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A Daily Plan for Stress Reduction

Stress is a pressure of modern life. Sooner or later, it reaches us all. And for some there is little respite from it. The Apostle Paul was aware of this and gives a five-point plan for stress reduction in the fourth chapter of his Epistle to the Philippians.

It involves our daily walk with the Lord, and every quotation noted in the five headings below can be found in just four verses, Philippians 4:4-8.

1. Daily Joy: "Rejoice in the Lord always." Let the Lord be the centre and reason for you to be happy- not the worldly, sinful pleasures. They are not real.

2. Daily Patience: "Let your gentleness be evident to all." Patience produces character. James 1: 4. You grow in maturity and become complete.

3. Daily Trust: "Do not be anxious about anything." Doubt and anxiety manifest lack of faith in the Heavenly Father who is in control. There is peace and in trusting Him and entrusting everything to Him.

4. Daily Prayer: "Present your requests to God." Prayer exchanges our weakness with His unlimited power. Will make changes in our life. Praying is better than grumbling or complaining or even worrying- all these accomplish nothing, but rather result in making us more miserable and hopeless.

5. Daily Meditation: "Think about such things." What occupies your mind is important. Your thoughts are seeds of actions. Focus your mind on positive and encouraging thoughts and you will be free from stress. The best thing to do is to meditate on the Word of God- there is nothing better than that. Psalm 1.

Missionary statesman, Hudson Taylor, once said: "It matters not how great the pressure is, only where the pressures lies. If we make sure it never comes between us and our Lord, then the greater the pressure, the more it presses us to Him."

As pressure and stress increase in your life, allow it to draw you nearer to God, instead of driving you away from Him. Release those things which are causing stress to God. He is able to carry every single one of them. Then you will find rest and peace in the midst of pressure. Matthew 11:28-29.

The Apostle Paul suffered immense pressure but emphasised the positive side of this when he explained to the believers at Corinth: "We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God..." (2 Corinthians 1:8-10).

The Apostle Peter also indicates how to deal with stress when he writes in
1 Peter 1:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." Will you?

Be encouraged.

*********************Letter # 34 (8. 9 2002)********************
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