Wed | May 31, 2023
From stress to rest – Part 4

The answer to stress is obedience to God

Published:Sunday | March 26, 2023 | 12:17 AM

WHEN WE ask God for an answer to the situations in our lives that are causing us stress, He may respond in different ways. Obedience is easiest when God gives us a direction that aligns with our desires, or an answer that we can see will turn the situation around quickly and easily. When He says yes, we can leave the job we dislike, we quickly and easily jump to it, and we are ready to give testimonies in church about it. Obedience is easier when we are hoping for a certain answer and God responds in a way that we are happy with. And we tend to quickly do what God says.

However, the truth is that stress usually occurs because we’re not approaching something (job, money, relationship) in life in the way God has prescribed. God’s solution to that is often to use our stressful situations as teaching moments. Frequently, God’s answer to our prayer is to go slow and grow rather than to run away from the stressful situation. This is because God wants to correct attitudes, ideas, or behaviours in our lives. When we learn to get it right, it will last us a lifetime.

Often, we don’t like this and want it our way right away. When God says to stick with the situation, go slow and grow, we tend to jump off and do our own thing because we believe that God’s way will take too long. That’s why many of us are having the same stress repeatedly. This indicates that we aren’t willing to respond in obedience to the corrective measures God is telling us about today, so that we can have a better life tomorrow.

Obedience in this instance means we don’t give up and don’t give in. Amid the stress, we need to keep trusting God and pressing forward. Don’t get distracted. Stress has a way of clouding our decision-making ability. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him …” Colossians 2:6 (NIV). This is not the time to shrink back. A lot is riding on how we respond in those times. The enemy wants us to give up, but that will bring destruction. When we’re under stress, we tend to make bad decisions that we will regret later.

Be very careful when making big decisions in life when under stress. We shouldn’t make big relationship or career decisions when under stress. Don’t go back to the old way of doing things, be obedient to God’s instructions and stay the course. Be content, God has carried us to that point to teach us something new. God didn’t cause the stress, but He can use the stress to propel us forward. If we follow Him, we’ll come out ahead.

Don’t get impatient or start to wonder where the breakthrough is. The same God that saved us in other situations will save us again. So, when change doesn’t happen instantly, we wait on God, and that takes contentment. Many times, these situations come to test how true we are to the Lord. We want His breakthrough and He wants our commitment. It is by staying where He has us that we prove to Him that we are committed to Him and not to our circumstances. We have to learn to be content in the situation we’re in, take our eyes off it, and see what God is saying. The situation is temporary. If the stress remains, it’s God’s method of getting us to concentrate on Him.