In this video interview with former EPM staffer Julia (Stager) Mayo, we discuss stress and finding help in Scripture:
Stress is a part of everyone’s everyday life. I know it’s part of my life every day. It’s not a question of whether I’m stressed; it’s a question of how stressed I am. Where do you turn to in the Bible when you’re under stress?
I think of 1 Peter 5:7 where it says, “Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you.” God is intimately involved in our lives. He cares for us. He’s there for us. I think about His indwelling Holy Spirit. Not only the Holy Spirit, but Christ Himself—the hope of glory, the Son of God—indwells us. His promise is, “I will be with you always.”
In terms of Scripture, I go to the last five chapters of Job. They are very much like staring into the Grand Canyon or being out under the night sky and just looking up at the stars, because of the greatness of God. For instance, in Job the Lord says, “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? I will question you, and you shall answer me. Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Surely you know.”
He goes on to say to Job, “I’ll ask you, for you have lived so many years.” God was being sarcastic with Job (which is a way we can justify our sarcasm with each other. This is what we’ve been looking for!).
But to me, it’s a huge reminder that God is so big. The thing I would say is, don’t think so much about yourself. Think about God.
Absolutely. We have such an opportunity to trust God in this life. I can barely see two steps ahead of me. So if I try to see two steps ahead of me, I’m going to get distracted and become vulnerable to attacks from the enemy. But if I just focus on the present and trust in God’s provision for us (like He says He will), then my stress level usually comes down.
Exactly. And you just hit on another characteristic of God—His omniscience. He knows everything. He knows the end from the beginning. And He promises He will work all things together for good for those who love Him. And that means, in the midst of the most stressful thing we have ever experienced or will ever experience, God is in it, and He will use it for our good.
Now that brings an eternal perspective when you’re under stress.