SURVIVING IN A STRETCHED OUT & STRESSED OUT WORLD
By Hon. Snr. Evang. Prosper Awosika, December 14th, 2002
I want to talk today about surviving in a stretched out and stressed out
world. I believe this message will not only be appropriate for us who have been
on a journey in the church for a long time, but it will also be appropriate for
our children that are growing up beginning their journey in life.
To answer this question we have to look at the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus
lived his whole life under pressure. When he tried to steal some time away from
people they still followed him. There was always great demand on his time. He
was constantly interrupted, misunderstood, criticized and ridiculed. Yet he
never crashed under pressure. He was always at peace, never in a hurry. That was
why he was able to handle great amounts of stress. So as we consider His life we
can learn how to cope with stress in our life.
In Mathew Jesus tells us not to be anxious about our life, so in order for us to handle stress properly we must know “who we are” and “what we are.” Paul in 1st Corinthians 15 vs.9 and 10 said “ for I am the least of the apostles and in vs. 10 said, “but by the grace of God I am what I am”. What you are in the positive sense is by the grace of God. How you look, what you do, your skills, your mentality, and your personality in the positive sense are all given to you by the grace of God. In John 8 vs. 14 Jesus said who He was and what He was given in a series of I am statements. In John 8 vs. 12 He said “ I am the light of the world” In John 14 vs. 6 He said, “I am the way and the truth.” In John 10 vs.11 he said, “I am the good shepherd and in John 10 vs. 36 “ I am the Son of God. Christ knew who he was and what he was. Some said that He was Elijah some said he was John the Baptist who has come back to life. Some even said he was Beelzebub (the prince of the devils) but Jesus knew who he was and what he was. If we are going to be able to handle the stress in our life we must know who we are and what we are. If we don’t know who we are or what we are we can be sure someone will try to tell who they think we are thereby we are made vulnerable to let other people manipulate us into being somebody we are not.
The second way to reduce stress in our life is to know whom we are trying to
please. Who are we trying to please? I will tell you one secret, and that is, we
cannot please everybody. About the time we get one group pleased, another group
gets mad at us. There are some people no matter what we do they will never be
pleased. Why? Because they are not even pleased with themselves. Do you know
that God does not even please everybody? Just look at Jesus, did He please
everybody? If he had they wouldn’t have hung him on the cross. He did miracles
and they kept coming back, “I am not pleased, show me another miracle. Jesus
knew whom he was trying to please. He pleased the father, and the father said to
him “this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. When we don’t know whom
we are trying to please we will constantly struggle and give in to three things:
Criticism -because we will be concerned with what others thinks about us.
Conflict- because when someone disagrees with us we feel threatened. But we
are instructed in Mathew 6 vs. 33 to seek ye first the kingdom of God And his
righteousness, then the other necessities of life will be added. We are to seek
to please God. When pleasing God becomes our focus, life is made simpler and we
will be doing the right thing that pleases God no matter what anybody else
Many times we blame other people for our stress. Have you ever said, “you
made me to” or “ I have to?” No doubt what we really mean when we say this is we
are saying, “I choose to”, because of the consequences if I don’t. Seldom does
anybody makes us do anything. So we usually cannot blame someone else for our
stress. We get stressed out most often by allowing other people to put us under
pressure. We become victims when we allow ourselves to be pressured by other
peoples demands and expectations. But we’ve got to know whom we are trying to
Another way to keep stress out of our life is to know what we want to
accomplish. Even though we don’t like to plan very well, but we need to know,
have some ideas, and what we want to accomplish. Jesus said in John8 vs.14 “ I
know from where I came, and he said, “ I know where I go.” Where are you trying
to go? If we do not plan our life and set priorities, we will be pressured by
what other people think is important. We either decide what is important or we
will let other people tell us what is important in our life. Sometimes people
like to run and ruin other people’s life, when they cannot even run there own.
Plan and prepare for what you want to accomplish. Just because we are very busy
doesn’t mean we are productive. That dog chasing his tail is very busy. Good
planning and preparation reduces stress. So we should focus on doing one thing
at a time.
In Luke 4 vs. 43 Jesus said, “ I must preach the kingdom of God. People tried
to get Jesus to detour, they tried to distract him, but he focused on one thing
at a time. It seems that everybody tried to interrupt Jesus. Everyone had plan
A. you ought to do this; you ought to do that, if I were you I would do this.
They have plan B, C, and D, but Jesus stayed focused on his agenda. He knew what
God had told him to do- preach the kingdom of God. When we try to do too much,
we become ineffective. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Remember Jesus called
twelve people to help him. They were called apostles. Jesus delegated his
authority on them to preach the gospel. Don’t try to do everything by yourself.
Do you know why some people don’t delegate others to help them? Why don’t we get
other people involved? Two reasons why we don’t like to delegate nor get others
involved are 1. Because of professionalism. This is an egotistical attitude. We
must allow other people to develop. Let them make some mistakes. We don not have
to make them all. Don’t rob others of an education. 2. The other reason we don’t
delegate is because of personal insecurity. What if I give somebody the
opportunity and they by chance do a better job? That is somewhat threatening to
us. We have to pray daily. Jesus constantly sought to be alone with the father
to pray. Make a habit of personal prayer. When we are young we can get up, and
do lots of things on our own. We can go under our own strength, but after a
while, we are going to need somebody else to help us. Make it a habit to pray
daily. Talk with God in prayer and tell him exactly what’s on your mind. We
don’t need to hide when we make a mistake. God already knows this. He just wants
us to come to him and talk to him.
Leave your problems with him. He said in Mathew 11, “come unto me. Come to
Christ in prayer all ye that labor. If you are heavy laden. Remember Jesus said,
“ and I will give you rest he said, “ take my yoke upon you and lean on me and I
will give you rest, for my yoke is easier, and my burden is light. He invites us
daily to come unto him.
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