Speak the Word: Stress is a killer of the body and soul. It can paralyze a person to the point of physical collapse. No one lives stress-free and many suffer daily from its impact. The definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress is probably the number one way the devil torments people in life. In the Bible, we can see Satan tempt Jesus in the desert while He faced extreme mental and physical stress. “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE CONCERNING YOU’;and ‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, LEST YOU STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.” — Matthew 4:1–11. The torment and hunger Jesus must have felt is unimaginable, but he did not breakdown and let the devil win. In this scripture, there is a key example that we can apply to our own lives when dealing with stress. Notice that Jesus answered all the temptations by speaking the Word of God. Speaking the Word is a surefire way to shut the mouth of the devil. If you find yourself burdened, tormented or under emotional strain, start speaking the Word of God and you will begin to see your heart and mind calmed. Stress will fade away and the peace of God will begin to fill your heart. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12. The devil won’t stand a chance when you apply the Word, so begin to speak it each and every day and you will find victory in Him.
Chronic Stress: When stress becomes rooted and recurring it becomes chronic. Stress is no laughing matter and for many, it’s a hindrance in everyday life. Jesus recognized that fear and stress were a constant obstacle for people and reassured them that true peace is found in Him. In fact, throughout the Old and New Testament, from the Prophets to the Apostles, there is a constant proclamation that God cares for us and doesn’t want to see us living under anxiety and fear. The more we plant the seeds of the Word in our hearts and stand upon His promises, the faster we can defeat stress and live an abundant life in Him. Below are some great scriptures to meditate upon whenever you feel the pressures and stresses of life. “For this reason I say to you, do not be anxious for your life, as to what you shall eat; nor for your body, as to what you shall put on. “For life is more than food, and the body than clothing. “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; and they have no storeroom nor barn; and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! “And which of you by being anxious can add a single cubit to his life’s span? “If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why are you anxious about other matters? “Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these. “But if God so arrays the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O men of little faith!” — Luke 12:22–28. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, 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 SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” — Matthew 11:28. “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” — Psalm 55:22. “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7. “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.” — Proverbs 12:25. “I sought the LORD, and He answered me, And delivered me from all my fears.” — Psalm 34:4. “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” — Isaiah 41:10. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” — John 14:27. Proclaim these promises over your life and say them back to yourself daily. Use them to rebuke the devil when he attacks and you will see your stress melt away.
Good Future: God has plans to prosper you and the devil has plans to torment you. You have to choose who you will believe. Sometimes it’s difficult to trust God’s plan when the storms are raging all around, but if you have faith through the thick and thin you will see things work out in extraordinary ways. A good example of this is when Jesus calmed the seas. “And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?” And they became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” — Mark 4:35–41. How many times in life have you immediately thought the worst-case scenario when troubles arise. This is exactly how the enemy wants you to live; in perpetual fear of the future and that God will not help you. This is a lie and opposite of the Word. To live an active faith you must build yourself up in the Word of God and make it a reality in your heart. Trust Him always and watch how your outcomes change. God cannot work in your life apart from faith, so build yourself up and become strong in Him for He has a great and wonderful future planned for you. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. ‘And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:11–12. Even though the seas might be raging in your life, with one word the Lord can change everything. Believe it and trust Him always.