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It was a busy Monday morning and Fancie felt stressed as she rushed to get ready for work.  She spilled her coffee on the counter, couldn’t find her keys, and knew traffic would be a mess.

“I can’t deal with this today!” she thought, as negative thoughts flooded her mind.

Just then, she remembered the sermon she heard last Sunday about finding peace amid stress. The pastor had read Jesus’ words:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you…”

John 14:27 (NIV)

Fancie took a deep breath and prayed, asking God to help her replace the negative thoughts with His peace.

She felt a calmness come over her and was reminded that even when life feels stressful and chaotic, Jesus offers us unshakeable peace if we come to Him.

Fancie drove to work grateful that no matter what happened today, she could choose peace instead of stress.

She couldn’t wait to learn more practical tips at the women’s Bible study on Wednesday night on dealing with stress God’s way.

1. Evaluate Your Commitments

Evaluate Your Commitments

A great place to start dealing with stress is to evaluate all that you currently have on your plate. Make a list of all your regular activities and commitments.

Then prayerfully evaluate each one – is it bearing good fruit in your life right now? Or has it become more draining than life-giving?

Ruthlessly eliminate anything that is no longer beneficial. Prune your schedule down to only what’s essential.

Jesus’ friend Mary knew the importance of this. While her sister Martha busied herself with housework, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to listen and spend time with him (Luke 10:38-42).

When stressed Martha complained to Jesus about Mary not helping, He gently corrected her:

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Sometimes you need to stop, reevaluate, and simply sit at Jesus’ feet for awhile.

2. Learn to Say No

Learn to Say No

Even if it disappoints someone, learn to say no when you need to. When your heart is screaming “no!” to overwhelming demands on your time, listen!

It’s not selfish to set healthy boundaries and limits. You must guard your peace.

The enemy uses guilt and “people pleasing” to pressure us into overload. But trying to keep everyone else happy while you’re miserable doesn’t honor God or benefit anyone.

Peter and the other apostles replied: We must obey God rather than human beings!”

Acts 5:29 (NIV)

Say no to preserve your peace of mind.

3. Focus on Influencing Yourself, Not Others

Focus on Influencing Yourself, Not Others

Trying to change or pressure the people around you will only cause you more stress. Their choices are beyond your control.

Instead, influence yourself by staying peaceful and prayerful.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Ask God for wisdom in relating to challenging people, but don’t blame them for “stealing your peace”. We choose whether to be upset or not.

Jesus didn’t argue or force his beliefs on people. He shared the truth, loved people, and allowed them the freedom to respond.

Follow his example, and you’ll avoid much stress and conflict.

4. Practice Shrug Therapy

Practice Shrug Therapy

When minor annoyances come your way, simply shrug and say, “Oh well”.

Catch stress in the beginning phases before it escalates into something bigger. Know your own “peace stealers”, and let small things roll off your back.

Spilled milk, heavy traffic, a thoughtless comment – decide these will not ruin your day.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV)

Keep the peace by refusing to get upset over every little thing.

5. Be Yourself

Be Yourself

Trying to be someone you’re not is exhausting! Comparing yourself to others and attempting to keep up with them causes nothing but stress.

God designed you wonderfully unique – embrace it.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Psalm 139:13 (NIV)

Stay in your lane and don’t apologize for marching to the beat of your own drum.

6. Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life

Don’t merely survive life; actually, enjoy it! Set aside time for relaxation and activities that recharge you.

Get a massage, read a novel, or watch a funny movie. Laughter heals the heart and reduces stress.

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22 (ESV)

Avoid the temptation to overschedule every spare minute. Time to regroup keeps you from burning out.

Remember to stop and smell the roses along life’s journey!

7. Care For Your Body

Care For Your Body

Getting enough sleep, water, exercise, and healthy food reduces the effects of stress.

Your physical health impacts your emotions, concentration, energy level, and attitude.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.

1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)

Care for your body, and it will better handle life’s demands.

Even a short daily walk relieves stress and clears your head. Trade soda for water and sugary snacks for fruit and veggies. Prioritize sleep – turn off screens and go to bed earlier.

Caring for your body relieves anxiety and equips you to manage challenges.

8. Prioritize Time with God

Prioritize Time with God

Carve out a few minutes every day to sit in God’s presence through prayer and Bible reading.

Hurrying through devotions just adds more stress. Instead, meditate on verses and allow God’s truths to become a personal revelation, not just information.

“Meditate on it day and night so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Joshua 1:8 (NIV)

Jesus often withdrew from busy crowds to pray and be alone with his Heavenly Father.

Make time for this daily spiritual regrouping to gain proper perspective. God’s nearness relieves anxiety:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.”

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

9. Live a Balanced Life

Live A Balanced Life

Being out of balance increases stress. Follow common-sense practices like saving a little, spending a little on enjoyment, and giving a little.

Handle finances wisely. Set healthy work boundaries. Alternate work and fun. Don’t take on too much at once – make gradual changes as needed.

The Bible encourages us to live a balanced life:

“Show good sense and use discernment and prudent behavior doing what is right and good.”

Titus 2:12, Proverbs 1:3

Staying within your limits and balancing obligations prevents burnout. Keep adjusting as life changes to maintain a proper equilibrium.

10. Slow Down

Start Your Sabbath Celebration

Busyness and anxiety are not new issues – Jesus addressed them over 2,000 years ago.

Like him, take time to sit at God’s feet amid the rush of life. Don’t get so caught up in doing that you neglect simply being with him.

“Jesus often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.”

Luke 5:16 (EHV)

Limit doing “too much” by slowing your pace, limiting distractions, and leaving a margin in your schedule.

Fix your eyes on eternal priorities rather than getting overwhelmed by the temporal. Refuse to let this fast-paced world pressure you into a frantic, stressful lifestyle.

In Summary

The Prince of Peace has already equipped us to live in peace, despite the stressors around us.

As you apply these biblical practices, you’ll experience His promised peace guarding your mind and emotions. You can’t eliminate all stress, but you can prevent it from ruling your life.

Determine to walk in God’s freedom from anxiety each day. Don’t merely survive – thrive!

Instead of being controlled by stress, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your source of perfect peace.

Key Takeaways

  • Evaluate commitments and eliminate unnecessary ones.
  • Set healthy boundaries and learn to say no.
  • Focus on influencing yourself, not trying to change others.
  • Refuse to get upset over minor frustrations.
  • Stay true to who God made you to be.
  • Make time for laughter, fun activities, and rest.
  • Care for your body through proper sleep, nutrition, exercise, and hydration.
  • Prioritize regular time in prayer and God’s Word.
  • Maintain balance in all areas of life.
  • Slow down and find a margin in your schedule.
  • Keep your eyes on Jesus, not the circumstances. He is your source of peace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What if I’ve tried these things, but still feel super stressed?

A. It may take time for practical changes to relieve stress built up over years. Be patient and don’t give up.

Also examine additional root causes like unresolved anger, lack of purpose, or not knowing your identity in Christ.

Seek godly counsel and support. Healing happens gradually.

Q. How can I relieve stress quickly when I feel overwhelmed?

A. Try deep breathing – breathe in slowly through your nose, hold briefly, then exhale through your mouth.

Repeat a simple prayer or encouraging verse. Go for a short walk outdoors. Listen to relaxing worship music.

Talk to a trusted friend. Self-care helps calm the nervous system fast.

Q. What are signs I may need more help, beyond just practical tips?

A. If fatigue, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, etc. persist despite lifestyle changes, seek a doctor or counselor’s care.

Things like clinical anxiety or depression may require additional treatment like therapy and/or medication along with spiritual help.

Don’t hesitate to get extra support if needed.

Q. How can I help a stressed-out friend or family member?

A. Listen without judging. Suggest practical changes without preaching. Offer to help in specific ways like providing meals, childcare, or help with errands.

Share uplifting Scriptures and pray together. Recommend counsel if they seem open to it. Loving support makes a difference!

Q. Are there benefits from stress I should be aware of?

A. Positives like motivation and alertness only come from low to moderate stress. High or chronic stress is harmful, lowering immunity, aging cells faster, and increasing disease risk.

Manage stress before it becomes toxic. God’s peace protects us from the damage of distress.

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