Transformed: Stress to Peace

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Stress is sometimes defined as that feeling we get when our demands exceed our perceived resources. Too many bills and not enough cash. Too many tasks and not enough time. Too much chaos and not enough control.

The kind of peace the Bible talks about isn’t a lack of conflict or challenges. In fact, it isn’t circumstantial at all. It’s an inward sense of wholeness and completeness. That kind of peace is a gift from God (John 14:27) and because it’s often experienced amid demands, chaos and hardship, it surpasses our ability to understand or explain (Philippians 4:7).

So how do we experience the transformation from stress to peace? Sometimes it happens by sheer grace, even without our asking. But Scripture also encourages us to hand over our burdens, worries and cares to God. This is a conscious and prayerful act of our will. We entrust it all, and ourselves, to the care of God because we trust that God cares for us. Jesus put it this way:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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 will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. – Matthew 11:28-30

Does that mean that our challenges and burdens will go away? Nope! In my experience what changes is what’s inside of me, not what’s outside. I experience peace amid the challenges. Until I take it all back from Jesus and try to bear the burden myself. Which I do on a regular basis! Then I have to hand it all back again.

Feeling stressed? Carry it all if you want. But know that Jesus is ready to bear the load and transform your stress to peace.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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Showing 2 comments
  • Nicholas
    Reply

    great, just great points.

  • Ken Walter
    Reply

    My perceived sins that caused stress in my life are forgiven when I confess, repent and ask forgiveness. This I believe by Faith. But it did not include personal shame and guilt in that category. It has been a long battle. In the past year I came to understand these are sins, these are idols I worshiped. Overnight upon that realization they were taken at the foot of the cross as I let them go. Praise and Glory to God.

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