“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV).
You’re not alone.
The truth is, only one person has ever had “the weight of the world on his shoulders.” It’s exactly what Jesus came to do: to carry the weight of the world.
The Bible says of Jesus, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2 NIV).
Nobody carried greater stress in life than Jesus. He not only carried the sin of the world on him while on the cross, but he also faced constant demands on him during his life. People frequently wanted to see him and be healed by him. He had no privacy. Other people tried to trap him and they sought to kill him.
But Jesus knew how to handle the stress. He had an incredibly attractive balance to his life. He handled pressure with peace.
That’s what I want to be like. I’m guessing you want the same.
As I’ve studied the Bible, I’ve noticed seven secrets of stress management that Jesus consistently demonstrates.
- Identification: Jesus knew who he was.
- Motivation: Jesus knew what he was living for.
- Vocation: Jesus understood his calling.
- Concentration: Jesus knew what mattered most.
- Meditation: Jesus listened to God.
- Collaboration: Jesus had a small group.
- Recreation: Jesus took time to recharge.
I believe these seven characteristics can define our lives as well. Over the next seven days, we’ll look at each of these characteristics and how we can incorporate them into our lives.
SEEK TO PLEASE ME above all else. As you journey through today, there will be many choice points along your way. Most of the day’s decisions will be small ones you have to make quickly. You need some rule of thumb to help you make good choices. Many people’s decisions are a combination of their habitual responses and their desire to please themselves or others. This is not My way for you. Strive to please Me in everything, not just in major decisions. This is possible only to the extent that you are living in close communion with Me. When My Presence is your deepest delight, you know almost instinctively what will please Me. A quick glance at Me is all you need to make the right choice. Delight yourself in Me more and more; seek My pleasure in all you do.
“The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”
JOHN 8 : 29
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
HEBREWS 11 : 5 – 6
Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
PSALM 37 : 4
A Lot to Unlearn
Although God could instantly transform us, he has chosen to develop us slowly.
Why does it take so long to change and grow up? There are several reasons —
We are slow learners. We often have to relearn a lesson forty or fifty times to really get it. The problems keep recurring, and we think, “Not again! I’ve already learned that!” – but God knows better. We need repeated exposure.
We have a lot to unlearn. Many people go to a counselor with a personal or relational problem that took years to develop and say, “I need you to fix me. I’ve got an hour.” Since most of our problems – and all of our bad habits – didn’t develop overnight, it’s unrealistic to expect them go away immediately.
Growth is often painful and scary. There is no growth without change; there is no change without fear or loss; and there is no loss without pain. We fear these losses, even if our old ways were self-defeating, because, like a worn out pair of shoes, they were at least comfortable and familiar.
Every change involves a loss of some kind: You must let go of old ways in order to experience the new.