DREAM ON • Under Pressure – 8/27/23


Ever get to the end of the day and wonder exactly where the time went; what did you accomplish? Did you know that an average American will spend 6 years eating, 5 years waiting in line, 4 years doing housework, 2 years unsuccessfully returning phone calls, one year looking for misplaced objects, 8 months opening junk mail and 6 months sitting at a stop light. (Reference: US News and World Report) Now some of this has probably changed since the pandemic, but you get the idea. Just thinking about wasting that much time is enough to cause stress, to say nothing about actually doing all those things. Exactly how many years does that leave for a person to do worthwhile things? Stress is a major factor in our country, and it is a major expense in financial cost, time lost, and medical expenses. Is there a way to manage your schedule and survive under pressure? With God all things are possible.

Scriptures –Proverbs 17:24; Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 12:25; Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 17:22; Proverbs 10:27; Proverbs 3:5-6; Mark 8:37

Verses – It is stupid to waste time on useless projects (Pr 12:11). A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life (Pr 14:30). Reverence for God adds hours to each day (Pr 10:27).

Thought – Three major things can help alleviate pressure in your life. 1) Line up your priorities. Get organized. Decide what’s most important and focus. When you are running around majoring in the minors you see little accomplished for the time spent. Either priorities or pressure will drive you. You get to decide! 2) Lighten up your attitude. Stress is an attitude. It’s about how you look at your situation and approach it. Jesus modeled a relaxed attitude. He couldn’t save everybody nor feed everybody. He told the disciples that the poor would always be with them. He did what he could, took time for his followers and took time for himself to rest and pray. If Jesus knew he couldn’t do it all, why would you think you can? Get some rest and relaxation. Live, love, and laugh! It’s all part of God’s design. Don’t be callous or insensitive, but just do what you can! 3) Look up to God. When you are stressed, it means you have gotten your eyes off Jesus. It’s time to regroup and refocus. If you don’t spend time with God, you won’t have enough time for anything else. You may think you don’t have time for prayer and daily devotions, but when you take time for God first, he will add everything else you need. You will be able to get done what is needed. As Proverbs 10:27 says, Reverence for God adds hours to each day. Sounds a little supernatural. Well, it is. God is the one who will multiply your time and your efforts and give you strength to deal with each day’s responsibilities and challenges. Put Him first!  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need (Mt 6:33).

Questions – How do you respond to stress? What is the most stressful part of your day? What can you do to alleviate some of your stress? How are you wasting time? What things in your agenda need to go? Are you relying on God in the day-to-day stressors? What is your biggest stressor right now?

Response – Look at your schedule and see what can go. Approach what you have to do with an attitude of gratitude for your blessings, your ability to get things done, your resources. Remember you aren’t working alone; God is with you. Take time to enjoy life, your blessings and God’s beautiful creation. Be refreshed!

Prayer – Gracious Father, help me to be a good steward of all you’ve given me. Help me to use my time, effort, and resources for the most important tasks that are placed before me. I want to honor you in all I do and be faithful to my responsibilities, but most of all I want to be faithful to you. Thank you for walking with me each day, for your guidance, strength, and for the peace you offer. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

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