Stress Busters for Christians
by Emily Wickham
Stress doesn’t look pretty on me. It can cause me to feel overwhelmed and act grouchy. It also can dampen my joy … can you relate? If so, you might find some of the following stress busters helpful:
#1: WALK & PRAY
Wow. It’s incredible how much relief walking and praying provides. This meaningful way to start the day with God—talking to Him and simply enjoying His presence—isn’t necessarily a time to bring every prayer request or need before Him. But it is the perfect opportunity to open our heart, express what’s troubling us, and ask Him for help. Plus, we can use this time to ponder Scripture and ask God to reveal truth. In the midst of these communications, we also can delight in birds singing, the breeze blowing, the sun shining (or the clouds covering). This simple method of connecting with God brings joy to my spirit and eases any stress on the horizon. It helps me deal with unexpected stress as well because intimate time with the Lord calms and strengthens me.
When I’m unable to walk and pray, like today due to a sore leg, I sit at a window while I talk to the Lord. It’s not the same as walking outside, yet it still allows me the privilege of connecting with God before the day unfolds. Viewing the scenery and appreciating the colors gladdens my heart. Nature helps me feel closer to the Lord—after all, He is the Creator. And this type of interaction reminds me of King David, who sat before the Lord to pray: “Then David the king went in and sat before the LORD, and he said, “Who am I, O Lord GOD, and what is my house, that Thou hast brought me this far?” (2 Samuel 7:18, NASB).
#2 ENJOY THE PRESENT
Are you peeling potatoes or washing laundry? Crunching numbers or answering phone calls? Changing diapers, wiping runny noses, or caring for an elderly parent? Enjoying the moment—or at least appreciating the reason for the moment—provides beneficial perspective. Somehow it lifts stress by enabling us to see the purpose behind the task and feel gratitude for it. Rather than getting swallowed up in the stress of all we must do, we can look at our responsibilities with hopeful vision. The Lord Jesus Christ spent His life doing good and helping people, so we know He values our service to others. And truly, it’s really not about what we do but about whose lives we touch. Can people see JESUS in us? Let’s cherish the minutes, the hours, and the days God gives us.
#3 READ GOD’S WORD
I know, I know, reading the Bible is emphasized often and suggested for many reasons. But let’s listen. By opening the pages of God’s Word and soaking in His words to us, we’re nourished spiritually. Our minds are transformed, and we’re equipped to demonstrate God’s will: “that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). Second Timothy 3:16 explains, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” We need God’s Word. Whether we read a physical copy, listen online, or read it via an app, let’s prioritize Bible reading and watch its impact on the stress we face.
It’s also important to apply the Bible to our lives. James 1:22 exhorts us to “prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Delude themselves… what does that mean? That expression refers to deceiving oneself into thinking all is well simply because we read/heard what God’s Word says. Yet we must put truth into action. Otherwise, we’re the same as when we began to read. I want to be different—like JESUS—don’t you?
#4 REALIZE IT’S OKAY NOT TO GET EVERYTHING DONE
This is a hard one for me—especially when I’m preparing for company. I so much want everything to appear beautiful and inviting. I work hard to clean, and if a meal is involved, I try to serve something delicious. But sometimes attempting to accomplish all of this creates a lot of stress. At those crucial times, we need to evaluate what’s most important because there’s a difference between biblical hospitality and entertaining. Hospitality focuses on our guests while entertaining can linger on our presentation.
Jesus gently addressed stress when He visited in Bethany, saying, ““Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things” (Luke 10:41). Poor Martha. She had worked herself up to the point that her attitude and behavior lacked godliness. Jesus sought to redirect her attention and calm her down by explaining Mary had chosen what was better by sitting at His feet and learning from Him. Obviously, we can’t always sit with the Lord, yet it goes back to perspective. When we’ve enjoyed God’s presence in prayer, when we’ve heard from the Lord in His Holy Word, and when we’ve quieted ourselves before Him, it affects the rest of our day. We can see what would ordinarily stress us out through the filter of faith. And that can make all the difference.
STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Thanks for reading about four stress busters that help me. I pray they also will benefit you—especially as the holidays rapidly approach. Stress can attack us in this season in many forms, but let’s determine ahead of time to meet each one in a Christlike manner. JESUS communed with His Father daily, enjoyed the present, plus knew the Word while being the Word. The Lord also focused on doing what His Father set before Him—nothing more and nothing less. Christ is our perfect example of managing stress in God-pleasing ways, and He’ll help us as we seek to follow Him.
For more posts about stress, please see the following:
- Seven Ways Christians Should Deal with Stress and Anxiety by Aaron Loy
- A Refuge in Distress by Emily Wickham
In Christ’s Love,Christ is our perfect example of managing stress in God-pleasing ways, and He'll help us as we seek to follow Him. #StressBusters #Christian Click To Tweet