We live in a stress-filled society. The hectic pace of our lives coupled with the burden of our every-day existence can cause even physical ailment such as ulcers, migraines, and shingles. Doctors are repeatedly telling their patients, â€śYou've got to reduce the stress in your life.â€ť This is easier said than done, however.
The Bible does not paint a roseate picture of life for the Christian. Nowhere does it promise that the believer will be instantaneously delivered from problems and burdens. Believers share in the common troubles of life to which man is born â€śas the sparks fly upwardâ€ť (Job. 5:7). Jesus even spoke of the increased trials, afflictions, and persecutions that come our way because we have chosen to follow Him.
Yet at the same time, He promised that we can be delivered from worry and anxious care. Paul said also in 1 Cor. 7:32, â€śBut I would have you without carefulness [worry, anxiety].â€ť
Our focus as believers must be on advancing â€śthe kingdom of God and his righteousnessâ€ť (v. 33). This is binding upon the wealthy as well as the poor. If we see ourselves the way God sees us â€“ as stewards of the resources which He has given us to invest in His kingdom, we will not desire more than we can manage. Even if God allows us to experience loss, we will still bless His name (Job 1:21b). Our satisfaction will be derived from a growing Christ-likeness and not from the things of this world (Psalm 17:15).
Bob Vradenburgh is the senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has spent 40 years in full-time Christian service: the first 20 years as a missionary and the past 20 years in the pastorate. Bobâ€™s passion is the expository preaching of Godâ€™s Word,...