How Jesus Handled Stress: A Few Learnings from the Bible
It seems an understatement to say that it’s been a crazy few weeks! I’ve been digging through the Bible to see how Jesus handled stressful times. I noticed at least four practices that He employed and thought I’d share them.
1. He always sought the presence of God. As He would pray, He drew strength and direction for whatever He was facing. Luke 5:16 (NKJV) tells us, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” (See also John 6:15 and Mark 1:35.) What a precious gift we have, that we can pray directly to God the Father, our creator! He tells us in Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV), “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
2. He offered praise to God. In this same way, we can offer our praise to God and remember that He is sovereign. Nahum 1:7 (NIV) says, “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” When we praise God in spite of the storms of life, we honor Him, and our faith grows deeper still.
3. He went about his Father’s work. From washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:5), to healing the sick (Matthew 8:14-15), to listening with compassion, Jesus set about loving and caring for others day by day. Although many of us cannot leave our homes right now, we can still minister to people by calling them, writing notes of encouragement and making ourselves available to listen and pray. We can continue to financially support our church by giving online. In doing so, we help those in greatest need. We can imitate Christ by shifting our efforts outside ourselves.
4. He trusted God’s faithfulness and rested in His control. One such example is His prayer to the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane in Matthew 26:39 (ESV): “And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.’”
God reminds us in Hebrews 13:5 (ESV), “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is always faithful, and with certainty and expectation, we can trust ourselves to His care and confidently follow His example.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. Our series "Anxious for Nothing" addresses how we can combat anxiety in our own lives. Click here to watch the first week!