Stressed Out

By Lee Young

Friday night IMPACT is learning about stress and how to deal with it so we can live free.

Week One:
Scripture - 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
Bottom Line - God cares for you, so you can give your worries to Him.

Week Two:
Scripture - Proverbs 29:25 NLT
Bottom Line - God keeps you safe, so you can trust in Him.

Week Three:
Scripture - Acts 16:25 NIV
Bottom Line - God knows your future, so you can find joy in Him.

The three truths are simply: God cares, God is safe, and God has a plan.

As a kid who grew up in a safe and loving environment, I have never doubted these truths. Jesus Loves Me was a mainstay song in my Sunday School years. 

As we talk to youth about God, some of them for the first time, I have come to realize that this is not the reality for many. Many do not know that God cares, that He is safe, and that He has a plan. For most outside the church, and some inside, God is distant, irrelevant and NOT in control.

I have been reminded time and time again over this past 2 years that when I am worried or stressed or filled with anxiety, I am imagining a future where God isn’t in control. For me, all I need to know to be able to cast my cares and worries and stress on Jesus, is that He has a plan. That He will be present in the unknown future that has me up at night. I am not a person who worries about the past and I tend to deal with crisis of the present pretty well. It is the future that can get me all in knots of stress and fear. I can imagine too many of the terrible possibilities of each action, of each decision. These fictitious scenarios in my mind then gain traction as I give them the time they need to become likely or probable. Yet, when I recognize the truth that God is in control and that He has a plan, I am able to give up the worries and relax in Him. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

For others, stress comes from believing that God has abandoned them. He is just too busy, too important, too distant to even care about the mundane details of a single life here on earth. Yet Jesus taught that God sees us as valuable and worth caring for. (Matthew 6:25-27)

For others God is terrifying. He is untrustworthy and vindictive. He is a vengeful God who is full of darkness and despair. Yet John teaches us that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

God cares for you deeply
God is safe and trustworthy
God knows your future and has a plan

Worry and stress are real. They are not new to 2018, they are a part of our human frailty when we rely on ourselves more than God.

Practical advice from the apostle Paul:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

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