Posted by: Larry Hoekman | May 8, 2015

Fruit of the Spirit — Stress-free Living!

Day 1973: Peace; today we continue to look at this elusive fruit!

Scripture: I must come to Jesus when I am weary and burdened down, and He will give me rest!  Matthew 11:28a   The Lord protects me from all harm; He preserves my life. The Lord watches over me as I come and go; now and forever!  Psalm 121:7,8

Thoughts/questions:  Wouldn’t it be great to hear ‘I’m so at peace’ more often than ‘I’m so stressed out’? In yesterday’s verse, Jesus said we would have tribulations – stressful situations – yet He promised peace.  So, when we declare that we are ‘stressed out’, it definitely is a road sign telling us we are not reflecting the fruit of the Spirit – peace. Spiritually, stress should be a noun in our life, not a verb, as stress should be the wrong response to pressure, not a lifestyle!

We are continuously undergoing pressure of some kind, some of which is good. The pressure of a game/deadline can bring out the best in us. BUT, when pressure results in stress, we are not experiencing God’s peace. Some practical ways to deal with pressure other than to be stressed out are to reprioritize, learn to say ‘no’ more, or have a close friend to share your concerns; but God has MORE to offer – His peace.

He wants us to know Him more; trust Him more; walk with Him more; come to Him more.  Yes, Jesus gave His ALL for us and in return desires ALL of us – sounds fair!  Then, He will give us rest/peace!  Always remember that this is the God who numbers the hair on our head, who watches over me as I come and go; now and forever; and who declares that when we seek Him first, ALL things (that includes peace!) will be added to our lives.

Life is hard; however, life’s pressures do not have to result in stress as if stress were our goal.  No, refuse to be ‘stressed out’ and give the living God of the universe all of your circumstances and let Him give you His rest/peace! (to be continued . . .)

Suggested prayer:  Jesus, I must come to You when I am weary and burdened down (stressed out), and You will give me rest and peace . . .

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