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10 August - Coping With Stress

I’ve been learning a lot about coping with stress this week at Uni and how we define stressful circumstances and experiences in our lives as challenging or threatening. It’s an important question to ask ourselves because how we view major events and everyday hassles greatly affects how much stress we feel and how we will cope with it in life.

Take, for example, the fact that most of us hate moving house. It’s one of the top stressors for the average person. As a result, we can become very anxious, tired and experience the general feeling of being overwhelmed depending on the extent of the move and how many people and belongings we are relocating.

However, the difference between one person and the next when it comes to a life event such as moving is how you gage your ability to cope and whether you can put a positive spin on the inconvenience or only see all the detrimental aspects. Where one person sees only the negatives and becomes stressed, another person can view moving as an opportunity to start afresh, change, and meet new people in their new share house or neighborhood.

How we appraise situations in life depends on our attitudes, behaviors, and thoughts and hugely affects how we deal with stressful situations, either positively or negatively.

This is why when we feel stressed about a situation, we can actively seek to change our interpretation and reframe it into a more positive one.

Today I encourage you that no matter what you are going through, whether it is a major life event or an everyday hassle, to take the time to ascertain how you are viewing and processing your situation. Are you determining everything is a threat and negative in design, or can you reframe your stressful situation and see the opportunity, benefits, and the fact that no matter what God is in your midst and at work.

Plus where can you make lemons into lemonade, invite God into your mess, so He can make it into a miracle of provision, breakthrough, positive change, and goodness?

He is a specialist and causes all things to work for our good. But it is important that we also participate and seek to see things through the lens of where is the good and how can I change things up to see things in a better light and how God might be working behind the scenes to create a blessing.

God is faithful and promises that he will perfect what concerns us and that our future is full of hope and not harm so I encourage you to look at stressful circumstances through a lens of opportunity and challenge rather than fear and threat.

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8 NIV)

“I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.“ (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message)

"We can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." (Romans 8:28 The Message)

Prayer: Lord, please help me to reframe my circumstances when they might be stressful so that I can see any situations through the lens of opportunity rather than them being a threat to harm me. In Jesus name Amen

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