How many times do people say in a crisis, “Well, at least we have our health!”?
When our health is vulnerable, there is a great deal of stress. So, what Stress Coping Mechanisms can we use to overcome?
Walk on Water
We do not have the power to control our environment. Often we don’t have control over our circumstances. Storms in life will come and go, be they health storms or other situations. But when we focus on Jesus and allow ourselves to walk on water — as he did in all things — we get through the stress. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus — and sometimes that takes sheer determination — the author and finisher of our faith gets us through the storm.
“…for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10b) is just one of hundreds of scriptures that we can choose to digest when our stress level is high. Resting in the Word of GOD, either reading the Bible, listening to Scripture-based music, or listening to a recording of the Word, will feed the soul.
“The word of GOD is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The word strengthens us, convicts us, sharpens us, prepares us. Dwelling in the word allows us to draw near to the Lord. Remember, Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1)
I urge myself and all: take time in the word — more time.
Unity in Prayer
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
The Body of Christ Jesus/Yeshua Messiah needs one another. When we are experiencing high degrees of stress, it may be tempting to complain or to hide — opposite reactions but quite typical responses to challenging times. To complain builds no one up and changes nothing; it is our flesh rising up.
We need a new perspective; let’s take the mountain view. When we truly believe GOD is sovereign and loves us, we have nothing to complain about. It doesn’t mean things will always be rosy, but it does mean we recognise good things grow out of adversity and GOD doesn’t make mistakes.
Sometimes we need others to support our prayers — to keep our arms lifted up like Moses had his arms upheld during battle. (Exodus 17:11) The Lord Jesus asked his friends to pray with him in Gethsemane. Prayer is something we all need and sometimes we need others to pray for us, when we cannot find the focus, peace, or words to pray. And of course the Holy Spirit gives us utterance whether or not we are lost for words. (Acts 2:4)
Asking for prayer support is important. Equally important is to be firmly rooted in knowing you are reliant upon the LORD and not on people. Sometimes the Lord allows trying circumstances simply to stretch and to grow us; sometimes He allows it so we will be drawn to come together with others.
“But He knows the way that I take; and when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10)
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, patience and self control. Against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
We can know we need prayer when we are losing a hold on our love or joy or peace or…. When tempers flair, or try to, it us usually the flesh and not the spirit rising up. Yes, there is righteous anger, but more often than not, our anger is emotional turmoil welling up inside of us and exploding outward. When fear rises up, swapping it for the fear of the LORD is not only wisdom, but restorative too.
The Lord always offers good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11), and these gifts include the fruits of the spirit. When we are in a stressful situation, or a situation that is stressful for us, we ask, seek, knock, find: the Lord is waiting to encourage and to help us.
Knowing the end from the beginning
“I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelations 22:13)
In the end, Jesus wins! He has already won. We need to live in that truth as our reality all the time. When we do, the stress has nowhere to occupy.
As we dwell on the word and allow our minds to be renewed daily, we are restored. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Overcoming the flesh
Doubt, control, fear: these are all activities which like to live in the mind. But Jesus has overcome the flesh, the world and the devil. Faith in him means we do not have to doubt, control or fear anything or anyone.
The flesh is in our will. The flesh is in our thoughts. The flesh is in our emotions. We shall not yield to the flesh any longer. Instead, we say as Jeremiah said, “Ah, LORD GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.” (Jeremiah 31:17) Help us to surrender any remaining flesh to you.
We say, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God, for the pulling down of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) Lord, deliver us by Your mighty hand.
And we declare, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men” that “to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” and so we say thank you Lord, for our portion, our sufficient portion to overcome.
We stand on the promises of God. “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7)
And we trust Him: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Meditate on these things, trust the Lord, and the stress will wash away.