17th October 2018

Be Still and Know - 'Though Our Bodies Are Dying, Our Spirits Are Being Renewed Every Day'

(from www.premierchristianradio.com)

 

Welcome to our daily devotional. We hope you will be blessed by Dr Micha Jazz's inspiring thoughts every Monday - Friday.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

 

'That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.'

 

What practical responses can we make once we have acknowledged our stress? Evidence reveals that most stressed people turn to alcohol, nicotine, sugar and caffeine, in that order. These are stimulants that may give the feeling of addressing stress, but none of them do. For example, alcohol in small quantities acts as a stimulant but then becomes a depressant.

Stress reveals itself when the demands we face exceed the personal and social resources we can muster to address those demands. This leads to exhaustion and a downward mood swing. We become irritable, angry and restless.

In my late 20s, working flat out as an evangelist and pursuing a punishing ministry schedule, I exchanged balanced rhythms of life for delivering work-related outcomes. I lived to work and forgot how to live. One morning I woke and was unable to get up. Exhausted, no matter how hard I tried to push myself, my energy tanks were empty. I crashed and burned. For six months I was sidelined, the harsh reality of failing to address my stress. I failed to learn my lesson fully and slowly went back to a crazy life built upon my work and a need for affirmation. The ministry drive encouraged me to “burn out rather than rust out”. Powerful as that sounds, what if we burn out 30 years before God’s appointed time?

Our life is lived to the glory of God. We can find the way of living that acknowledges and addresses stress, while also achieving a healthy work/life balance. Managing stress is not to be work-shy, as some claim, nor is it to admit to a self-limiting weakness. Instead, it is to agree with God about the reality of our humanity, to recognise the nature of our pressure and to take our rest in God.

 

QUESTION: What do you do when your stress levels are high?

 

PRAYER: Lord, help me to know my limits and know your limitless grace.


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