Rest for the Stressed

Rest for the Stressed

The Mayo Clinic warns that stress can have a negative impact on one’s health, thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Their recent report enumerates several.

Common effects of stress on your body

  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension or pain
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Change in sex drive
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep problems

Common effects of stress on your mood

  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Lack of motivation or focus
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Irritability or anger
  • Sadness or depression

Common effects of stress on your behavior

  • Overeating or undereating
  • Angry outbursts
  • Substance abuse
  • Irritable
  • Tobacco use
  • Social withdrawal

It seems strange to me that for some, it takes a $100,000+ study from a prestigious medical center to confirm what we already know in our heart to be true. Stress is bad. Stress can contribute to a shortened life and a compromised witness. These facts are not disputed. But there is good news—God cares, and God desires to help.

2000 years ago, Jesus came to earth—to help.  Not only did He come to make it possible to inherit a glorious eternal life, He came to make it possible to have more joy and hope in this life. He did not come to just tell us how to live—He came to show us how to live—and to help us manage the burdens of life.

In Matthew 11 Jesus said, “Come unto me all who are weary, and I will give you rest…”  Jesus cares. He wants to help. He can help. The notes below provide an overview of the help Jesus offers. Satan desires to steal joy and peace. Know his strategy, and know you have access to an Advocate, a Friend, and a Helper.  May you find in Him, rest for your soul.

Note the amazing promise and offer Jesus, and Jesus alone can extend to humanity:

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.  For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.” (28-30)

Note the care and understanding Jesus shows in Matthew 11:

  • Jesus took the initiative to extend an invitation.
  • Jesus knows our situation.
  • The invitation is not to be free from trouble, but to be free from the power of sin (humanity’s greatest need).
  • The invitation is not to be free from the law, but to be dependent on (trust in) Jesus. Jesus is faithful and true.
  • The invitation is not to live by our own rules, but to learn from Jesus. Those who learn from and lean-on Jesus find rest and peace for their souls.
  • Remember: The load is light only if we are carrying the right things, the right way.

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