God as the source of hope – Day 14

Hope when you are stressed

Nothing drives our stress levels higher than the realisation that we are being disrespected and constantly belittled.

People react differently under such pressure. Some strike back venomously like an angry snake, often to their disadvantage. Others, fearful of possible consequences, allow themselves to be downtrodden. Whatever their initial reaction may be, victims of such abuse can carry the scars and emotional trauma of their experience throughout their life.

In the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes says: “I consider that a man’s brain originally, is like an attic. You have to stock it with such furniture as you choose.” Medical science might disagree, but the analogy is quite apt.

What we think influences our actions. So we need to constantly examine our own conduct and empty our mind of all the negative thoughts that hinder us as Christians.

We need to listen to what Paul says in his letter to the Colossians: “You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:12-14).

John records a stressful time in Jesus’ life. He is facing death. Judas is about to betray him. The humiliation and suffering on the cross lies ahead. What does Jesus say to his disciples? “ ‘Do not be worried and upset,’ Jesus told them. ‘Believe in God and believe also in me’ ” (John 14:1).

It is only when the message of Christ in all its fullness lives in our hearts and minds, that our stress levels will subside and we will have true peace and contentment.