Stress is a spiritual issue that has an effect on a person’s entire life. Pressure is not the perpetrator. [See Warrick, How to Handle Stress, 5-6]. How an individual reacts to pressure reveals their understanding of God’s ways. An individual can allow pressure to come between them and God. An individual can also make the choice to allow pressure to press them closer to God. There needs to be an evaluation of their mental, emotional and physical response to the pressures that produce stress in their lives.
It must be understood that this kind of stress is a result of how an individual thinks about or interprets events. [Ibid.] If an individual dwells on something negative that is going on, then that person will feel stress. If that person makes the choice to dwell on God’s faithfulness to provide, God will replace their stress with His peace.
You should ask yourself this question: Do you have a positive or negative outlook? When you dwell on negative thoughts, you can turn even good circumstances into stress. That is how much power you can give your thoughts. That is why God wants you to mediate on what is pure and holy.
“If anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things…And the God of peace will be with you.” http://ref.ly/Pp4.8-9
This is how you process your thoughts. Bitter thoughts bring bitter emotions. If you think forgiving thoughts, you will feel forgiveness in your heart.
Although feelings need to be recognized and acknowledged, they are a product of your thinking. They can be controlled. Emotional immaturity makes you a prisoner to your feelings and keeps you chained to undue stress.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. http://ref.ly/Ro12.2
An individual’s physical body automatically responds to external pressure. When an individual dwells on difficulties, fatigue is developed. If an individual trusts God for His timing, He provides peace.
Medical science has its own special definition of stress. It threads mental and emotional reactions to the central nervous system. “As other physiological systems begin to activate in order to meet the external demands in life, if the pressure is not dealt with in a healthy way, you become susceptible to a variety of physical problems.” [Biblical Counseling Keys by June Hunt] Look what God reveals in Proverbs. We are told to keep His words in our hearts. This is how the believer can avoid many of the consequences of stress.
“Keep them [God’s words of wisdom] within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.” http://ref.ly/Pr4.21-22