There is a popular belief that Christians only experience stress if they are sinning or somehow outside of the will of God. Mary Fairchild, the Christian Guide at About.com, writes:
"Stress and anxiety for a Christian can take on many different shapes and forms, yet in general, for most Christians, stress boils down to one idea - lack of trust in God."
While it is true that lack of faith in God results in unnecessary stress, it is also true that Christians are required at times to walk-in-faith through stress.
Even Jesus Christ experienced stress. In fact, His state of psychological stress was so severe that it has since been written about in medical journals: Hematohidrosis is a condition in which the blood vessels around sweat glands dilate to the point of rupture, whereupon the blood flows into the sweat glands - coming out as droplets of blood mixed with sweat.
This is a physical phenomena not frequently experienced, even in the most stressful circumstances. Yet, Jesus found Himself sweating blood on the evening before His crucifixion.
During this period of time, Jesus demonstrated for every Christian how God equips a saint to think about, walk through, and succeed when under necessary STRESS:
S - Scared to death of the
T - Time just ahead, yet
R - Resolving to
E - Exude grace while being willing to
S - Sacrifice our very life, if need be, to
S - Succeed in God's goals for us.
Jesus was literally "overwhelmed with sorrow", "full of anguish" and "falling face down" in prayer.
Next time you find yourself psychologically struggling, do what Jesus did:
P - Present your fears to God as honestly as you can
R - Relinquish yourself into His hands
A - Agree that He is Sovereign and ask for as much mercy as is possible given His goals
Y - Yield yourself fully to His choices for your future.
Marnie Swedberg is a leadership mentor to thousands of women, speakers and women's ministry leaders from six continents. Learn more about her life, ministry and published resources here: http://www.marnie.com