Faith’s Stress Test

MATTHEW 11:28-30 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Stress is an effective tool in the hands of our God, a tool that is intended both for His glory & our good.  God uses stress to: 1. GET OUR ATTENTION - Sometimes we are not receptive to the physical, mental, or spiritual signs He sends us.  2. HELP US REDEFINE OR REDISCOVER OUR PRIORITIES – It should take us back to the basics. It’s an opportunity to re-evaluate our priorities & bring them in line with God’s.  3. DRAW US TO HIM- As the thirsty seek for water, those under stress often seek God. Many non-believers have come to Christ & many believers have returned to Him in times of stress.  4. DISCIPLINE US - No discipline seems pleasant at the time.  However, it produces a harvest of righteousness & peace for those who have been trained by it.  5. STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH - Stress is a demand placed upon our faith. Without it our faith cannot, grow. Since faith is like a muscle, there’s only one way a muscle grows, through stress. A muscle that is rarely exercised atrophies; it shrinks into uselessness.  Faith seldom stretched beyond its usual limits can only maintain itself. It cannot grow. To grow, unusual demands must be placed upon it. Christ gives us faith and strength to rise above life’s curse as referenced in this poem:

(5 points from: 2013 EPM's Magazine Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries)

The way that I ADDRESS
The feelings that I POSSESS
Flows out for one reason
And that reason’s to release STRESS.
Everyday there’s a TEST
And this TEST
Is no more and no LESS
Then a way to hinder my PROGRESS
But I won’t let that stop me from doing my BEST.
Some seem to get PRESSED
And try and cause a big MESS
By doing things that say, “I’m JEALOUS”
Of the way you SURPRESS
Your STRESS.
Well now I must CONFESS
How not to REGRESS.
This strength comes from deep inside
And it’s deeper than you’ll ever GUESS.
So as I take a big BREATH
And I stick out my CHEST
To let the whole world know
That thanks to the Lord I’m BLESSED.
For doing so I’m REFRESHED
The same as if I got REST
But the rest I got is not physical
For the physical holds no STATUS.
But let me preserve some of this BREATH
For the next time I get STRESSED.
I will SING
To my KING
My OFFERING
A praise to the Lord for this TEST.

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