A few months ago, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper those four words. I thought it interesting that He didn’t say, “Learn to manage your stress,” or “Find ways to de-stress.” That’s what the world would tell us.
No, He said eliminate stress. That means eradicate it. Make it extinct. How do we do that? There’s only one way I know, and that is to find the peace that comes from fixing our mind on Jesus. Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever.”
Sometimes that’s easier said than done, especially in these days in which we live. But I assure you it does work, because God’s Word is just as effective today as it was back then. Stress can be caused by a number of things, such as fear and worry, lack of trust in God, and uncertainty about the future, so decide today to cast your cares on the Lord through prayer and leave them there!
Stress can also be caused by strife, due to the inability to get along well with others. There are several things that can greatly interfere with healthy, godly relationships, but two come to mind quickly. One is pride and the other is control. “By pride comes nothing but strife,” according to Proverbs 13:10. God wants us to humble ourselves, so that strife in our relationships can be eliminated. This will help eliminate much of the stress which strife constantly produces.
There is another factor that often works hand-in-hand with pride, and that is control. It happens when we try to take away another person’s free will and force them to do what we want them to do. There are so many ways that people try to manipulate and control others, but the only way to stop a controller is to stop allowing it. Just say no – more than once, if necessary. Keep saying no until they get the message. God never takes away our free will, and neither should we do that to anyone else.
Another way to eliminate stress and strife is to not take on false responsibility for others. There’s a fine line between helping those who truly need help and enabling those who just want to be irresponsible and dependent on others. Bear one another’s burdens when they are unable to bear them, but if a person is able to bear his own load, let him bear it.