Believe it or not, friend, God wants His children to be at peace and to be stress-free. He gives us a direct approach to achieving a stress-free life.
Psalm 4:4-5 - "...when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD."
Although there are many, many verses that will direct you to how God wishes to give His children this stress-free life, I chose Psalm 4 because I have lived this verse. I have tested God's words, and have found them to be absolutely true. God wants us to test Him...not tempt Him...test Him.
His instructions to us to find the peace and stress-free life we need, is really as simple as it is to become a child of the King.
When you are on your beds...all stressed out, be silent and focus on the Lord.
Offer right sacrifices to Him means to obey His words. Obeying His words means you are in His Word, the Bible, every day, and honoring and doing all that He tells us to do.
Then, TRUST in Him. Trust that He will do all that He says He will do in His Word.
This is the most difficult thing for Christians to do because we have no patience and we want instant gratification from God. He won't do it that way.
God has taught me to listen to His words, which include, "Take no thought for tomorrow."
The reason He instructs us not to take any thought about tomorrow is because He wants us to TRUST HIM for the daily needs of tomorrow, and in so doing, we learn how to achieve peace and stress-free time for TODAY.
Jesus told us to ask God to "Give us THIS DAY...our daily bread", meaning please provide what we need for today. We will trust you for tomorrow...same as when God provided manna from heaven for one day at a time to the Israelites.
Think about it...if we truly ask God to just supply all of our needs for TODAY, as He promises us He will do IF WE FIRST SEEK HIM EACH DAY, then all we need to "worry about" is today.
What I have learned, through trials and times of testing that God graciously allowed me to go through, was first to have patience. "Tribulation worketh patience".
After I learned patience, God did begin to supply the needs for ONE DAY.
If I ask myself, Do I need to pay a certain bill TODAY, or worry about a certain thing TODAY, the answer is always NO. I used to always worry about the things which were looming on the horizon! I know that you do, too.
How I broke through that stress barrier, was learning to take God at His word. He told me NOT TO WORRY about tomorrow...just focus on today until midnight.
I can tell you that I sleep like a baby now...even after having a cup of black coffee!
I used to wake up about every hour or two worring about "boogie men" that Satan always will throw our way...to distract us from getting into God's Word, the Bible each day. Satan wants to distract us from worshipping God, and from serving Him.
He wants to distract your attention away from things of God...for obvious reasons...Satan hates God and all that He and you stand for.
So, first we must learn to totally TRUST GOD that His words are true.
Then, when you learn to TRUST GOD for just the needs of today, He will show you how to face everything that Satan tosses at you...and usually it comes to us in the form of some giant FEAR.
By the way, BEFORE Satan lobs a fear weapon in your direction, his first line of attack appears not to be a distraction at all...but it IS. And, his first line of offensive weapons to be used against you is to ENTICE YOU away from the things of God.
"Hey, Mary...look at this great looking guy at work...he's paying attention to you. You don't get this look at home...do you Mary, honey?"
Then, when you take the bait, you will discover that this handsome, but married, "Brad" suddenly sits at your lunch table, and he begins to talk with you. "Your husband doesn't pay that much attention to you, but boy, this handsome Brad seems to be very interested in what you have to say, Mary!"
It's a trap! Satan's strength is observing your life, and he discovers what all of your weak spots are. That's exactly where hie hits you. Don't think for a moment that Satan doesn't have your number...he does!
Of course, if you are stronger than he thinks, his second weapon to be used against you is the FEAR tactic. Oh, his FEARS are always large and looming.
"Here's a summons, Fred. Some lady is suing you because that truck you sold her on eBay broke down, so now she wants you to pay thousands in repairs." "You can't afford it, Fred, so now what are you going to do?"
Poor Fred! He now has to choose to sweat out a looming court case, and take time to prepare for it...or he can choose to turn it over to God, and let God handle it.
When Fred tests God out, he will discover that he can TRUST GOD to take care of the situation. "All things work out for good to those who love the Lord." Romans 8:28.
We have been given the spirit of trust and peace - not of FEAR. When FEAR comes your way...KNOW THAT IS IS NOT SENT BY GOD.
Read that sentence again if you must because it is absolutely true...GOD DOES NOT BRING FEAR YOUR WAY....Satan does. God may allow him to do it because you might need some instruction in your life to keep you close to God...if you have chosen that route.
When Jesus was speaking with Peter, the apostle...before His resurrection, Jesus said, "Peter, Satan HAS ASKED to sift you like wheat." Satan must get permission to do anything to a child of God, so know that.
I have been taught that I do not ever have to fear Satan...EVER! He cannot do anything to me that God cannot either eliminate...or make a way through it for me. It all involves TRUST.
Proverbs 3:5 and 6 are regularly read words of wisdom from Solomon. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge God, and He will make your paths straight."
God is the only one I know of who can see over the next mountain and around the next bend. He is the only one who can see tomorrow, and who knows all about what your needs and mine are - yet He tells us to just ask for things for today - until midnight.
If you can truly do that, don't you think you, too, would be able to sleep...in peace - tonight?
It's an aquired perspective, and it comes from trusting God first...then seeing Him work, then building your confidence and trust even more. It's an ongoing project that will last for your lifetime while you are here on the planet.
Stress...or peace? It's all about choices.
John Tyler, Author
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