COMBATING THE STRESSORS OF LIFE All of us go through some major life stressors. Depending on who does the list, some of the top ones are the loss of a loved one or friend, loss of a job, and moving!! One at the very top of one list that I read was moving to a different location. You are leaving friends and family and your brothers and sisters in Christ. This is especially true if you are a senior citizens. Well guess what?! Glad and I wholeheartedly agree. Even our trip half way around the world (1966) with four young children in tow doesn't compare to this move that we are making.
So this occasion has given us time to think about how to deal with stress. What can Christians do about stress? Well I believe the scripture gives us the answer. "In everything give praise (thanks) because this is the will of God for your life (concerning you.)" I Thess. 5:18
Psalm 103 is so special to us. Praise is very precious to God, because it blesses Him and us too. In our worship services we have praise teams to lead us in singing, because corporate praise and worship go together. This Psalm gives us reasons to praise. It changes our focus and helps us look to the Lord. So why praise? Listen to Psalm 103. Read it and mediate on it and let God flood your soul with praise in the situation. It may not change the situation, but it takes You to the Lord who can lift you up and above the current situation in your life.
WE MUST PRAISE HIM BECAUSE OF WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR US. (103:2) Look carefully at that verse and don't forget any of His 'benefits' (blessings) that are yours through His love for you.
The first benefit we see here is that the Lord forgives all our sins. Ps.103:3 This is huge. Yesterday, I received a letter from the mission field where a young woman was in total bondage to moneylenders. She was going to commit suicide, because she believed she was so sinful for getting into this debt. The leaders of the church there shared Christ with her. She accepted HIM and began rejoicing. The burden of sin was lifted. She is rejoicing that she now has help with her problem. Did the problem disappear? No, but now she can find solutions to the problem because of her new life in Jesus and in the way that He gives her answers to solving the problem.
Another benefit that we see in this Psalm is that God heals all our diseases. (Ps.103:3). This is not a name it and claim it philosophy. But our Lord does heal our minds, attitudes, our spirits and our illnesses. Sometimes, HE heals us by taking us to heaven and sometime he heals us through modern medicine but you can be sure that the Healer is God! So we praise HIM for eternal life and for healing.
There is so much to say on this subject that I want to continue this next week. Please think about this and read carefully Psalm 103. It will bless you as it has blessed me!!