The crushing weight of stress

Posted in

You might remember the headlines last summer of a terrible ocean disaster. The “Titan,” a submersible for deep sea exploration, imploded. A tourist company, OceanGate, operated it. It was taking tourists to explore the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic. Many experts had raised concerns about the safety and readiness of the “Titan.” Unfortunately, on June 18th, 2023, the pressure of the ocean crushed the vessel, and all the passengers and crew were lost.

That catastrophe reminded me how pressure can crush anything physically but also emotionally. Who doesn’t secretly wish we lived in a world free from all stress? Who doesn’t want a healthy, happy home and workplace without drama? The emotional pressure of strained relationships can change you. The burden of day-to-day life weighs heavily on all of us. It can turn the “mom of the year” into a raging monster. It can drive the most “even-keeled” employee into a workplace nightmare.

So, what do you do? Pray that pressure, stress, and anxiety go away. I don’t think that works…and neither do you. You’ve tried it, and so have I. It’s important to understand that peace isn’t found in the absence of stress but in the presence of God. Isaiah 26:3 is clear. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” “Perfect peace” is the Hebrew word, “Shalom, shalom.” The word appears twice for emphasis. The answer to “perfect peace” and “pressure and stress” is to fix your thoughts on God. To rise above pressure, you have to think about the right things. So, consider focusing your thoughts on God (He’s our Creator), God’s Word (the Bible is our handbook to living), and your strength potential in God. Joel 3:10 says, “Let the weak say, I am strong.” Remember, pressure also has the potential to turn a lump of coal into a diamond.

Worried about your pastor? Take the first step today.