the waves of problems that are crashing into you.
During these times it is helpful to remember that we are a spirit, we have a soul (your mind, will and emotions) and we live in a body. It's the soul that is being battered in life. It's the soul that needs renewed. It's the soul that needs help.
The Bible tells us in several places that we are to talk to our soul and tell it how to feel. Psalm 103: 1-2 "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
The song It Is Well, has a line in it, "So let go my soul and trust in...
I grew up in the 80s and there was a popular song out called We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister. Now, no need to write me letters because I’m not saying that I love the band or their meaning behind this song. The song, however, has been featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials repeatedly. Dee Snider, the writer of the song, says he’s happy if the song is used, “any time that the team is down by two, or somebody had a bad day at the office, they're gonna stand up and sing We're Not Gonna Take It.”
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, where are you going with this Donna? This doesn’t seem like your usual Christian blog subject. I mean, Twisted Sister???
The body of Christ today is standing up in greater and greater numbers to say, “We’re not gonna take it anymore.” We’re tired of being stressed out, beaten up by life, feeling defeated at every turn. We’re not going to just sit...
You’ve heard the phrase, “It’s like riding a bike.” Maybe you told a friend I haven’t been skiing in years and your friend says, “Come on, it’s easy, it’s like riding a bike.” You can fill in the blank. I haven’t ____ in years. I haven’t taught a class, quilted, fished...you name it and the likely response would be, “There’s nothing to it, it’s a piece of cake, it’s like riding a bike.”
Nowadays I’m more likely to take the piece of cake over a bike ride but I certainly rode a bike “back in the day.” What do we mean by this phrase, “it’s like riding a bike”? We can’t just mean that something is easy. Do you remember learning to ride a bike or teaching your child to ride a bike? It’s not easy, is it? It takes time, practice and determination. If we can add in a person to help us and give us advice and guidance...