Thursday, March 3, 2016

How to deal with stress

How to Handle Stress & Anxiety
By Dr. Norman R. Wise

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  Jesus The Messiah;  John 14:27 

People have stress in their lives.   The 20th century was the most stressed filled century of all time.  It does not look like the 21st is proving to be much less stressful.  We find ourselves living in the richest, most privileged nation on earth and yet anxiety and worry are our normal state most days. 

So when Jesus the Messiah says He has come to give us true peace this is something many of us need.  The peace He offers is the same type of inner peace He had with God, others, and himself.  But how can we practically plug into this peace? 

One critical step is faith.  Jesus the Messiah will say we must believe in Him and in God the Father.  We must rest and trust in their purpose and plan for our lives.  Jesus will die on the cross to prove His commitment to us by paying for our sins.  His resurrection is given to assure us that He has succeeded in winning peace with Divine Justice.  We must come to accept that Heaven takes notice of us and has a purpose for us.  We are not accidents.  We are not forgotten by God.  We are the apple of His eye and the passionate desire of His heart. 
Now the faith that brings peace to our minds and hearts is not a superficial, Sunday only faith.  It is faith as a world view, a philosophy, a life commandment, a commitment, and a pledge.  It is a state of soul that we have asked God to give us, nurtured through prayer, deepened through meditation, and practiced in life. 
We must also understand that none of us yet have perfect faith.  Until we see Jesus face to face a part of us will always doubt and that doubt will create in us a degree of anxiety.  It is direction not perfection we now seek. 

So where can we find faith?  Where can we experience the reality of God and of Christ?  Here are some ideas:

o   Going to centers of worship and praise during a day devoted to rest, is a good place to start. 
o   Developing a daily private time of quiet, prayer, meditation, sacred song, and spiritual readings is also a good practice. 
o   Finding a spiritual mentor or coach to guide us in our seeking a real and substantial spiritual life has historically been important for those who desire to know divine peace. 
o   Developing a network of spiritual friends who share our hunger and thirst for true inner harmony can also be a key element in actually experiencing spiritual and psychological wholeness. 
o   Doing specific acts of love and kindness for the purpose of standing against the chaos of our culture. 

This is a very ancient path.  It helped billions of people in their daily lives for centuries.  We thought as modern people we had out grown it.  But we were wrong.  We need to return to the ancient paths of peace.  Shalom

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