Stress is not about your circumstances!

At least one Sunday a month one of the pastors head down to the Aurora for a Bible study/Biblical counseling time.

During these meeting the ladies study a topic like worry or thankfulness.

On March 15, I had the opportunity to teach the on Stress: Peace Amid Pressure.

Here are some thoughts from the time.

Setting up the learning/teaching:
Women from Emmanuel Baptist Church have been going to the Aurora House, a transitional home for women and their children www.auroraprojectinc.org, for the last several years.  On Sunday nights they have taken meals, organized a game night or planned a Bible study.  EBC women have brought some women from the Aurora House to our Christmas events and Sunday morning services.
What a great way to share God’s love and Word with others.
Over the last couple of months one of the pastors has gone down once a month to cover various Biblical counseling topic.
On March 15, I taught from the booklet entitled Stress:  Peace Amid Pressure.
I want to share a couple of great reminders and challenge I took from this booklet.
What was my learning/teaching:
What I really love about this specific booklet s the fact that it is a study of Psalm 131, “a show-and-tell for how to become peaceful inside” (p. 2).  One of the points Powlison makes at the beginning of the booklet is that “composure i learned, and it is learned in relationship” (p. 4).
Psalm 131:1:  Deliverance from the Noise
Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
This first verse reminds us that much of the noise, pressure and distraction of life is because of what we are treasuring in our hearts, watching with our eyes and concerned about.
Psalm 131:2:  The Process of Peace
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
Here is a big truth to remember as you think about calming and quieting your soul.
“Only one thing is strong enough to overpower a stormy life: what God promises to do in and through Jesus Christ” (p. 13).
Psalm 131:3: The Reason for Peace
O Israel, hope in the Lordfrom this time forth and forevermore.
Read Psalm 130 to see some of the things we are to hope in…
there is forgiveness with God
with the LORD there is lovingkindness
and more.
The final, overview section of the booklet is about personalizing Psalm 131.
Powlison uses a great image to help us do that.
  1. Identify ladders to nowhere (Ladder of achievement, ladder of appetite, ladder of avoidance).  Stress is often caused when we “chase after impossibilities.”  Stress is more ME than my circumstances.  You are your biggest problem.
  2. Come to know Jesus.   Psalm 131 overthrows the powers-that-be to establish the reign of HIm-who-is.  Jesus saves you from sin.  He saves you from yourself.
  3. Live the mindset of Psalm 131.  Set your hope in the right place
We all need to remind ourselves of Biblical, life changing truth over and over again.
If you are asking yourself the question “Why am I stressed?”
Consider these two questions:
“What am I pursuing?”
“Is my heart set on Christ and the things of God?”