Monday, October 22, 2018

Grace: the Antidote for Stress

11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.” Acts 15:11 NKJV

 We've begun a new series of study on God's great Grace. We're focusing on the healing and restorative work of Grace in our lives once received in its fullness. So far we've seen Grace is the antidote for the hurts religion has inflicted. We've seen that Grace is the antidote for burnout.

 Today, I sense the impression to focus on the area of stress. Stress affects everyone in some way or the other. Be it financial, health, work/career, or family. Stress brings with it pressure, worry, and anxiety. Stress brings pressure and uneasiness but Grace brings peace, rest and full assurance. 

 In the Finished Work, God provided the way of rest. Jesus is our Sabbath rest. The Finished Work reminds us the work is complete. It is finished, nothing needs to be added to it. Not works, not performance, not more serving or promises to do better. If it's finished, then all we need to do is act accordingly and rest in Him.

 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Hebrews 4:9-10 NKJV

 We can rest in Jesus' triumphant victory. Now, what does it mean to rest in Him? Putting it in the simplest terms, don't try to reinvent the wheel. In other words, if the barn has already been painted why are you buying paint, and brushes and rollers and attempting to paint it again? Can you imagine a painter going into the museum and trying to repaint the Mona Lisa? Or a road crew setting up to pave a road that has just been paved? 

 I hope you're tracking with me. Would a farmer go to a field that's just been plowed and then try to plow it again? That's foolish. We can readily see the foolishness of redoing what's already been done in this natural, secular realm. Yet, when we translate it into the spiritual realm it seems to so many that it's what we're supposed to be doing. 

 Why is this? Because it's human nature to want to contribute, to add to, to help out. Jesus finished the work. He rendered the enemy defeated. He purchased our complete healing and wholeness. He paid the full price and took all the punishment for all sins of all mankind. So how do we attempt to redo what's already done?

 When we believe the enemy is still undefeated in some way, and that by our prayer chains, our prayer marches, our fasting, our giving will somehow render the enemy really defeated. Look the enemy is either defeated or he isn't. Resting in Jesus is trusting fully, completely in what Jesus did. It's not us trying to do anything to make it so. Don't misunderstand I am not speaking of inactivity, I am speaking of Spirit-led actions based on the understanding that Jesus is the triumphant victorious King. It's fighting from victory, not for victory.

Have Faith in God

 Resting in Christ is walking by Faith. What is Faith? The Amplified Bible has the best definition of Faith I've ever seen, here. Now it's not Faith in our faith. Brother Kenneth Hagin once wrote a book about this topic. In it, all he was speaking of was having a confident expectation that your Faith will indeed work for you. Meaning, you didn't need some big name minister to pray for you to achieve results. 

 That is a truth that is important to remember. You can trust God and He will hear your prayers. That said, unfortunately, some took this idea too literally. The Word of Faith then morphed into some performance driven, works concept of faith in your own faith. In other words, the objective was to have faith in your faith, that's not the truth.

 Resting in Him is about putting our Faith in His Faith and Finished Work. Grace is about Christ living and working through us, not us working for Him. Faith isn't about achievements or strivings. It's really about resting in what He has already done. 

 You may be wondering, what's this have to do about the stress we face day to day? Glad you asked. This is about moving from being stressed out to a place of rest. 

not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 NKJV

 In this passage, Paul is speaking of the coming of the Lord. He was easing the fear and worry and anxiety some had concerning the last days. What catches my attention is the phraseology he uses. Paul says don't be shaken or troubled by spirit or word or letter. This is a truth that will cause stress to fall away.

 Pressure and fear and worry and stress comes from only these three avenues. Think of it. Your spirit concerns the enemy trying to convince you of his lies. Word, is when someone speaks negative words or heralds bad news. Letter is when we receive troubling news by way of written words. 

 This covers all aspect of our lives. The Good News is that the Holy Ghost through Paul said we shouldn't be shaken or troubled. No matter what the situation or circumstance God is still on the throne. Jesus is still Lord. The enemy is still defeated. 

 Bringing this together, we must rest in Christ Finished Work at all times. When trouble tries to rear its head that's not the time to try and add to the Finished Work. Certainly, you may pray more and look to the Scriptures. Let that be a source of comfort and stability and a reminder of Jesus' triumph, but don't turn it into a work. 

 We can't control all situations or circumstances, or the actions or words of others. Therefore, there is no need to be stressed out by the actions of others. If people are harassing or haranguing you, trust Christ to turn it around for your good.

 I've had unruly neighbors who were destructive to their property and were troublesome. I've had really difficult co-workers and supervisors. I prayed about these situations. I trusted Christ. These neighbors moved away. These co-workers left me alone or some even transferred. The boss was reassigned to another place. My point is there isn't a circumstance that God can't bring victory to.

In summation, Grace is the antidote for stress. The Finished Work is complete and the enemy is totally defeated and rendered harmless and ineffective in all his schemes. Truly we may feel surrounded and overwhelmed at times. The real truth is we are surrounded. We are surrounded by His goodness and favor. We are surrounded by His love and kindness and mercy. We are victorious overcomers because of Jesus and His Grace. Stress out? No, relax because Jesus has got this!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

No comments: