Well, as I prepare for today, it’s the start of the work year and so I trade the stresses and pressures of closing out last year and reach forward towards what today and this year will bring. I’m choosing to keep my focus on God because I know He is so much bigger than any troubles, trials, or tribulations that can come my way. I am grabbing a hold of the reality that in James 1 we need to keep reading after verse 4 because it is the key to being able to consider it pure joy.
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.James 1:2-8
Trials help you test the quality of something and determine what is on the inside. The reason when we are being tried that we can consider it pure joy, even when we fail or learn we have stuff inside we need to deal with, is because not only does the process finish well in that we become mature, complete, and lacking nothing but also because in the midst of it we can seek wisdom from God!
We can seek wisdom from God without fear or worry because He gives wisdom generously to all without finding fault. So as we start this year, let’s lean in believing in God and trusting Him so much that no matter what happens or is going on we turn to Him and ask for wisdom and discernment to be able to respond well and consider it pure joy!
Topic: Trade Stress for a Song
Stress is a state or mental health condition where there is tension or worry caused by a difficult situation. People with this condition develop symptoms like suicidal tendencies, repeated nightmares, anxiety, and depression disorders, substance abuse, avoiding social life, sleeplessness, and negative thoughts about themselves and the world. In such cases, strong emotional support and good counseling will help them recover from stress. The treatment for this condition mainly lies in psychotherapy and counseling. Behavioral therapy and cognitive and exposure therapy also play a major role. In severe cases, medicines like antidepressants, and anti-anxiety drugs can be used. Strong emotional support helps in a quick recovery. Stress levels can be managed through regular exercise, yoga, and meditation.
Verse of the Day: Psalms 132:7 NIV
Let us go to his dwelling place, let us worship at his footstool, saying
If everyone on earth was wearing a stress detection bracelet, how many people do you think would be sensing stress? Would you be on that list? Sure a verified expert has told us what stress is but do you know what the Bible says the antidote to stress is? Worship!
Psalms 16:11 (NIV) advises we trade stress to Prioritize God’s Presence:
"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Just as the psalmist expresses the desire to go to God’s dwelling place, prioritize spending time in God’s presence through prayer, meditation, and studying the Bible. Seek God’s guidance and wisdom in your role as a father.
Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) advises we Trade Stress for Worship:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
When facing stress, turn to worship instead of allowing it to overwhelm you. Offer prayers of gratitude, praise, and surrender to God. Trust in His ability to provide strength and peace in challenging situations.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) advises we trade stress to Model Dependence on God
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Demonstrate reliance on God as the ultimate source of strength and wisdom. By doing so, you set an example for your family, showing them the importance of turning to God in times of stress and relying on His guidance.
James 4:10 (NIV) advises we trade stress to Lead with Humility
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
Acknowledge your dependence on God with humility. As a father, recognize your imperfections and seek God’s grace and forgiveness. Humility before God enables you to approach fatherhood with a teachable and compassionate heart.
Psalm 95:6 (NIV) advises we trade stress to Embrace God’s Footstool as a Symbol of Submission
"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker."
The footstool symbolizes submission to God’s authority. Embrace a mindset of submission to God’s will in your role as a father. Surrender your concerns, stresses, and plans to Him, trusting that His ways are higher and His plans are perfect.
By incorporating these biblical principles inspired by Psalms 132:7, you can strive to be a father who swaps out stress for worship, creating a home environment where God’s presence is central, and the needs of your wife and children are met through a foundation of faith and trust in Him. These scripture references provide additional support and insight into the biblical principles outlined, reinforcing the importance of seeking God’s presence, relying on Him in times of stress, modeling dependence, creating a worshipful home environment, leading with humility, and submitting to God’s authority.
For example, life can distract us from the reality that God desires worshippers over workers and induce stress of trying to go it and do it all in our own way and strength. Let’s be the dads who are worshippers first so that we can not only be good workers but also the dads that our wives and kids need us to be. So when stress starts to knock on the door of your heart, mind, or life, let’s turn our focus to worshipping God with hearts that adore and trust Him and choose to live out this life to bring Him praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name.