Stress: A Useful Tool in God’s Hand
You might be asking yourself, “Is stress from God?” The Biblical answer is, sometimes.
Look no further than God leading the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt. It’s interesting to read in Exodus 13:17-18 that: When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
God’s led His people into an inescapable position where they were trapped between the mountains and the sea, with Pharaoh’s army bearing down upon them. Now that is a stressful situation! They were forced to either fight their way out or trust God for a miracle. We all know how the story ends. God opened up the Red Sea in a heap and God’s people crossed over safely and when Pharaoh’s army followed them, God released the waters and drowned the entire army. In the midst of a very stressful situation, Moses chose to trust God and the people saw just how great God is!
In the same way, God is allowing the pressure we feel from COVID-19 to call us to a deeper trust in Him, today. God uses pressure situations:
1. To teach us to take one day at a time. Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
2. To help us redefine our priorities in life. Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
3. To draw us to Himself. Jonah 2:2 saying, “I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me; out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and you heard my voice."
4. To discipline us when we stray. Hebrews 12:10–11 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
5. To strengthen our faith. 1 Peter 1:6–7 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
God is at work in us, especially when we face difficulties and stressful situations. Allow God to conform you to the image of His Son, today.
May the Lord be glorified!
Pastor Greg Sempsrott
Vero Bible Fellowship Lead Pastor