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Dealing with Stress | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2021 7:00 am

Dealing with Stress | Part 1

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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December 13, 2021 7:00 am

In this message, Adrian Rogers offers insight on dealing with stress.

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What is the basic cause of stress?

Listen to Adrian Rogers. We've been in a series of a series of talks about stress. Today we're going to be talking about stress.

This is the day of the quick hash, the mad dash, a lot of stress. We think we're very intelligent. We think we're very smart. But really, when you analyze it, about what we have added to civilization is speed and noise. We get there faster, but we still don't know where we're going. We don't go on a bicycle anymore.

We go on a motorcycle and we get there and just make a lot more noise. Somebody has said that this generation can be described in three words, hurry, worry, bury. I read an interesting statistic. Americans consume four and one-half million pounds of aspirin every year. Can you imagine? This is an aspirin age.

Four and a half million pounds of aspirin. We're all tense. We're all stressed up and nowhere to go.

Well, think about it. We're all under stress. Well, what does the Bible have to say about stress?

Quite a bit, I believe. By the way, Oliver Cromwell, the great British statesman said that Isaiah chapter 40 is the greatest chapter in the Bible. Isaiah dipped his pen into golden glory when he wrote Isaiah chapter 40. Those of you who are musicians know that Isaiah chapter 40 was the inspiration for Handel as he wrote the mighty oratorio, the Messiah. Those of you who know church history know that Isaiah chapter 40 was a chapter that put iron into the blood of the great Martin Luther when he stood before that religious council and said, here I stand. I can do no other. God help me.

Who was that? That was God speaking through Martin Luther who had received his strength from Isaiah chapter 40. I want us to look at this wonderful, wonderful chapter, but not all of it. I want us to look just at the few verses at the end. Isaiah chapter 40 verse 28, hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not? Neither is weary.

There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might. He increaseth strength. Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and shall not faint.

First of all, I want you to notice what I'm going to call the problem of stress, the problem of stress. Look, if you will, in verses 29 and 30. He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might. He increaseth strength. Even the youth shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.

Years ago, a Spaniard named Ponce de Leon came to Florida. He was seeking a fountain of youth. Somebody had told him or somewhere he'd been led to believe that there was a fountain in Florida, that if you would drink the waters of that fountain, you wouldn't get old anymore, that you would have the secret of perpetual youth.

Alas and alack, there is none for the body, but praise God, there is one for the soul. And it's right here in Isaiah chapter 40, and I want you to pause long enough to take a deep, deep drink of the soul's fountain of youth, for though our outward man perish, our inward man may be renewed day by day. Now, what is the problem of stress? The problem of stress is that gap between the demands that are placed upon us and the strength we have to meet those demands. Now, that is the stress ratio.

That is the stress factor. Over here are the demands that we have, the necessities, the deadlines, the opportunities, all of those things that we must do, want to do, have to do, ought to do. Over here is me and my weakness.

Over here is my ought to, and over here is my weakness. And the difference between those things causes stress, okay? Now, here is the problem of stress. Even the youth, even the young people, are going to find themselves stressed. They're going to find that their strength is gone.

They do not have the strength to meet the need. And it's not a sin to be stressed. It's not a sin to be weary. It's not a sin to run out of strength. You may be weary for three basic reasons.

Number one, just the plain demands of service. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was weary. The Lord Jesus knew what it was to get tired. You remember there when He, just before in John chapter 4, before He had witnessed to that Samaritan woman? The Bible teaches that Jesus was weary and He set upon the curbing of the well there at Samaria. Jesus had been traveling those hot, dusty roads and His body was depleted and drained of strength because He was human.

He had humanity just like we do. Do you remember there in Mark chapter 5 when Jesus was preaching and teaching and the crowds thronged Him? And there was a little lady who had an issue of blood, a little woman, and she elbowed her way through that crowd and she stuck out that thin, transparent hand. She thought, if I can just touch the hem of His garment, I'll be made whole.

And she touched Him. Immediately she was healed, but Jesus turned around and He said, Who touched me? Virtue has gone out of me. And the word that is translated virtue might well be translated strength has gone out of me. Life, vitality, has gone out of me into her.

Now, friend, whenever you minister, whenever you serve, if you're truly ministering, if you're truly serving, you are giving of yourself. And virtue goes out of you. Strength goes out of you.

Life goes out of you. The Lord Jesus knew what it was to be weary. He got so tired one time that He went to sleep in the middle of a storm on the fantail of a little ship on the Sea of Galilee.

Now, you've got to be weary to do that. Jesus wasn't lazy. He was weary, bone tired.

Even the poor and you shall faint and be weary. And as you serve God, as you do those things that you ought to do, the very necessities of life, you're going to find that strength goes out of you and yet duties remain. And the difference between those duties that you have and the strength that you have to meet those duties causes stress, frustration. How am I going to get it done?

How am I going to get these deadlines? Where is the strength coming from? But not only the demands of service, also the dissipations of sin will take strength out of you.

Now, the one is not bad, but the other is. Think of old Samson, that heavyweight champion of the Old Testament. Strongest man ever lived so far as I know. Destroyed a mighty lion as though he had been a little baby goat. Carried off the gates of the city of Gaza on his shoulders. Slew an army of Philistines with a jawbone of a jackass.

Mighty, mighty, but he began to flirt with a trashy harlot named Delilah. He prostituted his relationship with God and because of his sin, his strength was depleted. And sin, my dear friend, will weary you.

It takes out physical strength, emotional strength, moral strength and spiritual strength. But all of that is compounded by the devices of Satan. Now look, the demands of service, the dissipations of sin and the devices of Satan. Satan waits until he sees that you're weary. Now folks, all of us are going to know the stress factor. Good people and bad people, sinners and saints, young and old, even the ewes shall faint and be weary. There are demands that are upon us and there is this negation of strength and there's a gap and that gap is the stress factor. Okay?

Second thing I want you to notice. Not only what I want to call the problem of stress, but I want you to see the promise of strength. The Bible says in verse 31, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall, not may, they shall renew their strength. Now look at the word renew.

It's a Hebrew word, chalef. It literally means they shall exchange their strength. You see, listen, the Christian life is not so much a changed life as it is an exchanged life.

I give him my strength, which is really weakness, for the weakness of God is stronger than men and the strength of men is but weakness. And I give that to God and God gives his to me. And there is a change.

There is an exchange. It's the same thing that the Apostle Paul talked about in Galatians 2.20, I'm crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me. And the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. That is more than a changed life.

It is an exchanged life. Did you know that you can put off your weakness just like you take off a coat and you can put on God's strength just like you put on another one? They that wait upon the Lord shall exchange their strength. Now, that brings us to a real question. How do you wait upon the Lord?

Because this is the crux of the whole matter. And here is the answer to stress. The key to dealing with stress is in this little phrase here in Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 31, waiting upon the Lord. The psalmist said almost the same thing in Psalm 27 verse 14, wait on the Lord, be of good courage.

He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. Well, the question comes, pastor, what does it mean to wait on the Lord?

And here's where most of us are going to miss it. Most of us might think that waiting on the Lord is some form of passivity, sitting around waiting for God to do something. It is not passivity.

It is activity. Waiting on the Lord is not being passive. It is not sitting around until God finally moves. When you wait upon God, you take the initiative. You know, back in the olden days when a boy would be courting a girl, do you know what they would call it? That young man is waiting on that young lady. You could take that several ways, too, I suppose. Waiting on her to get ready.

But, folks, that's not what they meant. When they meant that he was waiting on her, it meant that he was pursuing her very actively. If you've ever seen a boy, well, listen, when I was head over heels in love with Joyce and I'm more in love with her today than I was then, I was actively pursuing her.

My mind, my emotions, my will, everything to pursue this girl that I loved. And, dear friend, when you're waiting upon God, you're not just sitting around. You're actively pursuing God. Now, if waiting upon God is the secret of strength, you need to learn how to wait upon God. Now, first of all, it really means that you are to long for the Lord. There is to be a deep, deep desire in your heart for God. Let me give you the verse. Psalm 62, verse 1. Truly, my soul waiteth upon God.

From Him cometh my salvation. That is, O God, you're the one I need. O God, I long for you. As the heart pants after the water brook, so my heart desires you, O my God. I long for you, Lord. I desire you.

I seek you. Do you desire God? To wait upon God is to long for Him, to desire Him, to want Him more than anything else. And if you do, then to wait upon God means something else.

If you long for Him, you will listen to Him. Proverbs chapter 8, verse 34. Listen to this verse. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the post of my doors. Now, God here links waiting with listening. I listen to God. When I wait upon the Lord, I have tuned my ear to God.

And how do I do it? I watch daily at His gates. That is, God and I have an appointment. God and I have a quiet time. God and I have a trysting place. God and I have a time, a place at His gates, at His doors where I rise. I go to meet Him, and I wait upon Him. I look to Him.

I listen to Him. I'm going to put this sermon in a sentence right now, dear friend. The answer to stress is a quiet time with God. We talk about this quiet time. We preach about it. We sing about it. But we don't practice it.

And, dear friend, that's the reason so many of us are so stressed. We have not met God early in the morning. We've not sought His face. We've not shut other things out and shut ourselves up alone with God. We've not saturated our souls in His Word and bathed ourselves in His presence.

It is no wonder that we're stressed. To wait upon God means, number one, to long for Him. And because we long for Him, we listen to Him.

And, dear friend, when we listen to Him, we learn to look to Him. Listen to this in Psalm 104, verse 27. God is talking about the creatures of the field, the animals, and all of these creatures that God has created. And it says, these wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

You know what that means? They all look to God. The birds look to God. The foxes look to God. The beasts of the field look to God.

These all wait upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. Lord, I look to you. I don't know what the need is today, God, but you're sufficient. I don't know what the problem is, God, but you're sufficient. God, my hope is in you. You see, when I long for Him, I'll listen to Him. And when I listen to Him, I will look to Him. My strength cometh from the Lord.

I lift up mine eyes unto the hills. No wonder we're stressed. Most of us would not want it to be known how much quality time we spend with God. We wonder why we're so tense, wonder why we're so nervous, wonder why we're so stressed. We are to wait upon God, and that means to long for Him. That means to listen to Him. That means to look to Him. And my dear friend, it means one more thing. It means to live for Him. Listen. Listen, if you will, here in Proverbs chapter 27 and verse 18.

Again, he uses this word, wait. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof. That is, how do you keep a fig tree?

Well, you prune it, you fertilize it, you nurture it, you do whatever is necessary to keep the things that would harm it away. You spend time on that fig tree. Now, he says, if you prune a fig tree, then you have a right to eat the fruit thereof. But now, wait a minute. He's not finished yet. So he that waiteth on his master shall be honored. Now, God is our master. And if we wait on the Lord, that means that we are to be doing for God what a person would do to a fig tree if he wanted fruit from the fig tree. When a person serves a fig tree, he gets fruit from the fig tree. When a person serves God, he eats heaven's fruit. He that waiteth upon his master shall be honored. What does it mean to wait upon God? It means to serve God. It means to live for God. When you go to a restaurant and the waiter comes, why do we call him a waiter?

Because he serves us. But the word wait, in the real sense, to wait upon somebody means to serve them. When you wait upon God, that doesn't mean you're just sitting in a chair waiting, saying, when's God going to do something? It means you are living for God.

When a man takes care of a fig tree, he eats the fruit thereof. And when a man waits upon his master, his master honors him. Now, what does it mean, therefore, to wait upon God?

Listen to me. They that wait upon the Lord are going to exchange their strength. To wait upon God means to long for God. It means to listen to God. It means to look to God.

It means to live for God. That is, my life is wrapped up in him. Are you waiting upon God? If not, no wonder you haven't exchanged your strength.

All right, now the third and final thing I want you to see. First of all, the problem of stress. Secondly, the promise of strength.

Thirdly, the program of service. What happens when we wait upon God? Why does God give us strength? Well, look, verse 31, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

Why? Well, number one, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. Number two, they shall run and not be weary.

Number three, they shall walk and not faint. Now, there are three things that cause us stress. One is adversity, the storms of life. They cause us stress.

The other is opportunity. The things that we want to do, we're afraid are going to get away from us. They cause us stress. And the third is necessity, the things we have to do. Adversity, those are the things that come upon us, unexpected. Opportunities, those are those glorious things that we want to seize upon. We don't want them to pass us by. Necessities, those are the things we have to do day after day.

Now, I want to show you, dear friend, if you fail in any of these areas, you're going to have stress. Now, adversity comes to us, and it's like a storm. And God here uses the analogy of an eagle. And He says, When we wait upon the Lord, we shall mount up with wings as an eagle. Now, the eagle sees the storm. The eagle is no earthly bird. He's not a bird of the barnyard and the mud and the filth.

He is used several times in the Bible to speak of the saints. We're like eagles. I've studied the life of eagles.

Well, let me tell you about an eagle. An eagle looks to the storm, longs for the storm, because he knows that those thermal updrafts of the storm can cause him to soar and arise higher than he ever would rise before. He spreads his mighty wings, and that storm is no threat to him because he rides on the storm. He rises above the storm.

He just puts those wings out there, and he soars. And coming up tomorrow, we'll hear part two of this important message. You know, at Love Worth Finding, it's one of our great honors to come alongside you and pray with you and for you. If you can, go to our website homepage at lwf.org slash radio and scroll down to find our prayer wall. You'll find the option there to either submit a prayer request or pray for others or do both. This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs. Let us hear from you today. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD and mention the title, Dealing with Stress.

This message is also part of the insightful series, Getting a Handle on Your Emotions. To order that complete collection featuring eight powerful messages, call 1-877-LOVEGOD or order online at lwf.org slash radio, or you can write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183. Thank you for studying in God's word with us today and be sure to sign up for our daily heartbeat emails. You'll get daily devotions and message links sent straight to your inbox.

You can find that at lwf.org slash radio. And tune in next time for the conclusion of Dealing with Stress right here on Love Worth Finding. We love this note we received from a listener recently that said this, I thank God for your zeal and tireless effort to get the gospel to the whole world. Keep toiling on for His glory and honor. I pray for the Lord's work in your hands. What a joy to receive such encouragement. And we want you to know that the Lord has shown His favor on Love Worth Finding in 2021 through your prayers and your faithful giving. Because of your generosity, we've seen all sorts of new projects launched this year, including new devotional materials, Bible study resources, and our participation in the insightful film, Nothing But the Truth. That's why we hope you'll prayerfully consider renewing your support with a year-end gift today. As we enter 2022, we want to invite you to join us in bringing the light of the gospel to a dark and desperate world. Call with a gift at 1-877-LOVEGOD.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-09 16:48:01 / 2023-07-09 16:56:45 / 9

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