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Monday
Jan012018

1/1/18 grace notes: minimizing stress

Happy New Year to all! While in the confines of prison walls, Apostle Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) He spoke this affirmation while restricted, limited, and defeated by his circumstances. He recognized that in his own might, he could not withstand his crushing conditions, but he knew that the God that was with him and in him was more than able. If you think about it, in today's culture, the pressures to succeed can often feel as overwhelming as the struggles of defeat. In fact, studies have shown that the drive to succeed is actually damaging our children's health. Specifically, a 2016 New York Times article by Vicki Abeles entitled, "Is the Drive for Success Making Our Children Sick?" points out that nearly one in three teenagers reported to the American Psychological Association symptoms of anxiety and depression that were related to school-related stress.

So what can we learn from Apostle Paul's proclamation? We can learn that successfully handling the pressures of both failure and success requires a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a dependence on Him. That is, relying solely on our own limited strength will only lead to anxiety and depression; however, realizing that we have a friend in our life's journey whose supernatural strength can sustain us through ALL circumstances is refreshing, encouraging, and soothing. Want to experience peace and joy this year? I encourage you to come to know this Jesus Christ who Paul speaks of in this verse. And I encourage us all to trust God more this year in ALL that we do and go through; that is, doing what we can, and believing and resting in the fact that what we can't do, God can. Here's to a fulfilling new year filled with peace and joy!  

 

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