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How to Relieve Stress the Biblical Way (Part 1)

How to Relieve Stress the Biblical Way (Part 1)

While the Bible doesn't provide a specific outline on how not to be stressed, it does offer numerous verses and principles that can help you find peace and calm in difficult situations.

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Modern Church leader
Category
Faith
Publish date
September 2, 2023
Author
Dean Sweetman

One in three people in America say they feel “extreme stress.” And nearly half of all people have trouble sleeping because of stress. Clearly, stress is an epidemic! 

While the Bible doesn't provide a specific outline on how not to be stressed, it does offer numerous verses and principles that can help you find peace and calm in difficult situations.

In the following article, I’ll give you 4 keys that can help you relieve stress God’s way. These are principles that have proven to be true in my own busy life as a pastor and now as a CEO of a large company. They are founded on the Word of God, and they never fail!

P.S. I’ll be sharing 3 additional keys next week….so stay tuned!

1. Trust in God

2. Focus on the present moment

3. Seek God's peace

4. Develop a grateful attitude

5.Let Go of Your Burdens

6.Meditate on God's Word

7.Find Support in Community

1. Going Deeper: Trust in God

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7: "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."

Trusting in God is a central theme in the Bible and a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. It involves placing your confidence and hope in God's wisdom, power, and goodness, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity. When you trust in God, you acknowledge that He is in control and that His plans and purposes are greater than your own. 

Here are some ways to develop and deepen your trust in God:

1. Recognize God's sovereignty: Understand that God is in control of all things and that He has a plan for your life. Trusting in God's sovereignty means believing that He is working for your good, even when circumstances may not seem favorable (Romans 8:28).

2. Cultivate humility: Trusting in God requires humility, as it involves recognizing the limits of your own understanding and abilities. Acknowledge that God's wisdom is far beyond your own, and submit to His guidance and direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. Pray regularly: Prayer is a powerful way to build trust in God. Share your concerns, fears, and needs with God, and ask for His guidance and wisdom. By doing so, you demonstrate your reliance on Him and invite His peace into your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

4. Reflect on God's faithfulness: Remember how God has been faithful in the past, both in your life and in the lives of biblical figures. Reflecting on His faithfulness can help strengthen your trust in His continued care and provision (Psalm 77:11-12).

5. Read and meditate on Scripture: The Bible is filled with stories of God's faithfulness and promises. Spend time reading and meditating on these passages to strengthen your trust in God (Psalm 119:105).

6. Surround yourself with believers: Engaging with other Christians who trust in God can provide encouragement and support. Share your experiences and learn from others as you grow together in faith (Hebrews 10:24-25).

7. Practice patience: Trusting in God often involves waiting on His timing. Be patient and steadfast in your faith, even when you don't see immediate answers to your prayers (Psalm 27:14).

By focusing on these practices, you can develop a deeper trust in God, enabling you to navigate life's challenges with greater peace and confidence. Trusting in God does not mean that you won't experience stress or difficulties, but it does mean that you can face them with the assurance that God is with you and working for your good.

2. Going Deeper: Focus on the present moment

Matthew 6:34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Focusing on the present moment is an important principle in the Bible, as it helps you to manage anxiety and stress. By directing your attention to the here and now, you can reduce unnecessary worry about the future and concentrate on what is within your control. 

Here are some ways to practice focusing on the present moment based on biblical teachings:

1. Be mindful of God's presence: Acknowledge that God is with you in every moment, guiding and sustaining you (Psalm 46:1). By being aware of His presence, you can find comfort and strength in your daily life.

2. Cultivate contentment: Learn to be content in your current circumstances, trusting that God will provide for your needs (Philippians 4:11-12). Practice gratitude for the blessings you have and avoid comparing your situation to others (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. Prioritize daily prayer and reflection: Spend time each day in prayer, meditation, or reflection, focusing on your relationship with God and seeking His guidance for the day ahead (Psalm 5:3).

4. Break tasks into manageable steps: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of your responsibilities, break tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and focus on completing one task at a time (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

5. Embrace the present as a gift: The present moment is a gift from God, an opportunity to grow in faith, love, and service. Embrace each day as a new opportunity to fulfill God's purpose for your life (Psalm 118:24).

6. Practice letting go of worry: When you find yourself worrying about the future, remind yourself of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:34. Recognize that worrying about the future will not change the outcome, and instead, focus on trusting God and doing your best in the present.

7. Seek God's will for each day: As you focus on the present, continually seek God's guidance and direction for your daily actions and decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6). By submitting to His will, you can find peace and purpose in the present moment. By implementing these practices, you can learn to focus on the present moment and reduce unnecessary stress and worry. While you cannot control everything that happens in life, you can choose how to respond to each situation and trust in God's guidance and provision.

3. Going Deeper: Seek God's peace

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Seeking God's peace is a vital aspect of the Christian faith and an effective way to manage stress and anxiety. The peace that God offers is not the same as the temporary or superficial peace that the world provides. God's peace is a deep, abiding calmness that comes from a close relationship with Him and reliance on His promises. 

Here are some ways to seek God's peace in your life:

1. Develop a personal relationship with God: Cultivate a close relationship with God through prayer, worship, and Bible study. A strong personal connection with God enables you to experience His peace more fully (James 4:8).

2. Trust in God's promises: Familiarize yourself with the promises of God in the Bible and remind yourself of them regularly. By trusting in God's promises, you can find peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances (2 Corinthians 1:20).

3. Surrender your worries to God: When you feel overwhelmed, bring your worries and concerns to God in prayer. By surrendering your fears and anxieties to Him, you invite His peace into your life (1 Peter 5:7).

4. Meditate on Scripture: Spend time reflecting on Bible verses that speak of God's peace, such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3. Allow these verses to permeate your thoughts and influence your perspective.

5. Practice forgiveness and reconciliation: Unresolved conflicts and unforgiveness can be significant barriers to experiencing God's peace. Seek forgiveness from others when needed and be willing to forgive those who have wronged you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

6. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Focus on the blessings in your life and express gratitude to God for His goodness and provision. A grateful heart can help foster a sense of peace and contentment (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

7. Seek the support of fellow believers: Connect with other Christians who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you maintain a focus on God's peace. A supportive community can be invaluable in times of stress or difficulty (Hebrews 10:24-25).

8. Practice spiritual disciplines: Engage in spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and worship, which can help you draw closer to God and experience His peace more deeply(Psalm 46:10).

By actively seeking God's peace and integrating these practices into your daily life, you can experience a sense of calm and tranquility that transcends your circumstances. God's peace is not dependent on external factors but is rooted in your relationship with Him and your trust in His love and care for you.

4. Going Deeper: Develop a grateful attitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Developing a grateful attitude is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and a powerful way to combat stress and anxiety. A heart filled with gratitude focuses on the blessings in life, leading to a more positive mindset and a deeper sense of contentment.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude based on biblical teachings:

1. Count your blessings: Make a conscious effort to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life, both big and small. Reflect on the ways God has provided for you, and thank Him for His love, grace, and care (Psalm 103:2).

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Set aside time each day to write down the things you're grateful for. This practice can help you develop a habit of recognizing and appreciating God's blessings regularly (Psalm 9:1-2).

3. Practice gratitude in difficult circumstances: Even in challenging situations, try to find aspects for which you can be grateful. This might include personal growth, lessons learned, or the support of others (Romans 5:3-5).

4. Praise and worship God: Engage in regular worship and praise, expressing gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done in your life (Psalm 100:1-5).

5. Share your gratitude with others: Encourage and uplift those around you by sharing your gratitude with them. This can foster a positive atmosphere and inspire others to be grateful as well (Ephesians 5:19-20).

6. Pray with thanksgiving: Make gratitude an integral part of your prayer life. Thank God for His blessings and express your appreciation for His presence and guidance (Philippians 4:6).

7. Serve others: Show your gratitude to God by giving back and serving others. Volunteering your time, talents, or resources is a tangible way to express your appreciation for God's blessings in your life (Galatians 5:13).

8. Cultivate contentment: Strive to be content with what you have, trusting that God will provide for your needs and focusing on His faithfulness rather than material possessions (Hebrews 13:5).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a grateful attitude that brings joy, peace, and a deeper appreciation for God's blessings. Gratitude can transform your perspective, helping you navigate life's challenges with a more positive outlook and a greater sense of God's presence and provision.

5. Going Deeper: Let go of your burdens

Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Letting go of your burdens is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy spiritual life and reducing stress. Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest. He promises that when we take His yoke upon ourselves, our burdens will be lighter, and we will experience peace and rest for our souls.

Here are some ways to let go of your burdens based on Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

1. Recognize your need for Jesus: Acknowledge that you cannot carry your burdens on your own and that you need Jesus' help and strength. This recognition can help you develop a posture of humility and dependence on Him (John 15:5).

2. Bring your burdens to Jesus in prayer: Be honest with Jesus about your struggles, worries, and fears. Share your concerns with Him in prayer, trusting that He cares for you and wants to help you (1 Peter 5:7).

3. Surrender control: Letting go of your burdens involves surrendering control over your life and circumstances to Jesus. Trust in His wisdom, love, and power, believing that He can handle your concerns better than you can (Proverbs 3:5-6).

4. Take on Jesus' yoke: Accept Jesus' invitation to take His yoke upon you, which means submitting to His guidance and direction in your life. This involves seeking His will, following His teachings, and relying on His strength (Matthew 11:29).

5. Learn from Jesus: As you take on Jesus' yoke, make an effort to learn from His example of gentleness and humility. Cultivating these qualities can help lighten your burdens and bring you peace (Philippians 2:5).

6. Rest in Jesus' presence: Find solace and comfort in Jesus' presence by spending time in prayer, worship, and meditation on His Word. Allow His peace to permeate your heart and mind, providing rest for your soul (Psalm 62:1).

7. Share your burdens with others: Connect with fellow believers who can support and encourage you, helping to lighten your load. Be open to receiving help, and be willing to help others in their time of need (Galatians 6:2).

8. Remember Jesus' promise: Remind yourself of Jesus' promise that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Trust that He will provide the strength, wisdom, and resources you need to navigate your challenges (Isaiah 40:29-31).

By practicing these steps, you can let go of your burdens and experience the rest and peace that Jesus offers. As you surrender your worries and concerns to Him, you can find strength and comfort in His presence and guidance, ultimately leading to a lighter, more peaceful life.

6. Going Deeper: Meditate on God's Word

Joshua 1:8: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and Successful."

Meditating on God's Word is a powerful practice that can help you grow spiritually, gain wisdom, and find peace in the midst of life's challenges. By regularly reflecting on Scripture, you can deepen your understanding of God's will and strengthen your relationship with Him.

Here are some ways to meditate on God's Word based on Joshua 1:8:

1. Read Scripture daily: Make a habit of reading the Bible every day, even if it's just a few verses or a chapter. Regular exposure to God's Word will provide you with a wealth of material for meditation (Psalm 1:2).

2. Memorize Scripture: Choose key verses or passages to commit to memory. Having Scripture stored in your heart and mind will make it easier to meditate on and apply to your daily life (Psalm 119:11).

3. Reflect on the meaning: As you read and memorize Scripture, take time to reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life. Ask questions, make connections, and seek understanding through prayer and contemplation (Psalm 119:15).

4. Apply Scripture to your life: Consider how the biblical principles and teachings can be applied to your current circumstances, relationships, and decisions. Reflect on how you can live out the Word of God in your daily actions (James 1:22).

5. Pray over Scripture: As you meditate on God's Word, pray for guidance and insight. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding and help you apply the truths of Scripture to your life (John 16:13).

6. Use different methods of meditation: Try various approaches to meditating on Scripture, such as journaling, visualization, or lectio divina (a method of reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in God's Word). Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you (Psalm143:5).

7. Share with others: Discuss the insights you gain from meditating on God's Word with friends, family members, or fellow believers. Sharing your reflections can help deepen your understanding and provide encouragement for others (Colossians 3:16).

8. Be consistent: Meditating on God's Word is most effective when practiced consistently over time. Make it a priority in your daily routine, and you will reap the benefits of spiritual growth, wisdom, and peace (Psalm 119:97).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a habit of meditating on God's Word, which will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of God's will and a stronger relationship with Him. As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you will find guidance, comfort, and strength to navigate life's challenges and grow in your faith.

7. Going Deeper: Find support in community

Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." By applying these principles, you can find peace and overcome stress through faith, trust, and reliance on God's promises.

Finding support in community is an essential aspect of the Christian life and an effective way to manage stress and navigate life's challenges. God designed us to live in relationship with others, and being part of a community allows us to give and receive support, encouragement, and guidance.

Here are some ways to find support in community based on Galatians 6:2:

1. Join a local church: Connect with a local church or faith community where you can worship, learn, and grow together with fellow believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

2. Participate in small groups: Engage in Bible studies, prayer groups, or other small group gatherings where you can develop deeper relationships and share your life with others (Acts2:42).

3. Offer support: Be willing to help others by listening, offering encouragement, praying for them, or providing practical assistance. As you support others, you'll often find that you also receive support in return (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

4. Be vulnerable: Share your struggles, doubts, and fears with trusted friends or members of your faith community. Opening up allows others to support and encourage you in your journey(James 5:16).

5. Seek counsel and guidance: When facing difficult decisions or challenges, seek the advice and wisdom of more experienced believers who can provide guidance and support (Proverbs 15:22).

6. Pray together: Join with others in prayer, both for personal concerns and the needs of the community. Praying together strengthens your faith and fosters a sense of unity and support (Matthew 18:19-20).

7. Serve together: Engage in acts of service, both within your faith community and in the larger community around you. Serving others can help build strong relationships and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment (1 Peter 4:10).

8. Encourage spiritual growth: Support one another in your spiritual journey, challenging and encouraging each other to grow in faith, knowledge, and obedience to God's Word (Colossians 1:28).

By actively participating in a faith community and nurturing relationships with fellow believers, you can find the support and encouragement you need to navigate life's challenges. Carrying each other's burdens is a fundamental aspect of living out the law of Christ, and it fosters a sense of unity and love within the Christian community. As you both give and receive support, you'll experience the strength and comfort that comes from being part of the body of Christ. 

These are 4 ways that have helped to navigate the ups and downs of life in leadership. But they also apply to any follower of Christ, whether they are working full-time, staying at home to raise children, or settling into retirement.

AUTHOR
Dean Sweetman
http://get.tithe.ly

Dean Sweetman is the co-founder and CEO of Tithe.ly. Before launching Tithe.ly, Dean was involved in ministry for more than 30 years. During this time, he planted over 50 churches and raised millions of dollars to spread the gospel, equip leaders, and see lives transformed by Jesus. When Dean is not encouraging his team and helping churches grow, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

One in three people in America say they feel “extreme stress.” And nearly half of all people have trouble sleeping because of stress. Clearly, stress is an epidemic! 

While the Bible doesn't provide a specific outline on how not to be stressed, it does offer numerous verses and principles that can help you find peace and calm in difficult situations.

In the following article, I’ll give you 4 keys that can help you relieve stress God’s way. These are principles that have proven to be true in my own busy life as a pastor and now as a CEO of a large company. They are founded on the Word of God, and they never fail!

P.S. I’ll be sharing 3 additional keys next week….so stay tuned!

1. Trust in God

2. Focus on the present moment

3. Seek God's peace

4. Develop a grateful attitude

5.Let Go of Your Burdens

6.Meditate on God's Word

7.Find Support in Community

1. Going Deeper: Trust in God

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7: "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."

Trusting in God is a central theme in the Bible and a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. It involves placing your confidence and hope in God's wisdom, power, and goodness, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity. When you trust in God, you acknowledge that He is in control and that His plans and purposes are greater than your own. 

Here are some ways to develop and deepen your trust in God:

1. Recognize God's sovereignty: Understand that God is in control of all things and that He has a plan for your life. Trusting in God's sovereignty means believing that He is working for your good, even when circumstances may not seem favorable (Romans 8:28).

2. Cultivate humility: Trusting in God requires humility, as it involves recognizing the limits of your own understanding and abilities. Acknowledge that God's wisdom is far beyond your own, and submit to His guidance and direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. Pray regularly: Prayer is a powerful way to build trust in God. Share your concerns, fears, and needs with God, and ask for His guidance and wisdom. By doing so, you demonstrate your reliance on Him and invite His peace into your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

4. Reflect on God's faithfulness: Remember how God has been faithful in the past, both in your life and in the lives of biblical figures. Reflecting on His faithfulness can help strengthen your trust in His continued care and provision (Psalm 77:11-12).

5. Read and meditate on Scripture: The Bible is filled with stories of God's faithfulness and promises. Spend time reading and meditating on these passages to strengthen your trust in God (Psalm 119:105).

6. Surround yourself with believers: Engaging with other Christians who trust in God can provide encouragement and support. Share your experiences and learn from others as you grow together in faith (Hebrews 10:24-25).

7. Practice patience: Trusting in God often involves waiting on His timing. Be patient and steadfast in your faith, even when you don't see immediate answers to your prayers (Psalm 27:14).

By focusing on these practices, you can develop a deeper trust in God, enabling you to navigate life's challenges with greater peace and confidence. Trusting in God does not mean that you won't experience stress or difficulties, but it does mean that you can face them with the assurance that God is with you and working for your good.

2. Going Deeper: Focus on the present moment

Matthew 6:34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Focusing on the present moment is an important principle in the Bible, as it helps you to manage anxiety and stress. By directing your attention to the here and now, you can reduce unnecessary worry about the future and concentrate on what is within your control. 

Here are some ways to practice focusing on the present moment based on biblical teachings:

1. Be mindful of God's presence: Acknowledge that God is with you in every moment, guiding and sustaining you (Psalm 46:1). By being aware of His presence, you can find comfort and strength in your daily life.

2. Cultivate contentment: Learn to be content in your current circumstances, trusting that God will provide for your needs (Philippians 4:11-12). Practice gratitude for the blessings you have and avoid comparing your situation to others (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. Prioritize daily prayer and reflection: Spend time each day in prayer, meditation, or reflection, focusing on your relationship with God and seeking His guidance for the day ahead (Psalm 5:3).

4. Break tasks into manageable steps: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of your responsibilities, break tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and focus on completing one task at a time (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

5. Embrace the present as a gift: The present moment is a gift from God, an opportunity to grow in faith, love, and service. Embrace each day as a new opportunity to fulfill God's purpose for your life (Psalm 118:24).

6. Practice letting go of worry: When you find yourself worrying about the future, remind yourself of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:34. Recognize that worrying about the future will not change the outcome, and instead, focus on trusting God and doing your best in the present.

7. Seek God's will for each day: As you focus on the present, continually seek God's guidance and direction for your daily actions and decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6). By submitting to His will, you can find peace and purpose in the present moment. By implementing these practices, you can learn to focus on the present moment and reduce unnecessary stress and worry. While you cannot control everything that happens in life, you can choose how to respond to each situation and trust in God's guidance and provision.

3. Going Deeper: Seek God's peace

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Seeking God's peace is a vital aspect of the Christian faith and an effective way to manage stress and anxiety. The peace that God offers is not the same as the temporary or superficial peace that the world provides. God's peace is a deep, abiding calmness that comes from a close relationship with Him and reliance on His promises. 

Here are some ways to seek God's peace in your life:

1. Develop a personal relationship with God: Cultivate a close relationship with God through prayer, worship, and Bible study. A strong personal connection with God enables you to experience His peace more fully (James 4:8).

2. Trust in God's promises: Familiarize yourself with the promises of God in the Bible and remind yourself of them regularly. By trusting in God's promises, you can find peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances (2 Corinthians 1:20).

3. Surrender your worries to God: When you feel overwhelmed, bring your worries and concerns to God in prayer. By surrendering your fears and anxieties to Him, you invite His peace into your life (1 Peter 5:7).

4. Meditate on Scripture: Spend time reflecting on Bible verses that speak of God's peace, such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3. Allow these verses to permeate your thoughts and influence your perspective.

5. Practice forgiveness and reconciliation: Unresolved conflicts and unforgiveness can be significant barriers to experiencing God's peace. Seek forgiveness from others when needed and be willing to forgive those who have wronged you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

6. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Focus on the blessings in your life and express gratitude to God for His goodness and provision. A grateful heart can help foster a sense of peace and contentment (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

7. Seek the support of fellow believers: Connect with other Christians who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you maintain a focus on God's peace. A supportive community can be invaluable in times of stress or difficulty (Hebrews 10:24-25).

8. Practice spiritual disciplines: Engage in spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and worship, which can help you draw closer to God and experience His peace more deeply(Psalm 46:10).

By actively seeking God's peace and integrating these practices into your daily life, you can experience a sense of calm and tranquility that transcends your circumstances. God's peace is not dependent on external factors but is rooted in your relationship with Him and your trust in His love and care for you.

4. Going Deeper: Develop a grateful attitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Developing a grateful attitude is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and a powerful way to combat stress and anxiety. A heart filled with gratitude focuses on the blessings in life, leading to a more positive mindset and a deeper sense of contentment.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude based on biblical teachings:

1. Count your blessings: Make a conscious effort to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life, both big and small. Reflect on the ways God has provided for you, and thank Him for His love, grace, and care (Psalm 103:2).

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Set aside time each day to write down the things you're grateful for. This practice can help you develop a habit of recognizing and appreciating God's blessings regularly (Psalm 9:1-2).

3. Practice gratitude in difficult circumstances: Even in challenging situations, try to find aspects for which you can be grateful. This might include personal growth, lessons learned, or the support of others (Romans 5:3-5).

4. Praise and worship God: Engage in regular worship and praise, expressing gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done in your life (Psalm 100:1-5).

5. Share your gratitude with others: Encourage and uplift those around you by sharing your gratitude with them. This can foster a positive atmosphere and inspire others to be grateful as well (Ephesians 5:19-20).

6. Pray with thanksgiving: Make gratitude an integral part of your prayer life. Thank God for His blessings and express your appreciation for His presence and guidance (Philippians 4:6).

7. Serve others: Show your gratitude to God by giving back and serving others. Volunteering your time, talents, or resources is a tangible way to express your appreciation for God's blessings in your life (Galatians 5:13).

8. Cultivate contentment: Strive to be content with what you have, trusting that God will provide for your needs and focusing on His faithfulness rather than material possessions (Hebrews 13:5).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a grateful attitude that brings joy, peace, and a deeper appreciation for God's blessings. Gratitude can transform your perspective, helping you navigate life's challenges with a more positive outlook and a greater sense of God's presence and provision.

5. Going Deeper: Let go of your burdens

Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Letting go of your burdens is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy spiritual life and reducing stress. Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest. He promises that when we take His yoke upon ourselves, our burdens will be lighter, and we will experience peace and rest for our souls.

Here are some ways to let go of your burdens based on Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

1. Recognize your need for Jesus: Acknowledge that you cannot carry your burdens on your own and that you need Jesus' help and strength. This recognition can help you develop a posture of humility and dependence on Him (John 15:5).

2. Bring your burdens to Jesus in prayer: Be honest with Jesus about your struggles, worries, and fears. Share your concerns with Him in prayer, trusting that He cares for you and wants to help you (1 Peter 5:7).

3. Surrender control: Letting go of your burdens involves surrendering control over your life and circumstances to Jesus. Trust in His wisdom, love, and power, believing that He can handle your concerns better than you can (Proverbs 3:5-6).

4. Take on Jesus' yoke: Accept Jesus' invitation to take His yoke upon you, which means submitting to His guidance and direction in your life. This involves seeking His will, following His teachings, and relying on His strength (Matthew 11:29).

5. Learn from Jesus: As you take on Jesus' yoke, make an effort to learn from His example of gentleness and humility. Cultivating these qualities can help lighten your burdens and bring you peace (Philippians 2:5).

6. Rest in Jesus' presence: Find solace and comfort in Jesus' presence by spending time in prayer, worship, and meditation on His Word. Allow His peace to permeate your heart and mind, providing rest for your soul (Psalm 62:1).

7. Share your burdens with others: Connect with fellow believers who can support and encourage you, helping to lighten your load. Be open to receiving help, and be willing to help others in their time of need (Galatians 6:2).

8. Remember Jesus' promise: Remind yourself of Jesus' promise that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Trust that He will provide the strength, wisdom, and resources you need to navigate your challenges (Isaiah 40:29-31).

By practicing these steps, you can let go of your burdens and experience the rest and peace that Jesus offers. As you surrender your worries and concerns to Him, you can find strength and comfort in His presence and guidance, ultimately leading to a lighter, more peaceful life.

6. Going Deeper: Meditate on God's Word

Joshua 1:8: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and Successful."

Meditating on God's Word is a powerful practice that can help you grow spiritually, gain wisdom, and find peace in the midst of life's challenges. By regularly reflecting on Scripture, you can deepen your understanding of God's will and strengthen your relationship with Him.

Here are some ways to meditate on God's Word based on Joshua 1:8:

1. Read Scripture daily: Make a habit of reading the Bible every day, even if it's just a few verses or a chapter. Regular exposure to God's Word will provide you with a wealth of material for meditation (Psalm 1:2).

2. Memorize Scripture: Choose key verses or passages to commit to memory. Having Scripture stored in your heart and mind will make it easier to meditate on and apply to your daily life (Psalm 119:11).

3. Reflect on the meaning: As you read and memorize Scripture, take time to reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life. Ask questions, make connections, and seek understanding through prayer and contemplation (Psalm 119:15).

4. Apply Scripture to your life: Consider how the biblical principles and teachings can be applied to your current circumstances, relationships, and decisions. Reflect on how you can live out the Word of God in your daily actions (James 1:22).

5. Pray over Scripture: As you meditate on God's Word, pray for guidance and insight. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding and help you apply the truths of Scripture to your life (John 16:13).

6. Use different methods of meditation: Try various approaches to meditating on Scripture, such as journaling, visualization, or lectio divina (a method of reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in God's Word). Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you (Psalm143:5).

7. Share with others: Discuss the insights you gain from meditating on God's Word with friends, family members, or fellow believers. Sharing your reflections can help deepen your understanding and provide encouragement for others (Colossians 3:16).

8. Be consistent: Meditating on God's Word is most effective when practiced consistently over time. Make it a priority in your daily routine, and you will reap the benefits of spiritual growth, wisdom, and peace (Psalm 119:97).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a habit of meditating on God's Word, which will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of God's will and a stronger relationship with Him. As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you will find guidance, comfort, and strength to navigate life's challenges and grow in your faith.

7. Going Deeper: Find support in community

Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." By applying these principles, you can find peace and overcome stress through faith, trust, and reliance on God's promises.

Finding support in community is an essential aspect of the Christian life and an effective way to manage stress and navigate life's challenges. God designed us to live in relationship with others, and being part of a community allows us to give and receive support, encouragement, and guidance.

Here are some ways to find support in community based on Galatians 6:2:

1. Join a local church: Connect with a local church or faith community where you can worship, learn, and grow together with fellow believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

2. Participate in small groups: Engage in Bible studies, prayer groups, or other small group gatherings where you can develop deeper relationships and share your life with others (Acts2:42).

3. Offer support: Be willing to help others by listening, offering encouragement, praying for them, or providing practical assistance. As you support others, you'll often find that you also receive support in return (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

4. Be vulnerable: Share your struggles, doubts, and fears with trusted friends or members of your faith community. Opening up allows others to support and encourage you in your journey(James 5:16).

5. Seek counsel and guidance: When facing difficult decisions or challenges, seek the advice and wisdom of more experienced believers who can provide guidance and support (Proverbs 15:22).

6. Pray together: Join with others in prayer, both for personal concerns and the needs of the community. Praying together strengthens your faith and fosters a sense of unity and support (Matthew 18:19-20).

7. Serve together: Engage in acts of service, both within your faith community and in the larger community around you. Serving others can help build strong relationships and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment (1 Peter 4:10).

8. Encourage spiritual growth: Support one another in your spiritual journey, challenging and encouraging each other to grow in faith, knowledge, and obedience to God's Word (Colossians 1:28).

By actively participating in a faith community and nurturing relationships with fellow believers, you can find the support and encouragement you need to navigate life's challenges. Carrying each other's burdens is a fundamental aspect of living out the law of Christ, and it fosters a sense of unity and love within the Christian community. As you both give and receive support, you'll experience the strength and comfort that comes from being part of the body of Christ. 

These are 4 ways that have helped to navigate the ups and downs of life in leadership. But they also apply to any follower of Christ, whether they are working full-time, staying at home to raise children, or settling into retirement.

podcast transcript

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AUTHOR
Dean Sweetman
http://get.tithe.ly

Dean Sweetman is the co-founder and CEO of Tithe.ly. Before launching Tithe.ly, Dean was involved in ministry for more than 30 years. During this time, he planted over 50 churches and raised millions of dollars to spread the gospel, equip leaders, and see lives transformed by Jesus. When Dean is not encouraging his team and helping churches grow, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

One in three people in America say they feel “extreme stress.” And nearly half of all people have trouble sleeping because of stress. Clearly, stress is an epidemic! 

While the Bible doesn't provide a specific outline on how not to be stressed, it does offer numerous verses and principles that can help you find peace and calm in difficult situations.

In the following article, I’ll give you 4 keys that can help you relieve stress God’s way. These are principles that have proven to be true in my own busy life as a pastor and now as a CEO of a large company. They are founded on the Word of God, and they never fail!

P.S. I’ll be sharing 3 additional keys next week….so stay tuned!

1. Trust in God

2. Focus on the present moment

3. Seek God's peace

4. Develop a grateful attitude

5.Let Go of Your Burdens

6.Meditate on God's Word

7.Find Support in Community

1. Going Deeper: Trust in God

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7: "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."

Trusting in God is a central theme in the Bible and a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. It involves placing your confidence and hope in God's wisdom, power, and goodness, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity. When you trust in God, you acknowledge that He is in control and that His plans and purposes are greater than your own. 

Here are some ways to develop and deepen your trust in God:

1. Recognize God's sovereignty: Understand that God is in control of all things and that He has a plan for your life. Trusting in God's sovereignty means believing that He is working for your good, even when circumstances may not seem favorable (Romans 8:28).

2. Cultivate humility: Trusting in God requires humility, as it involves recognizing the limits of your own understanding and abilities. Acknowledge that God's wisdom is far beyond your own, and submit to His guidance and direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. Pray regularly: Prayer is a powerful way to build trust in God. Share your concerns, fears, and needs with God, and ask for His guidance and wisdom. By doing so, you demonstrate your reliance on Him and invite His peace into your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

4. Reflect on God's faithfulness: Remember how God has been faithful in the past, both in your life and in the lives of biblical figures. Reflecting on His faithfulness can help strengthen your trust in His continued care and provision (Psalm 77:11-12).

5. Read and meditate on Scripture: The Bible is filled with stories of God's faithfulness and promises. Spend time reading and meditating on these passages to strengthen your trust in God (Psalm 119:105).

6. Surround yourself with believers: Engaging with other Christians who trust in God can provide encouragement and support. Share your experiences and learn from others as you grow together in faith (Hebrews 10:24-25).

7. Practice patience: Trusting in God often involves waiting on His timing. Be patient and steadfast in your faith, even when you don't see immediate answers to your prayers (Psalm 27:14).

By focusing on these practices, you can develop a deeper trust in God, enabling you to navigate life's challenges with greater peace and confidence. Trusting in God does not mean that you won't experience stress or difficulties, but it does mean that you can face them with the assurance that God is with you and working for your good.

2. Going Deeper: Focus on the present moment

Matthew 6:34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Focusing on the present moment is an important principle in the Bible, as it helps you to manage anxiety and stress. By directing your attention to the here and now, you can reduce unnecessary worry about the future and concentrate on what is within your control. 

Here are some ways to practice focusing on the present moment based on biblical teachings:

1. Be mindful of God's presence: Acknowledge that God is with you in every moment, guiding and sustaining you (Psalm 46:1). By being aware of His presence, you can find comfort and strength in your daily life.

2. Cultivate contentment: Learn to be content in your current circumstances, trusting that God will provide for your needs (Philippians 4:11-12). Practice gratitude for the blessings you have and avoid comparing your situation to others (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. Prioritize daily prayer and reflection: Spend time each day in prayer, meditation, or reflection, focusing on your relationship with God and seeking His guidance for the day ahead (Psalm 5:3).

4. Break tasks into manageable steps: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of your responsibilities, break tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and focus on completing one task at a time (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

5. Embrace the present as a gift: The present moment is a gift from God, an opportunity to grow in faith, love, and service. Embrace each day as a new opportunity to fulfill God's purpose for your life (Psalm 118:24).

6. Practice letting go of worry: When you find yourself worrying about the future, remind yourself of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:34. Recognize that worrying about the future will not change the outcome, and instead, focus on trusting God and doing your best in the present.

7. Seek God's will for each day: As you focus on the present, continually seek God's guidance and direction for your daily actions and decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6). By submitting to His will, you can find peace and purpose in the present moment. By implementing these practices, you can learn to focus on the present moment and reduce unnecessary stress and worry. While you cannot control everything that happens in life, you can choose how to respond to each situation and trust in God's guidance and provision.

3. Going Deeper: Seek God's peace

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Seeking God's peace is a vital aspect of the Christian faith and an effective way to manage stress and anxiety. The peace that God offers is not the same as the temporary or superficial peace that the world provides. God's peace is a deep, abiding calmness that comes from a close relationship with Him and reliance on His promises. 

Here are some ways to seek God's peace in your life:

1. Develop a personal relationship with God: Cultivate a close relationship with God through prayer, worship, and Bible study. A strong personal connection with God enables you to experience His peace more fully (James 4:8).

2. Trust in God's promises: Familiarize yourself with the promises of God in the Bible and remind yourself of them regularly. By trusting in God's promises, you can find peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances (2 Corinthians 1:20).

3. Surrender your worries to God: When you feel overwhelmed, bring your worries and concerns to God in prayer. By surrendering your fears and anxieties to Him, you invite His peace into your life (1 Peter 5:7).

4. Meditate on Scripture: Spend time reflecting on Bible verses that speak of God's peace, such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3. Allow these verses to permeate your thoughts and influence your perspective.

5. Practice forgiveness and reconciliation: Unresolved conflicts and unforgiveness can be significant barriers to experiencing God's peace. Seek forgiveness from others when needed and be willing to forgive those who have wronged you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

6. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Focus on the blessings in your life and express gratitude to God for His goodness and provision. A grateful heart can help foster a sense of peace and contentment (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

7. Seek the support of fellow believers: Connect with other Christians who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you maintain a focus on God's peace. A supportive community can be invaluable in times of stress or difficulty (Hebrews 10:24-25).

8. Practice spiritual disciplines: Engage in spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and worship, which can help you draw closer to God and experience His peace more deeply(Psalm 46:10).

By actively seeking God's peace and integrating these practices into your daily life, you can experience a sense of calm and tranquility that transcends your circumstances. God's peace is not dependent on external factors but is rooted in your relationship with Him and your trust in His love and care for you.

4. Going Deeper: Develop a grateful attitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Developing a grateful attitude is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and a powerful way to combat stress and anxiety. A heart filled with gratitude focuses on the blessings in life, leading to a more positive mindset and a deeper sense of contentment.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude based on biblical teachings:

1. Count your blessings: Make a conscious effort to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life, both big and small. Reflect on the ways God has provided for you, and thank Him for His love, grace, and care (Psalm 103:2).

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Set aside time each day to write down the things you're grateful for. This practice can help you develop a habit of recognizing and appreciating God's blessings regularly (Psalm 9:1-2).

3. Practice gratitude in difficult circumstances: Even in challenging situations, try to find aspects for which you can be grateful. This might include personal growth, lessons learned, or the support of others (Romans 5:3-5).

4. Praise and worship God: Engage in regular worship and praise, expressing gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done in your life (Psalm 100:1-5).

5. Share your gratitude with others: Encourage and uplift those around you by sharing your gratitude with them. This can foster a positive atmosphere and inspire others to be grateful as well (Ephesians 5:19-20).

6. Pray with thanksgiving: Make gratitude an integral part of your prayer life. Thank God for His blessings and express your appreciation for His presence and guidance (Philippians 4:6).

7. Serve others: Show your gratitude to God by giving back and serving others. Volunteering your time, talents, or resources is a tangible way to express your appreciation for God's blessings in your life (Galatians 5:13).

8. Cultivate contentment: Strive to be content with what you have, trusting that God will provide for your needs and focusing on His faithfulness rather than material possessions (Hebrews 13:5).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a grateful attitude that brings joy, peace, and a deeper appreciation for God's blessings. Gratitude can transform your perspective, helping you navigate life's challenges with a more positive outlook and a greater sense of God's presence and provision.

5. Going Deeper: Let go of your burdens

Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Letting go of your burdens is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy spiritual life and reducing stress. Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest. He promises that when we take His yoke upon ourselves, our burdens will be lighter, and we will experience peace and rest for our souls.

Here are some ways to let go of your burdens based on Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

1. Recognize your need for Jesus: Acknowledge that you cannot carry your burdens on your own and that you need Jesus' help and strength. This recognition can help you develop a posture of humility and dependence on Him (John 15:5).

2. Bring your burdens to Jesus in prayer: Be honest with Jesus about your struggles, worries, and fears. Share your concerns with Him in prayer, trusting that He cares for you and wants to help you (1 Peter 5:7).

3. Surrender control: Letting go of your burdens involves surrendering control over your life and circumstances to Jesus. Trust in His wisdom, love, and power, believing that He can handle your concerns better than you can (Proverbs 3:5-6).

4. Take on Jesus' yoke: Accept Jesus' invitation to take His yoke upon you, which means submitting to His guidance and direction in your life. This involves seeking His will, following His teachings, and relying on His strength (Matthew 11:29).

5. Learn from Jesus: As you take on Jesus' yoke, make an effort to learn from His example of gentleness and humility. Cultivating these qualities can help lighten your burdens and bring you peace (Philippians 2:5).

6. Rest in Jesus' presence: Find solace and comfort in Jesus' presence by spending time in prayer, worship, and meditation on His Word. Allow His peace to permeate your heart and mind, providing rest for your soul (Psalm 62:1).

7. Share your burdens with others: Connect with fellow believers who can support and encourage you, helping to lighten your load. Be open to receiving help, and be willing to help others in their time of need (Galatians 6:2).

8. Remember Jesus' promise: Remind yourself of Jesus' promise that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Trust that He will provide the strength, wisdom, and resources you need to navigate your challenges (Isaiah 40:29-31).

By practicing these steps, you can let go of your burdens and experience the rest and peace that Jesus offers. As you surrender your worries and concerns to Him, you can find strength and comfort in His presence and guidance, ultimately leading to a lighter, more peaceful life.

6. Going Deeper: Meditate on God's Word

Joshua 1:8: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and Successful."

Meditating on God's Word is a powerful practice that can help you grow spiritually, gain wisdom, and find peace in the midst of life's challenges. By regularly reflecting on Scripture, you can deepen your understanding of God's will and strengthen your relationship with Him.

Here are some ways to meditate on God's Word based on Joshua 1:8:

1. Read Scripture daily: Make a habit of reading the Bible every day, even if it's just a few verses or a chapter. Regular exposure to God's Word will provide you with a wealth of material for meditation (Psalm 1:2).

2. Memorize Scripture: Choose key verses or passages to commit to memory. Having Scripture stored in your heart and mind will make it easier to meditate on and apply to your daily life (Psalm 119:11).

3. Reflect on the meaning: As you read and memorize Scripture, take time to reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life. Ask questions, make connections, and seek understanding through prayer and contemplation (Psalm 119:15).

4. Apply Scripture to your life: Consider how the biblical principles and teachings can be applied to your current circumstances, relationships, and decisions. Reflect on how you can live out the Word of God in your daily actions (James 1:22).

5. Pray over Scripture: As you meditate on God's Word, pray for guidance and insight. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding and help you apply the truths of Scripture to your life (John 16:13).

6. Use different methods of meditation: Try various approaches to meditating on Scripture, such as journaling, visualization, or lectio divina (a method of reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in God's Word). Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you (Psalm143:5).

7. Share with others: Discuss the insights you gain from meditating on God's Word with friends, family members, or fellow believers. Sharing your reflections can help deepen your understanding and provide encouragement for others (Colossians 3:16).

8. Be consistent: Meditating on God's Word is most effective when practiced consistently over time. Make it a priority in your daily routine, and you will reap the benefits of spiritual growth, wisdom, and peace (Psalm 119:97).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a habit of meditating on God's Word, which will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of God's will and a stronger relationship with Him. As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you will find guidance, comfort, and strength to navigate life's challenges and grow in your faith.

7. Going Deeper: Find support in community

Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." By applying these principles, you can find peace and overcome stress through faith, trust, and reliance on God's promises.

Finding support in community is an essential aspect of the Christian life and an effective way to manage stress and navigate life's challenges. God designed us to live in relationship with others, and being part of a community allows us to give and receive support, encouragement, and guidance.

Here are some ways to find support in community based on Galatians 6:2:

1. Join a local church: Connect with a local church or faith community where you can worship, learn, and grow together with fellow believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

2. Participate in small groups: Engage in Bible studies, prayer groups, or other small group gatherings where you can develop deeper relationships and share your life with others (Acts2:42).

3. Offer support: Be willing to help others by listening, offering encouragement, praying for them, or providing practical assistance. As you support others, you'll often find that you also receive support in return (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

4. Be vulnerable: Share your struggles, doubts, and fears with trusted friends or members of your faith community. Opening up allows others to support and encourage you in your journey(James 5:16).

5. Seek counsel and guidance: When facing difficult decisions or challenges, seek the advice and wisdom of more experienced believers who can provide guidance and support (Proverbs 15:22).

6. Pray together: Join with others in prayer, both for personal concerns and the needs of the community. Praying together strengthens your faith and fosters a sense of unity and support (Matthew 18:19-20).

7. Serve together: Engage in acts of service, both within your faith community and in the larger community around you. Serving others can help build strong relationships and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment (1 Peter 4:10).

8. Encourage spiritual growth: Support one another in your spiritual journey, challenging and encouraging each other to grow in faith, knowledge, and obedience to God's Word (Colossians 1:28).

By actively participating in a faith community and nurturing relationships with fellow believers, you can find the support and encouragement you need to navigate life's challenges. Carrying each other's burdens is a fundamental aspect of living out the law of Christ, and it fosters a sense of unity and love within the Christian community. As you both give and receive support, you'll experience the strength and comfort that comes from being part of the body of Christ. 

These are 4 ways that have helped to navigate the ups and downs of life in leadership. But they also apply to any follower of Christ, whether they are working full-time, staying at home to raise children, or settling into retirement.

VIDEO transcript

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One in three people in America say they feel “extreme stress.” And nearly half of all people have trouble sleeping because of stress. Clearly, stress is an epidemic! 

While the Bible doesn't provide a specific outline on how not to be stressed, it does offer numerous verses and principles that can help you find peace and calm in difficult situations.

In the following article, I’ll give you 4 keys that can help you relieve stress God’s way. These are principles that have proven to be true in my own busy life as a pastor and now as a CEO of a large company. They are founded on the Word of God, and they never fail!

P.S. I’ll be sharing 3 additional keys next week….so stay tuned!

1. Trust in God

2. Focus on the present moment

3. Seek God's peace

4. Develop a grateful attitude

5.Let Go of Your Burdens

6.Meditate on God's Word

7.Find Support in Community

1. Going Deeper: Trust in God

Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Philippians 4:6-7: "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."

Trusting in God is a central theme in the Bible and a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. It involves placing your confidence and hope in God's wisdom, power, and goodness, even in the face of uncertainty or adversity. When you trust in God, you acknowledge that He is in control and that His plans and purposes are greater than your own. 

Here are some ways to develop and deepen your trust in God:

1. Recognize God's sovereignty: Understand that God is in control of all things and that He has a plan for your life. Trusting in God's sovereignty means believing that He is working for your good, even when circumstances may not seem favorable (Romans 8:28).

2. Cultivate humility: Trusting in God requires humility, as it involves recognizing the limits of your own understanding and abilities. Acknowledge that God's wisdom is far beyond your own, and submit to His guidance and direction (Proverbs 3:5-6).

3. Pray regularly: Prayer is a powerful way to build trust in God. Share your concerns, fears, and needs with God, and ask for His guidance and wisdom. By doing so, you demonstrate your reliance on Him and invite His peace into your heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7).

4. Reflect on God's faithfulness: Remember how God has been faithful in the past, both in your life and in the lives of biblical figures. Reflecting on His faithfulness can help strengthen your trust in His continued care and provision (Psalm 77:11-12).

5. Read and meditate on Scripture: The Bible is filled with stories of God's faithfulness and promises. Spend time reading and meditating on these passages to strengthen your trust in God (Psalm 119:105).

6. Surround yourself with believers: Engaging with other Christians who trust in God can provide encouragement and support. Share your experiences and learn from others as you grow together in faith (Hebrews 10:24-25).

7. Practice patience: Trusting in God often involves waiting on His timing. Be patient and steadfast in your faith, even when you don't see immediate answers to your prayers (Psalm 27:14).

By focusing on these practices, you can develop a deeper trust in God, enabling you to navigate life's challenges with greater peace and confidence. Trusting in God does not mean that you won't experience stress or difficulties, but it does mean that you can face them with the assurance that God is with you and working for your good.

2. Going Deeper: Focus on the present moment

Matthew 6:34: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Focusing on the present moment is an important principle in the Bible, as it helps you to manage anxiety and stress. By directing your attention to the here and now, you can reduce unnecessary worry about the future and concentrate on what is within your control. 

Here are some ways to practice focusing on the present moment based on biblical teachings:

1. Be mindful of God's presence: Acknowledge that God is with you in every moment, guiding and sustaining you (Psalm 46:1). By being aware of His presence, you can find comfort and strength in your daily life.

2. Cultivate contentment: Learn to be content in your current circumstances, trusting that God will provide for your needs (Philippians 4:11-12). Practice gratitude for the blessings you have and avoid comparing your situation to others (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

3. Prioritize daily prayer and reflection: Spend time each day in prayer, meditation, or reflection, focusing on your relationship with God and seeking His guidance for the day ahead (Psalm 5:3).

4. Break tasks into manageable steps: Instead of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of your responsibilities, break tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and focus on completing one task at a time (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

5. Embrace the present as a gift: The present moment is a gift from God, an opportunity to grow in faith, love, and service. Embrace each day as a new opportunity to fulfill God's purpose for your life (Psalm 118:24).

6. Practice letting go of worry: When you find yourself worrying about the future, remind yourself of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6:34. Recognize that worrying about the future will not change the outcome, and instead, focus on trusting God and doing your best in the present.

7. Seek God's will for each day: As you focus on the present, continually seek God's guidance and direction for your daily actions and decisions (Proverbs 3:5-6). By submitting to His will, you can find peace and purpose in the present moment. By implementing these practices, you can learn to focus on the present moment and reduce unnecessary stress and worry. While you cannot control everything that happens in life, you can choose how to respond to each situation and trust in God's guidance and provision.

3. Going Deeper: Seek God's peace

John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Isaiah 26:3: "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Seeking God's peace is a vital aspect of the Christian faith and an effective way to manage stress and anxiety. The peace that God offers is not the same as the temporary or superficial peace that the world provides. God's peace is a deep, abiding calmness that comes from a close relationship with Him and reliance on His promises. 

Here are some ways to seek God's peace in your life:

1. Develop a personal relationship with God: Cultivate a close relationship with God through prayer, worship, and Bible study. A strong personal connection with God enables you to experience His peace more fully (James 4:8).

2. Trust in God's promises: Familiarize yourself with the promises of God in the Bible and remind yourself of them regularly. By trusting in God's promises, you can find peace even in the midst of difficult circumstances (2 Corinthians 1:20).

3. Surrender your worries to God: When you feel overwhelmed, bring your worries and concerns to God in prayer. By surrendering your fears and anxieties to Him, you invite His peace into your life (1 Peter 5:7).

4. Meditate on Scripture: Spend time reflecting on Bible verses that speak of God's peace, such as John 14:27 and Isaiah 26:3. Allow these verses to permeate your thoughts and influence your perspective.

5. Practice forgiveness and reconciliation: Unresolved conflicts and unforgiveness can be significant barriers to experiencing God's peace. Seek forgiveness from others when needed and be willing to forgive those who have wronged you (Ephesians 4:31-32).

6. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude: Focus on the blessings in your life and express gratitude to God for His goodness and provision. A grateful heart can help foster a sense of peace and contentment (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

7. Seek the support of fellow believers: Connect with other Christians who can encourage you, pray for you, and help you maintain a focus on God's peace. A supportive community can be invaluable in times of stress or difficulty (Hebrews 10:24-25).

8. Practice spiritual disciplines: Engage in spiritual practices, such as prayer, meditation, fasting, and worship, which can help you draw closer to God and experience His peace more deeply(Psalm 46:10).

By actively seeking God's peace and integrating these practices into your daily life, you can experience a sense of calm and tranquility that transcends your circumstances. God's peace is not dependent on external factors but is rooted in your relationship with Him and your trust in His love and care for you.

4. Going Deeper: Develop a grateful attitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

Developing a grateful attitude is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and a powerful way to combat stress and anxiety. A heart filled with gratitude focuses on the blessings in life, leading to a more positive mindset and a deeper sense of contentment.

Here are some ways to cultivate gratitude based on biblical teachings:

1. Count your blessings: Make a conscious effort to recognize and appreciate the good things in your life, both big and small. Reflect on the ways God has provided for you, and thank Him for His love, grace, and care (Psalm 103:2).

2. Keep a gratitude journal: Set aside time each day to write down the things you're grateful for. This practice can help you develop a habit of recognizing and appreciating God's blessings regularly (Psalm 9:1-2).

3. Practice gratitude in difficult circumstances: Even in challenging situations, try to find aspects for which you can be grateful. This might include personal growth, lessons learned, or the support of others (Romans 5:3-5).

4. Praise and worship God: Engage in regular worship and praise, expressing gratitude to God for who He is and what He has done in your life (Psalm 100:1-5).

5. Share your gratitude with others: Encourage and uplift those around you by sharing your gratitude with them. This can foster a positive atmosphere and inspire others to be grateful as well (Ephesians 5:19-20).

6. Pray with thanksgiving: Make gratitude an integral part of your prayer life. Thank God for His blessings and express your appreciation for His presence and guidance (Philippians 4:6).

7. Serve others: Show your gratitude to God by giving back and serving others. Volunteering your time, talents, or resources is a tangible way to express your appreciation for God's blessings in your life (Galatians 5:13).

8. Cultivate contentment: Strive to be content with what you have, trusting that God will provide for your needs and focusing on His faithfulness rather than material possessions (Hebrews 13:5).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a grateful attitude that brings joy, peace, and a deeper appreciation for God's blessings. Gratitude can transform your perspective, helping you navigate life's challenges with a more positive outlook and a greater sense of God's presence and provision.

5. Going Deeper: Let go of your burdens

Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Letting go of your burdens is an essential aspect of maintaining a healthy spiritual life and reducing stress. Jesus invites those who are weary and burdened to come to Him and find rest. He promises that when we take His yoke upon ourselves, our burdens will be lighter, and we will experience peace and rest for our souls.

Here are some ways to let go of your burdens based on Jesus' invitation in Matthew 11:28-30:

1. Recognize your need for Jesus: Acknowledge that you cannot carry your burdens on your own and that you need Jesus' help and strength. This recognition can help you develop a posture of humility and dependence on Him (John 15:5).

2. Bring your burdens to Jesus in prayer: Be honest with Jesus about your struggles, worries, and fears. Share your concerns with Him in prayer, trusting that He cares for you and wants to help you (1 Peter 5:7).

3. Surrender control: Letting go of your burdens involves surrendering control over your life and circumstances to Jesus. Trust in His wisdom, love, and power, believing that He can handle your concerns better than you can (Proverbs 3:5-6).

4. Take on Jesus' yoke: Accept Jesus' invitation to take His yoke upon you, which means submitting to His guidance and direction in your life. This involves seeking His will, following His teachings, and relying on His strength (Matthew 11:29).

5. Learn from Jesus: As you take on Jesus' yoke, make an effort to learn from His example of gentleness and humility. Cultivating these qualities can help lighten your burdens and bring you peace (Philippians 2:5).

6. Rest in Jesus' presence: Find solace and comfort in Jesus' presence by spending time in prayer, worship, and meditation on His Word. Allow His peace to permeate your heart and mind, providing rest for your soul (Psalm 62:1).

7. Share your burdens with others: Connect with fellow believers who can support and encourage you, helping to lighten your load. Be open to receiving help, and be willing to help others in their time of need (Galatians 6:2).

8. Remember Jesus' promise: Remind yourself of Jesus' promise that His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Trust that He will provide the strength, wisdom, and resources you need to navigate your challenges (Isaiah 40:29-31).

By practicing these steps, you can let go of your burdens and experience the rest and peace that Jesus offers. As you surrender your worries and concerns to Him, you can find strength and comfort in His presence and guidance, ultimately leading to a lighter, more peaceful life.

6. Going Deeper: Meditate on God's Word

Joshua 1:8: "Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and Successful."

Meditating on God's Word is a powerful practice that can help you grow spiritually, gain wisdom, and find peace in the midst of life's challenges. By regularly reflecting on Scripture, you can deepen your understanding of God's will and strengthen your relationship with Him.

Here are some ways to meditate on God's Word based on Joshua 1:8:

1. Read Scripture daily: Make a habit of reading the Bible every day, even if it's just a few verses or a chapter. Regular exposure to God's Word will provide you with a wealth of material for meditation (Psalm 1:2).

2. Memorize Scripture: Choose key verses or passages to commit to memory. Having Scripture stored in your heart and mind will make it easier to meditate on and apply to your daily life (Psalm 119:11).

3. Reflect on the meaning: As you read and memorize Scripture, take time to reflect on its meaning and relevance to your life. Ask questions, make connections, and seek understanding through prayer and contemplation (Psalm 119:15).

4. Apply Scripture to your life: Consider how the biblical principles and teachings can be applied to your current circumstances, relationships, and decisions. Reflect on how you can live out the Word of God in your daily actions (James 1:22).

5. Pray over Scripture: As you meditate on God's Word, pray for guidance and insight. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your understanding and help you apply the truths of Scripture to your life (John 16:13).

6. Use different methods of meditation: Try various approaches to meditating on Scripture, such as journaling, visualization, or lectio divina (a method of reading, reflecting, responding, and resting in God's Word). Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you (Psalm143:5).

7. Share with others: Discuss the insights you gain from meditating on God's Word with friends, family members, or fellow believers. Sharing your reflections can help deepen your understanding and provide encouragement for others (Colossians 3:16).

8. Be consistent: Meditating on God's Word is most effective when practiced consistently over time. Make it a priority in your daily routine, and you will reap the benefits of spiritual growth, wisdom, and peace (Psalm 119:97).

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you can develop a habit of meditating on God's Word, which will ultimately lead to a deeper understanding of God's will and a stronger relationship with Him. As you immerse yourself in Scripture, you will find guidance, comfort, and strength to navigate life's challenges and grow in your faith.

7. Going Deeper: Find support in community

Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." By applying these principles, you can find peace and overcome stress through faith, trust, and reliance on God's promises.

Finding support in community is an essential aspect of the Christian life and an effective way to manage stress and navigate life's challenges. God designed us to live in relationship with others, and being part of a community allows us to give and receive support, encouragement, and guidance.

Here are some ways to find support in community based on Galatians 6:2:

1. Join a local church: Connect with a local church or faith community where you can worship, learn, and grow together with fellow believers (Hebrews 10:24-25).

2. Participate in small groups: Engage in Bible studies, prayer groups, or other small group gatherings where you can develop deeper relationships and share your life with others (Acts2:42).

3. Offer support: Be willing to help others by listening, offering encouragement, praying for them, or providing practical assistance. As you support others, you'll often find that you also receive support in return (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

4. Be vulnerable: Share your struggles, doubts, and fears with trusted friends or members of your faith community. Opening up allows others to support and encourage you in your journey(James 5:16).

5. Seek counsel and guidance: When facing difficult decisions or challenges, seek the advice and wisdom of more experienced believers who can provide guidance and support (Proverbs 15:22).

6. Pray together: Join with others in prayer, both for personal concerns and the needs of the community. Praying together strengthens your faith and fosters a sense of unity and support (Matthew 18:19-20).

7. Serve together: Engage in acts of service, both within your faith community and in the larger community around you. Serving others can help build strong relationships and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment (1 Peter 4:10).

8. Encourage spiritual growth: Support one another in your spiritual journey, challenging and encouraging each other to grow in faith, knowledge, and obedience to God's Word (Colossians 1:28).

By actively participating in a faith community and nurturing relationships with fellow believers, you can find the support and encouragement you need to navigate life's challenges. Carrying each other's burdens is a fundamental aspect of living out the law of Christ, and it fosters a sense of unity and love within the Christian community. As you both give and receive support, you'll experience the strength and comfort that comes from being part of the body of Christ. 

These are 4 ways that have helped to navigate the ups and downs of life in leadership. But they also apply to any follower of Christ, whether they are working full-time, staying at home to raise children, or settling into retirement.

AUTHOR
Dean Sweetman
http://get.tithe.ly

Dean Sweetman is the co-founder and CEO of Tithe.ly. Before launching Tithe.ly, Dean was involved in ministry for more than 30 years. During this time, he planted over 50 churches and raised millions of dollars to spread the gospel, equip leaders, and see lives transformed by Jesus. When Dean is not encouraging his team and helping churches grow, he enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

Category
Faith
Publish date
September 2, 2023
Author
Dean Sweetman
Category

How to Relieve Stress the Biblical Way (Part 1)

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