How to Rise Above Daily Stress

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.”— Matthew 13:22

A friend of mine mutters to himself at least once a month that paperwork is a plot of the devil.

He is referring to the endless stack of forms and papers to fill out, sign, copy, file, scan, email, text, or fax —all necessary to accomplish just about anything, from working, traveling, going to school—to everyday living!

The “cares of the world” can certainly be catastrophic events that frighten us and take away our peace. But almost worse is the daily grind of details and annoyances like broken cars, malfunctioning computers, bills, and appointments. You get the idea. These things keep us on the run, uptight, worried, and harried until we forget that God is in control.

The cares of the world can choke out the blessings of the Word. Bigger issues push us to prayer. Small, nagging cares distract and frustrate and keep us anxious and fretful.

We can forget the promises and blessings God has for us in His Word, like Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Take a deep breath, pray, and give it all to Him.  

Hand Him each concern, one by one, as you "Cast your cares upon Him" (1 Peter 5:7) and "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

The distractions of this world can be put in perspective when you “fix your eyes upon Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and remember the words of an old, beloved hymn:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,

Look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.

 —Words and music: Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

Ray Bentley