Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Stress Relief

2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-18So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”


THEME OF THE DAY: STRESS RELIEF.  I considered just sending this nugget to myself.  As I sat at my desk with absolutely no clue on what to write beyond the words ‘STRESS RELIEF”, my “clear thinking” simply said, “Not relevant, Jim.  No one really suffers much from stress.  We are Christians.  Stress doesn’t apply to us.”  Then, my “clear thinking” speaks a word of alarm.  “If that is true, Jim, then why do you experience stress?”  I quickly realized my “clear thinking” was anything but clear thinking.  And that is what stress will do; it produces unclear and unhealthy thinking where reality may get quite distorted due to wrong focus.  Jay Adams defined stress as “something that one does to himself (herself) in response to pressure.” He went on with these words, “pressures upon a person do not of themselves produce stress.  The problems that stem from stress (physical and otherwise) are the results of wrongly handling pressures.”  After getting my thinking calibrated by Dr. Adams and owning up to the hard fact that I am personally responsible for being “stressed out”, I reconsidered our nugget distribution list today.  Maybe one or two sheep in the Lord’s pasture “occasionally” get stomped by the stress monster and might benefit from a little encouragement.


Take your shoes off and put on the Apostle Paul’s for a short stroll.  “But as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way:  by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger;” (2 Corinthians 6:4,5).  That’s a long enough walk.  I think we can put our own shoes back on now.  Would it be fair to say Paul who loved Christ supremely felt some pressures in life?  Now group them together under three words the Apostle used to describe such things, “slight momentary affliction” (2 Corinthians 4:17)


When we are feeling pressured, everything may become big.  Little inconveniences turn into giant irritations.  Minor challenges to our impatience take on major proportion.  Like the saying, “You are making a mountain out of a mole hill.”  The heavy weight of the pressures of living in a sinful world, unless properly relieved, may very well become a seemingly insurmountable mountain range in our thinking and thus our living.  What about stress relief?  Paul focuses off the pressure and onto the glory.


As the Holy Spirit enables us to “see” the spiritual realities of the glories of glory, the wonderful face of our Redeemer (Revelation 1:16), the awe inspiring scene of the greatest worship service imaginable (Revelation 4 and 5), and the truth we are headed for those experiences, we, like Paul, will be able to say of pressure, “this slight momentary affliction.”


Prayer:  Lord, draw our eyes away from the daily pressures of life and grasp the glory that awaits us.


Quote: “The Presence of the Lord by faith now and sight soon is the ultimate form of stress relief.”



In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim