Focal Passage: 1 Peter 2:18-25
According to statistics, between 75-90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints or conditions.
What usually brings about stress? Perhaps some people are stressed from internal pressures such as the need for accomplishment, approval from others or perfectionism. For some, stress comes from external situations related to government, work or culture. I don’t think it would be a shot in the dark to argue that everyone suffers from stress in some way, shape or form. I would also bet that suffering, if suffering wasn’t enough in itself, brings stress with it.
What fortifies someone when stress and suffering close in? All people look for something to compose and quiet their soul.
Well, the Apostle Peter encourages Christians to be mindful of God when enduring the circumstances of this life. Think about it this way, every possible thing in this finite world that causes stress and suffering is ultimately limited and passing.
Being mindful of God literally means making conscious effort to dwell on his sovereignty and providence in all situations. Falling completely into the mercy of God found in Christ allows one to patiently endure all things.
Even more so, as John Calvin said, “when we turn our eyes to the Son of God, all bitterness is mitigated.” Even though it is tough, why let stress and suffering bring us to ultimate despair?
Did not Christ suffer so that we could have our deepest need met, to be at peace with God?
In the pattern of Christ and in the power of the Spirit may we entrust ourselves to the God of the universe. Let us remember that our deepest needs have already been atoned for when the shepherd was struck for the sheep. It is by his wounds that we have been healed.