How to Handle Stress Like Jesus

“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV).

Have you ever felt like you had the “weight of the world” on you?

Your responsibilities outnumber the hours in your day. Your paycheck won’t stretch to cover all of your bills. Everyone in your life wants a little piece of you—and you have nothing left to give anyone.

You’re not alone.

The truth is, only one person has ever had “the weight of the world on his shoulders.” It’s exactly what Jesus came to do: to carry the weight of the world.

The Bible says of Jesus, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV).

Nobody carried greater stress in life than Jesus. He not only carried the sin of the world on him while on the cross, but he also faced constant demands on him during his life. People frequently wanted to see him and be healed by him. He had no privacy. Other people tried to trap him and they sought to kill him.

But Jesus knew how to handle the stress. He had an incredibly attractive balance to his life. He handled pressure with peace.

That’s what I want to be like. I’m guessing you want the same.

As I’ve studied the Bible, I’ve noticed seven secrets of stress management that Jesus consistently demonstrates.

  1. Identification: Jesus knew who he was.
  2. Motivation: Jesus knew what he was living for.
  3. Vocation: Jesus understood his calling.
  4. Concentration: Jesus knew what mattered most.
  5. Meditation: Jesus listened to God.
  6. Collaboration: Jesus had a small group.
  7. Recreation: Jesus took time to recharge.

I believe these seven characteristics can define our lives as well. Over the next seven days, we’ll look at each of these characteristics and how we can incorporate them into our lives.

If you make these characteristics a part of your life, your stress level will go down. So don’t miss these devotionals!
Talk About It

  • What are some lessons you learned from your parents about dealing with stress? Were they healthy lessons or unhealthy ones?
  • What areas of your life tend to cause you the most stress?
  • Of the seven characteristics of Jesus described above, which one represents the area where you need the most growth?
   

Four Words for Men on Marriage

1 Corinthians 13:8

The four words that will change your marriage are “Husbands, love your wives.” And how are husbands to love their wives? As Christ loves the church. The apostle Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV).

It’s kind of a tall order, isn’t it? God would never ask us to do something that He wouldn’t give us the strength to do. If a husband would just concentrate on this single truth, it literally would change his marriage.

Many marriages, if not most, are failing because men are not doing what God has called them to do. How did Jesus love the church? Sacrificially. Jesus laid His life down for us. He served people. On one occasion He got down on His hands and knees and washed the feet of His disciples, which included Judas Iscariot.

Jesus was a servant, and that is what we are to do. We are to love, but I think one of the problems is that we get our ideas about love from things like ridiculous movies. We need something better than that. We need God’s love. The definitive chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13, tells us what love does: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (verses 4–8 NKJV).

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