Duration: 365 days
CONFIDENCE IN TIMES OF DISTRESS (PSALM 46:1-11)
Most of us feel distraught at some point in our lives. When stress in daily living becomes unbearable, we want to escape. We may want out of jobs, relationships, a church, a neighborhood or some other difficult situation. We think we can’t handle things the way they are because they cause us too much stress, so we decide to walk away. Move on. Head for anywhere but where we are.
What does the Bible have to tell us about how to handle stress? How are we to respond when our fallen human nature cries out for us to stop and run?
God has a powerful truth for us. We do not handle stressful situations by fighting against them; instead, God calls us to be at rest in him. To the psalmist, this meant being still and knowing God (Ps 46:10). To the apostle Peter, it meant refusing to carry burdens not meant for him: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1Pe 5:7). Jesus described it as a peacefulness that we both find and receive as we spend time learning from him (Mt 11:28– 30). Our human instinct clamors for us to escape—but God calls us to draw near and absorb the truths of Scripture.
Most of all, the Lord wants us to know him. As we believe in his sovereignty (1Ch 29:11) and accept both the absolute goodness of his plans (Jer 29:11) and his deep, abiding love for us (Eph 3:17–19), we will grow in trust. Then we will find it easier to “be still” and not to respond like the world, which says, “I’m out of here!”
Our stress need not become distress. When we feel stress, we do not have to feel defeated and give in to the temptation to give up and run. With an accurate understanding of our heavenly Father and a firm belief in his care, we will be able to walk through the worst of circumstances with inner quietness (Gal 5:22) and genuine confidence (Heb 13:6).
That is our privilege as God’s children.
Taken from NIV Charles Stanley Life Principles Bible©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing