By Scott Shifferd, Jr
Why let stress control your life? Why spend life in depression and frustration? Where is your faith in God if you are depressed and overly stressed? How important is a spiritual outlook on life? Paul's example encourages us to press on "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:12-14).
Cast your cares on Christ. Why worry about the storm “O you of little faith” when Christ is with you (Matt.8:26)? What should you do with problems that you cannot control? Peter was in the same boat that we are. He said, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:6-7). List your concerns and give them to God in prayer.
Christ's Spirit promised Christians a peace that surpasses all understanding that guards the heart and mind if we thankfully pray (Phil. 4:6-7). Paul prayed 3 times to the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9a). What was Paul’s conclusion?
“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:9b-10).
What peace did Paul and Silas have when they prayed and sang after being beaten and imprisoned (Acts 16)? Paul’s mind would have been much like His words in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).
Our God is the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-5). Hear Jesus,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).