Praise is the Antidote to S.T.R.E.S.S
Christians know that the word stress shouldn’t be in our vocabulary. I mean, with Scriptures like Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 55:22, Psalm 16:8 we know that God doesn’t want us to get stressed out over a situation or a person. And it’s all true. The Bible is truth and God is the source of peace of minds.
But, what do we do in those situations in life where anxiety and stress are running at us with full force and they seem to catch us? There’s only so much a human can take in trying to center one’s mind on Scripture but stress seems to still ensue….
This year has been filled with professional challenges, challenges that have dragged out and that are still ongoing. There were days that my breathing was so short, which resulted in headaches by the end of the day. I was swimming in stress, while at the same time trying to rise above and center my mind on Scripture verses, or engaging in prayer but sometimes unable to concentrate, and taking long walks. I was doing my best to push into God despite my situation.
The thing about stress or stressful situations, they aren’t from God. God will allow them to happen so that we can learn something from them, whether we’re in the wrong or the wrong is being done to us.
There was one night in February this year, the stress of my situation was so unbearable and I was unable to sleep, so I got up in the middle of the night and started talking to God, and then my talking turned in to praising God. That’s it! Praising God is the antidote to stress! There’s really something to it.
In the midst of my situation, the devil has been hoping I’d lose my mind. In fact, someone in the same situation as me, a year before, in my professional circle had. She had to leave work and was admitted into the mental hospital. And I said to God, “that won’t be me because your Word says you keep those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You- help me!” The devil cringes with anger when we turn our stress, our trials, or our pain into praise. There’s really something to turning stress into praising God.
Remember good ole Job. When he found out he lost his land, possession and even his children, what did he do? He worshiped:
Trials and challenges are inevitable (John 16:33) but allowing the situation to stress you out is your choice. There are some situations that are very hard and deep, and I don’t pretend to dismiss them by saying you should do this or that. God knows what each of us are carrying, and He meets us where we are. Sometimes all we can do is take a day at a time. But, there is something in the midst of the storm to getting up out of the bed, opening our mouths and start praising God for His goodness. I have found that it is only God that I have kept my peace this year, and most of that is because I just get up and start praising Him uncertain of where my situation is going.
In the praise there will be a shift, as you welcome in the Holy Spirit to fill your mind with peace and His presence. Your situation may not change for some time. But, praise will take the edge off and God is looking at us in the storm, looking to see where our hearts are, and if we trust Him to see us through. So, hang on, don’t get stressed out because that’s where the devil is, in the storm ready to take us out. Be strong, open your mouth and start praising!
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." -John 16:33