You hear a lot about stress today…. and no wonder with the many ongoing trials and tensions in our world…from personal to global. Every day brings more challenges…. and stress.
“Stress can be described as a feeling of emotional strain and pressure… of being stretched tight. Small amounts of stress may be desired, beneficial, and even healthy. Positive stress helps improve athletic performance. It also plays a factor in motivation, adaptation, and reaction to the environment. Excessive amounts of stress, however, may lead to bodily harm… increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and mental illnesses such as depression, ….” So tension and stress can be good and bad.
At times I believe there can be stress and tension in our relationship with the Lord. It can be a good thing if it causes us to cry out to the Lord. Listen to the words of Psalm 42:
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God.My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me continually, “Where is your God?”……why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God. (Psalm 42:1-6)
Wow, this is real stress and tension….. “my soul longs and yearns and thirsts for God….in tears I thirst…. my soul is cast down.” This is real ! The soul is alive…the unrest causes the soul to seek. There is no complacency here. “I’m in trouble and I need the Lord to help me…the soul is crying out to the Lord…..help me…save me….don’t leave me Lord.
And this beautiful Psalm ends with hope, with answers from the Lord already appearing… ”Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.” Yes, my soul…hope in God…place your hope and trust with the Lord…you will again praise God…you are my help…you are my God. This anguish and stress and tension causes the soul to wake up…..”hope in God, my soul.. I shall again praise you…”
The Book of Hebrews can add a P.S. ….. “therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees…” (Hebrews 12:11-12) The result of all this is the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” that develops in our soul.
So if we find ourselves with our soul cast down…let’s wake up and allow the Lord to invigorate us. The Lord never leaves us. He is always with us …. helping us … training us ….picking us up.
Hope in God brothers and sisters. We shall again praise him…. and all will be well with our souls.