How Christians Can Relieve Stress Biblically?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

This is a very stressful world, so how is the believer supposed to cope with all this stress? There is a way, and it’s found in the Bible.

Distress to Rest

Almost everyone I know of has had times…times in which they were distressed about things. Maybe it was a job loss, a wrecked marriage, or a prodigal child or grandchild. I can think of lots of times when I’ve been distressed, but I need to learn how to move on from distress to rest, and I did learn…in the Bible. Listen to Jesus, but take Him at His Word when He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). In the Old Testament, Jeremiah the Prophet wrote, “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (Jer 31:25). Doesn’t that sound refreshing? I believe Jesus is telling us that we must come to Him with our heavy loads and burdens and take His yoke, which is a device that spreads out the load among the oxen, because that’s the only way we can “find rest for your souls.” What we cannot handle, Jesus can. What’s too heavy for us is nothing for Him. What we can’t bear, Jesus bears for us. It is a movement from being distressed to being at rest; from heavy weights to heaven’s gates. Jesus tells us all, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened,” otherwise, you will find no rest for your soul. It is only God Who “gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29). Don’t look to yourself….look to God.

Believe the Word

A lot of people love to read the Bible, and they also know God’s Word is true, but for some reason, they don’t live like they believe it. Of course, I’m not saying we’re willfully sinning all the time, but what I mean is when we worry about things in this life, we’re not trusting God. Trust destroys worry. Worry shows a lack of trust, so I ask you, “What in this world can you trust more than the Word of God?” We worry about things that haven’t even happened yet and about things that may never happen, so again, I ask you, “Do you trust your feelings more than you trust God’s promises?” Our natural reaction would be, “Yes, I do trust God more than my feelings,” but then we still end up worrying about things as if it all depends on us. If only we could rest in God’s promises like an old recliner, and take the weight off our minds that keeps us up at night. Jesus is right when He asks, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life” (Matt 6:27)? The fact is, we don’t add to our lifespan, but we can actually subtract from it by worrying ourselves to death. That’s what worry does and worry creates stress…and then, distress.

Read the Word

I believe God loves to hear His own Word prayed back to Him and even read back to Him. I also believe songs using Scripture are like a sweet savor before God, so one way to move from distress to rest is to get into His Word. Try camping out in the Book of Psalms, like Psalm 103, Psalm 23, Psalm 91, and Psalm 27, just to name a few, but there’s also rest in reading Jesus’ words. There’s something comforting about hearing our Savior tell us, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37), and “all” in the Greek means, all! We can believe God’s Word! It is the Father’s will to take you into the kingdom. Jesus says so in John 6:39 by saying, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” Once again, Jesus says all! And He means it. For everyone who trusts in Him, He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this” (John 11:25-26). What a great question. Do you believe this? I do. And that lets my soul be at rest, so put yourself in the hands of God, and listen to the Master Who says to you, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).

Rest in the Word

Jesus is called the Word of God, and He is, and just as there is power in Jesus, Who is God, there is power in God’s Word. The Holy Spirit has the power to change us and works alongside the Word of God, and together, they create the children of God. The Apostle Paul twice said that there is power in the gospel…the very power of God (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18), so why not tap that power? There is something special about reading the Word of God. It allows us to see God by seeing Jesus. It allows us to see His promises which are as faithful as He is. And it allows us to rest in these promises, but not so much if we don’t read His Word. Memorizing Scripture is an important resource for the child of God. It allows them to recall God’s promises or commands without flipping through a Bible. There are times in the day when we can’t do that, but if we store up God’s Word in our hearts, we can rest easier in this world, knowing that we’re just passing through by remember certain Bible verses. The psalmist points out the benefit of hiding or memorizing God’s word in Psalm 119:11; “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” What he is saying is that by memorizing portions of Scripture, it helps him resist temptation, and thus keeps him from sinning. The wording says “I have stored up your word in my heart [so] that I might not sin against you.” I believe that’s what he’s saying.

Conclusion

God speaks through Moses’ writings, and says, “The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’ ” (Deut 33:27), and even though this was written to Israel, I can clearly see how this can apply to all who trust in Him…and rest in Him. If we find rest in Christ, it has been by God’s Spirit, and by God’s Word, and by the Spirit’s confirming His Word in our hearts, and so it’s all a matter of trust. Fear or anxiety creates stress….the Word of God and the Spirit of God creates trust, and trust can move us from the stress of distress to rest…resting in the Almighty’s everlasting arms.

Here are some Bible verses on this topic for you: Bible Verses for Stress

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Edna Davidsen December 25, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Dear Jack Wellman

I’ve just read your blog post “ How Christians Can Relieve Stress Biblically?” and wanted to leave a comment because I was encouraged by it.

Yes; it sure is a stressful word if we don’t have the right Biblical tools to deal with it.

As you state in this blog posts: We’ve all known some people who had to cope with stress in different situations.

Matt 11:28-30 to which you refer is one of the most beautiful and powerful scriptures we have from our Lord, Jesus.

What I see as one of the most appealing aspects of Christianity is the fact, that it’s not a religion about how powerful humans can be, but rather how great our God is.

Our job is just to live our life in gratefulness and stop worrying about this precious gift we have gotten from God.

Your blog post had a vital point when you stressed that we have to act upon what we read in the Bible to make the Faith work.
Faith without action has no value.

The Psalms in the Bible are some of the best pieces of Art (and actual value) we’ve got.

They’re filled with power and put together as wonderful poetry.
Yes, there sure is something compelling about reading the Word of God.

It’s also sometimes overseen that Faith is coming from what we hear (and read) the point being it’s coming to us from outside.

Al this modern talking about “looking into oneself” is like going into a prison without the key to getting out again

What we have to look into is the Word of God and trust that He will lead us safely through this life.

God bless!
Edna Davidsen

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Jack Wellman December 25, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Love what you said about looking into oneself. We need to look into His Word. That is well put and I had wished I had put your wisdom in this post. Thank you so much.

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