Faced with real-life tests—whether to our reason or our reserves—we more easily doubt than believe, more quickly despair than trust.
But often our tentativeness to stand on the Word of God is less a lack of courage and more a lack of knowledge. We know what we’ve heard; we know what we’ve been told. But what’s the truth? What does the Bible really say? What can we grab onto by faith and never let go?
This book is an entire collection of biblical truth that deals with a specific area of life—a specific need, a specific topic, a specific place where questions have always seemed more prevalent than answers. But as each page attests, the Scripture will always provide a firm place to dig in and defend. Be sure of what’s true, and you’ll feel a lot more sure of the next step.
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Sometimes it can feel like the entire world is against us. Everything is going wrong, and we are trapped in our circumstances. We become overwhelmed by the stress of the circumstances, or the idea of the future. But stress is not the end. God is for us; and if that is true who can be against us? Our eternal reassurance in the face of conflict, rejection, worry, and stress is that God's love for us is constant. No matter what kind of stress you find yourself in, let these verses reassure you of the one who is always on your side.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the Lord sees, for humans see what is visible, but the Lord sees the heart."
1 Samuel 16:7
Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out.
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If God is for us, who is against us?
Peter began to speak: "Now I truly understand that God doesn't show favoritism, but in every nation the person who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him."
Father, I am overwhelmed with stress. I am at the point where I feel trapped in doubt and despair. Thank You for Your constant presence through the valley, and for Your acceptance of me into Your family. Turn on the light so that I can find my way out of this place of despair. Continue to hold me in Your arms and never let me go. AmenCHAPTER 2
Anger at yourself, anger at the world, anger at God; there are countless occasions for anger to rear its ugly head. It's an emotion that we all feel, and tend to feel the most often towards those we care about the most. The key is not to act out in anger, but to discover the root of your anger, and work through the grief that is left when your anger subsides. When you are overwhelmed, never let anger be in the driver's seat, it will only lead you deeper into chaos.
Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated — it can only bring harm.
A patient person shows great understanding, but a quick-tempered one promotes foolishness.
A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
"But I tell you, everyone who is angry with his brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Whoever insults his brother or sister, will be subject to the court. Whoever says, 'You fool!' will be subject to hellfire."
Be angry and do not sin. Don't let the sun go down on your anger, and don't give the devil an opportunity.
Lord, right now I am holding onto anger in my heart. Wipe this anger out of me. Give me the peace and patience that I need to forgive. Remind me daily of the forgiveness that You have given me. I'm afraid that if I let go of my anger I will not have anything left. I desire to love well, but I know I cannot do this without Your guiding hand. Grant me the wisdom to know how to handle this situation in love, and to know that letting go of my anger will not leave me empty, but give room for You to fill. AmenCHAPTER 3
Anxiety can come up in every part of our lives. Beneath our anxieties is a need to feel in control. Control is impossible, and trying to hold on to it will only leave you scrambling and stressed. Our peace is found in knowing that the Creator of the universe holds us safely in the palm of His hand and will protect us no matter the situation in which we land. Release control to God, and allow yourself to be free in His hand.
"Therefore I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing? Consider the birds of the sky: They don't sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying?"
Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don't let your heart be troubled or fearful."
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
2 Timothy 1:7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:6–7
Heavenly Father, no matter how much I wish it was not true, there are things that are outside of my control. I worry that I am not doing enough, or too much, or am not fully known or fully loved. I feel lost without some kind of control. Help me to leave my anxieties at Your feet. I entrust to You my anxieties, knowing that Your peace will guard my heart and mind. AmenCHAPTER 4
All of creation is ablaze with the beauty of the Lord. But sometimes it is easier to see than others. When you are constantly running through your to-do list, it is hard to take the time to see beauty. It is hard to imagine that anything will ever look beautiful again. And that is exactly when you need to see the beauty of God the most. Be intentional — look for it in sunsets, the night stars, and blooms of flowers. Find beauty in the midst of your chaos, and remember that God is with you.
I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking him in his temple.
I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well.
Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
You are absolutely beautiful, my darling; there is no imperfection in you.
Song of Solomon 4:7
Don't let your beauty consist of outward things like elaborate hairstyles and wearing gold jewelry, but rather what is inside the heart — the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.
1 Peter 3:3–4
Heavenly Father, I thank You and praise You for the beauty You have poured out on this earth, which heals and blesses the hearts that behold it. I am lost and need Your beauty to pull me back. Show me Your wondrous creation, and help me to never lose sight of the beauty that surrounds me, even in the darkest places. AmenCHAPTER 5
In the midst of stress it feels impossible to remember the blessings that God has placed in our lives. But even in the darkness, He is there. We can experience deep joy when we take notice of the abundant blessings in our lives and praise and thank the Lord for such bountiful grace, even in the midst of feeling overwhelmed. While running around, remember the provisions that God has given You.
"May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace."'
Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.
And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, I thank You and praise You for all the ways You have shown me mercy and grace, and I ask for the blessing of Your presence throughout this day. I know that I could not get through this time of stress without Your outpouring of grace. Give me reminders today of Your goodness. AmenCHAPTER 6
Change is frightening. Whether you are mourning the loss of a loved one, preparing to leave a home you love, searching for a job, or even just finding yourself in a new stage of life, change can bring about high levels of stress. No matter what that change is, the presence of God goes before you preparing the way. Have confidence that on the other side of this change, no matter what the new world looks like, God will be there.
There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven
"Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert."
"Because I, the Lord, have not changed, you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed."
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Lord Jesus, I do not know what the future holds for me, and it fills me with fear. I know that this stress is not the end of my story, and that You have a far greater plan ahead of me, but right now it is impossible for me to see. No matter what the future brings, may I take heart that You are with me until the end of the age. Bring me peace in the midst of this change, that I may not fear what is to come. AmenCHAPTER 7
None of us are immune from hardships, loss, and grief; but we can take heart that no matter what has happened, the Lord promises to comfort us. Sometimes He comforts us directly, sometimes through circumstances, and sometimes through the people He places in our lives. Think about the ways that God has comforted you in your times of need.
Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.
Remember your word to your servant; you have given me hope through it. This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life.
As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you, and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3–4
Dear God, thank You for comforting me and healing my heart in times of trial. I am lost in my grief and I know that the only way out is with Your comforting hand. Thank You for putting people in my life who bring me comfort. Guide me to those whom You have chosen for me as kindred spirits. Guide my actions that I may be a source of comfort for others. Use my life as a blessing for others. AmenCHAPTER 8
The Lord commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to also love our enemies — godly compassion is speaking and acting out of love in the best interests of others. Just like you would be willing to drop everything to help your dearest friend, you should be just as willing to have compassion for a stranger. This level of compassion is not possible on your own and is only possible through the Holy Spirit inside of you.
Yet he was compassionate; he atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them. He often turned his anger aside and did not unleash all his wrath.
When he went ashore, he saw a large crowd and had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Then he began to teach them many things.
Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
Lord, may Your Holy Spirit fill my heart and soul with concern for my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even enemies. Father, sometimes it is difficult for me to have compassion on those I consider deserving of their grief. Remove this hate from within me. Help me to see people the way You see them, and not through my own weaknesses. Open up my heart to the people around me that I may be a willing conduit of Your love. AmenCHAPTER 9
When we are under overwhelming stress, it can begin to eat away at our confidence. We allow ourselves to believe the lie that our worth is based upon what we can get done, and how in control we are. Remember that, no matter what challenges you may face, the power that created the universe and raised Christ from the dead lives inside of you. You have a greater power living inside of you than just your own ability to multi-task. You have the Holy Spirit.
Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.
It is not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
2 Corinthians 3:5
I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.
So don't throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will, you may receive what was promised.
This is how we will know that we belong to the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows all things. Dear friends, if our hearts don't condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive whatever we ask from him because we keep his commands and do what is pleasing in his sight.
1 John 3:19–22
Heavenly Father, my stress is getting the better of me again, and I need Your help. I feel afraid and hesitant, but I know that with Your power I have no reason to feel this way. Grant me the kind of inner strength and confidence that only comes from trusting in Your love and provision for all my needs. AmenCHAPTER 10
At home, at work, in friendships, in families, in life — contentment is hard! We are constantly looking around to see what could be better, what we are missing out on, or what we used to have. The quickest route to contentment is through gratitude and trust: gratitude to God for what He has provided you and trust that He will continue to give you everything you need. Recognize the goodness in your life. See the good, and trust that God never fails to provide for your needs.
"So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. If we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.
1 Timothy 6:6–8
He then told them, "Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one's life is not in the abundance of his possessions."
I don't say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself. I know both how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content — whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your unfailing love and faithfulness. Father, when I am lost in discontentment, push me to see all that You have provided for me. Do not allow me to continue to be blind, but open my eyes to the goodness that surrounds me exactly where I am. Grow in me a godly contentment, never wishing I was anywhere but exactly where You have placed me. Amen(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Stress: Biblical Truths that Bring Peace"
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