Stress – A Biblical Perspective (part five)
This is part 5 of a 5 part series. This series was written for my friends in the cardiac-rehab program at Valley Regional Hospital.
The Principle of Submission
Is God in control of your life? Are you submissive and in obedience to God all the time? Do you know God’s commandments? Do you always obey God’s commandments? If your answer is “no” to any of these questions, then you are not obeying God which is the same as not being submissive to God. Rebellion is the opposite of obedience and submission.
Jesus Christ said the greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. If this is the greatest commandment, then the greatest sin is to break this command. Do we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength? When we do, we spend every waking moment seeking to please God because we love Him so much. I never met anyone who can honestly say they never broke this commandment. Nor is it likely we will meet someone who kept the second commandment Jesus talked about which is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Do you make sure your neighbors, people in your proximity, have all their needs met as much as you make sure your own needs are met? I know I have not. This is a lack of obedience to God’s commands.
If being in rebellion to God, the ultimate Judge of the living and the dead, doesn’t cause stress in your life, then you are not thinking clearly. Nobody in their right mind openly defies a judge in a position to determine whether or not a person deserves life imprisonment. In a greater way, it is not a good thing to rebel against the Creator of the Universe, the Judge who decides our eternal fate. But, let’s not just look at this situation from a negative angle. Nobody in their right mind openly defies a loving benefactor, someone who cares for them dearly and desires to bestow good things upon them. Though this rebellion seems outlandishly foolish, people do it every day. The stark reality is the Bible says those opposed to God, those in rebellion, are His enemies. They are enemies to what is right and good.
Rebellion causes stress. The Bible teaches we can be helped from our rebellious nature by pursuing holiness and righteousness. Righteousness is a peaceable pursuit. It is being in right standing before God, with a clean slate, declared good by God. This brings indescribable peace to our soul. How do we obtain righteousness, a right standing before God? There is only one way.
The Bible says Jesus Christ, on the cross, willingly took our sins upon Himself. He then offers up His righteousness (His sinless position before the Judge) to all those who put their faith and trust in Him. They become justified, which is a theological word meaning, “just as if I’d” never sinned. The Apostle Paul summed it up like this, “God made Jesus Christ to be sin for us (on our account) so we might become righteous before God (in Jesus Christ). Theologians describe this as substitutionary atonement, which means Jesus Christ took the punishment for our sins. Putting faith in Christ’s work on the cross changes our position before God from an enemy to a forgiven child of God. This brings indescribable peace to the soul so a person can say, “death where is thy sting and grave, where is thy victory?”
Summing it all up
Our Heavenly Father loves us and cares for us. He provided instructive information so we can live healthy lives. God doesn’t want His children to be stressed. Heaven will not be a stressful place at all. God’s instructions are not burdensome, but actually the opposite, they provide freedom from oppression. In the Bible, God repeatedly emphasizes He has our very best in mind. Will you trust what God says and submit yourself to His ways and to His loving guidance? My prayer is you will.
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Thank you Allen.