ESCAPING STRESS

I John 4:18 tells us that, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." (NKJ)

And, John 10:10 says, "The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (NKJ)

In these passages of scripture, it is understood that love is God and fear, or the thief, is the devil. God brings life to us and the devil brings death to us. Many times the devil brings death to us, even as Christians, in so many subtle ways. The world calls it stress. The world calls it stress, the Bible calls it FEAR. Fear actually is the root or cause of stress, and as we define fear and stress, we see that they are actually; one and the same.

FEAR is defined as anxiety caused by real or possible danger or pain. Fear is the devil and involves torment.

TORMENT is defined as great pain, anguish or anxiety; great physical or mental anguish; to annoy; to harass.

STRESS is a force that strains or deforms. Mental or physical tension; urgency, pressure, etc.

When stress is left unchecked, you end up in DISTRESS, which is defined as misery or suffering (pain); a stage of danger or trouble.

FEAR, STRESS, ANXIETY, WORRY, or TORMENT keeps us from realizing the best in ourselves, from others and from God. You end up in a downward spiral when you yield to stress and worry. So, WHY WORRY?!

*40% of worries will never happen.
*30% of worries concern old decisions which cannot be changed.
*12% of worries concern criticism made to you by people who themselves usually feel inferior and insecure.
*10% of worries are related to health, which worsens while you worry.
*8% is "Legitimate", showing that life does have real problems which can be met head on with the Word of God, eliminating ALL worry!

If that isn't enough, according the medical research, seventy-five to ninety percent of all illnesses are caused by stress (fear, anxiety, worry).

But, praise God, according to II Corinthians 4:8-9, "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed or broken. We are perplexed because we do not know why things happen as they do, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going." (TLB) In other words, the devil, fear, torment, stress, worry and anxiety cannot stop us from living a healthy, fruitful life here on earth!

Let's examine some practical thoughts that will help us get to that place in Christ where we can actually experience a life free of fear and negative stress.

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Rev. Paul A. Murray, Pastor, 996 Point Pleasant Road, Glen Burnie, MD 21060, Phone: 410.766.6620,
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