We all experience stress. Some days more than others.
I have experienced periods of anxiety and stress throughout my nearly 60 years of life and, because of this struggle, I have tried several methods to effectively walk through these unwelcome periods. Through trial and error I have developed a simple process that is becoming more and more effective in bringing health to my life.
When it visits me, anxiety creeps in slowly until it settles in my mind—fueling thoughts that often magnify and perpetuate the problems around me. Sometimes anxiety even acts as a magnet, attracting to me all things negative.
In seeking to be like King David, who was unwilling to stay trapped in this magnetic field, I sought a practice that would protect me from the emotional challenges of stressful circumstances. In the book of Psalms, King David often describes the great pressures surrounding him that lead to extreme anxiety and seeming despair. But after cataloging the details of his calamities, he looks to the only One who can resolve his anxiety.
David remembers what the Lord has done and he chooses to trust Him with the details of his future. King David has modeled the ART that has become a great comfort to me when dealing with the stress of life:
- Abide in God
- Remember God’s past victories, and
- Trust God for your future.
A: Abide with Christ and rest in Him.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
R: Remember all that Christ has done throughout history for His creation, and for you personally.
“Remember the wondrous works that he has done…” 1 Chronicles 16:12a
T: Trust Him to work out the details of your present and your future.
“…Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
When we practice this ART, the heavy burden loosens and we can transfer its weight—and the outcomes—to the only One who can handle it: our Lord Jesus. God longs for you and me to surrender the stress-filled life and trust His faithful Fatherly care for us.