8/8/07

Smooth Out the Knots of Stress

Does stress have you tied in knots? For years, I tired my friends with constant complaints—''I'm so overwhelmed … I'm so stressed out. '' One day I realized that God was not pleased by my responses, and I asked Him to help me make wiser choices so I could live in greater freedom and, as a result, honor Him.

According to ''The Stress Epidemic,'' more than 19 million Americans suffer from stress. Dealing with stress is a way of life for the world, but Christians do not have to respond to stress as the world does. John 16:33 (Amplified Bible) tells us that we will indeed have ''tribulation and trials and distress and frustration'' in life, but we can take heart because we do not need to face these things alone. God wants to help us.

Whatever the source of our stress, we can make two choices. First, we can choose our ATTITUDES. We can respond to circumstances with calmness, clarity, cheerfulness, courage, and confidence when we trust God and obey His Word. Second, we can choose our ACTIONS toward the sources of our stress. We can pray, review our schedules and activities to be sure that we are only doing those things God has called us to do, say ''no'' to those things that are outside of God's will for us, and then move forward with confidence to accomplish God's purposes in our lives.

Experiencing stress today? If you're tied in knots, smooth them out by choosing the attitudes and actions that will please God and reflect His work in your life.

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