Posted on 22 March 2013.
Pastor Barry Briggs
The Springs Church
135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs
Nobody carried greater stress in life than Jesus. Not only did He carry the weight of being the Savior of the world on His shoulders, but there were constant demands on His life. People wanted to see Him. People were trying to trap Him. People were trying to kill Him. Nobody has ever experienced greater stress than Jesus did.
Yet, if you look at His life, He doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. He handles all the pressures with peace. In fact, we never see Jesus in a hurry, even though He had the most important assignment in life. No matter what the world threw at Him, He handled it with grace.
I want to learn how to do that. I want to learn how to be at peace under pressure. I want to learn how to handle stress. Fortunately Jesus gave us a model. And if you will follow Jesus’ example, your stress will go down and your fulfillment and joy in life will go up.
So how did Jesus handle stress? He did it in three ways: By getting alone, by getting away, and by getting together. Let’s unpack those.
First, the Bible says if you want to learn to be stress free like Jesus you need to get alone with God. Mark 1:35 (NIV) is the secret of stress relief. It says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”
What’s Jesus doing? He’s having a quiet time. He’s getting alone, getting quiet, and spending time with God. Over and over in the Gospels we see Jesus doing this. Look at Luke 5:15-16 (NCV), “News about Jesus spread even more. Many people came to hear Jesus and to be healed of their sicknesses, but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so He could pray.” Notice it says Jesus did this often. You need to do this often too. You need to have a quiet time every day to reflect, renew, and recharge.
Next, if you want to reduce the stress in your life you have to take time to get away. Trust me, Jesus had more important work than you or I do. But He frequently took the time to relax, to go to parties, go to weddings, to kick back and have fun. Jesus said, “I, the Son of Man, feast and drink…” (Matthew 11:19 NLT).
The Pharisees accused Jesus of being a party animal. They said this guy’s always going to parties, always eating and drinking. Do you want to be Christ like? Go to a party. Enjoy life. If you’re too busy to take your vacation time, you’re too busy. If you’re too busy to pray, you’re too busy. And if you’re too busy to relax, you’re too busy. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured.
Jesus lived a stress free life because He would get alone, get away, and finally because He would get together. Look at Matthew 26:38 (NIV), “[Jesus] said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.”
The night before Jesus went to the cross He went to a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. He went there to pray, but He didn’t go alone. He took His friends with Him. Even Jesus needed a group of friends to help Him through the tough times, and He was perfect. Like Jesus, when we’re going through stressful times we need friends to be there with us too.
Stress is increasing in our culture. So you’ve got to take some intentional steps to combat the stress in your life. What are the steps? Jesus modeled them for us: get alone, get away, and get together. Do this often and it will reduce your stress.
Hear the full sermon at thespringschurch.info. Click on media.