“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience
various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces
endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you
may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
James 1:2-4 (HCSB)
by Julia M. Bruce, MSPC
CEO, Wellspring Christian Ministries
Stress. Just reading the word may have made you feel some level of stress. There is really no way to go through life without it. Babies experience it while still in the womb. Children feel it when separated from loving parents or when it is time for a test in school. Teenagers experience it learning to drive and beginning to navigate life with more independence. College students experience it learning to do life with roommates, learning to be responsible, and in making choices that will affect the rest of their lives. Newlyweds experience it as they learn to live together and do life together. It’s in the corporate world. It’s in the financial world. Stress is in the medical world. It’s in politics. It’s in your senior years. It shows up at work, in your family, and even among friends.
Stress in Ministry
Ministry is no different. Just because you answer the call to serve God, your obedient “yes” does not save you from stress. Jesus even warned the disciples in John 16:33 (HCSB), “You will have suffering in this world.” He didn’t say “if.” He said, “You will.” Sometimes the stress we experience is of our own making when we step out of God’s best for us. Sometimes it comes outside of anything we can control. The short of it is that you, and me, can be assured that we will experience stress. Thankfully, Jesus didn’t end what He was saying to the disciples with just that statement. He went on to say, “Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” And that is very good news!
Jesus experienced stress
Jesus himself experienced stress while he was on earth. The Son of God who took on human flesh and walked on earth, lived among men, and had the hardest task ever given – one that would determine eternity for every person God created. Jesus knows what stress is. He knew exactly what would be lost if for any reason He failed in His mission. We would be lost. If He failed, we would not have a choice to accept Him as our Savior. It would mean that every one of us would have no hope of spending eternity in heaven. It would mean that all of us would be destined for an eternity in hell.
If anyone was ever under pressure to accomplish His mission, it would have been Jesus. On the night He was betrayed in the garden, we can hear the stress and anxiety His human body felt as he prayed for God to take “this cup,” the task of going to the cross, away from Him. He was under so much stress that the Bible says he sweated drops of blood while he was praying.
How Jesus handled Stress
Ephesians 5:1-2 tells us that we are to be imitators of God. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we who are Christians are being transformed into His image. If we are to be “Christ-like,” then we need to see how He handled stress and listen to His instructions for the moments of life that are stressful.
The Bible doesn’t give us much information about Jesus’ growing up years, but we do know from the moment we see Him beginning His ministry at age 30 (Luke 3:23), He was faced with expectations by Jews who believed that if He was the Messiah, he would set up an earthly kingdom and free them from the Romans. Jesus was spied on and questioned by Sadducees and Pharisees who constantly tried to trip Him up and discredit Him to the ones who did believe in Him. He was either greatly loved, or greatly hated.
There was a constant demand to perform miracles, but He never ran away from the people. He didn’t use the disciples as bodyguards who people had to get through to get Him. Jesus even made Himself available to little children. He had the responsibility for training and preparing His twelve disciples to be the ones who would carry the gospel message to the world after He would return to Heaven. When the disciples failed to understand something Jesus was teaching them, we never see Him yell at them. Even as He faced the cross, we don’t see Jesus arguing with Pilate when he sentenced Jesus to death just so Pilate could appease the people and avoid an angry mob.
No matter what stress He faced, we never once see Him crumble. The Bible never tells us of one moment where Jesus felt lost or helpless or hopeless.
How did Jesus do it all?
When the disciples tried to send away little children who they saw as being in Jesus’ way, Jesus stopped them and welcomed them. It makes us want to ask, “How did Jesus do it all?” Of course, He was the Son of God, but He was also human, and therefor, our example.
In Mark 6, we find Jesus and the disciples exhausted. They had been so busy doing ministry that they had not even had time to eat. So Jesus tells them to take some time to go away to a remote place and rest but the crowds of people saw them leaving and ran ahead of them. When Jesus and the disciples stepped on shore he doesn’t send them away. Verse 34 tells us that Jesus had compassion on them and began to teach them. Then he feeds 5000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.
Even as Jesus neared his death and upcoming crucifixion, He set the example for us. When Peter cut off an ear of a soldier who had come to arrest Jesus, He picked up the ear and miraculously put it back on. On the way to the cross, as He stumbled beneath the load of carrying the cross they would nail Him to, He turns to the women crying for Him and says, “Do not weep for me” (Luke 23:28). Even on the cross we cries out to God saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
Jesus: A model for emotional strength in times of stress
Throughout His life, we see Christ model emotional strength, sense of purpose, and motivation. Yes, He was the Son of God…but do not lose the fact that while on earth, He was also human and He experienced stress just as we do. However, we never see Him giving in to the pressures of stress.
Jesus taught us that we should not stress and worry. In Matthew 6:25, Jesus taught, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Then in verses 32-34, He says, “For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.”
It sounds really good to just simply “not worry” but it isn’t easy in practice. In Psalm 121:1-2, David asks, “Where will my help come from?” Then he answers his own questions with, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Habakkuk 3:19 says, “Yahweh my Lord is my strength.” And in John 14:26, Jesus told us, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit – the Father will send Him in My name – will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
Jesus not only set an example, He also gave us the power of God living in us through the Holy Spirit that can help us meet every stressful situation we face.
Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?
We’re offering 30% discount on our speaker fees if booked by October 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: FALL2021.
We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.
Help support our ministry:
Make a one-time donation
Make a monthly donation
Make a yearly donation
Choose an amount
Or enter a custom amount
Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Your contribution is appreciated.
Your contribution is appreciated.DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly
Our Newest Download! The Path to Sin Worksheet
Satan is constantly trying to trip us up and he doesn’t even play fair because he uses our own desires as bait to get us to sin. James tells us the five steps that lead us down the path to sin in James 1:14-15, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” This download helps you identify your desires so that you can better recognize when Satan is baiting you and you can avoid falling into sin. When used along with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to identify the desires that Satan baits you with, you can then ask the Holy Spirit to help you not become a victim to the bait of your desires. Download the worksheet today.[Download not found]
Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template
Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.[Download not found]
Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan
We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.[Download not found]
Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan
With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out![Download not found]
Download our Free Self-Care Wheel
The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.
Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.[Download not found]
<<<NEW>>> In the Spreadshop Store:
Ever feel alone or unloved? Remember that you are chosen by God and He will never forsake you. You are who He says you are – a child of God, His own unique creation, treasured, loved, and adored.
Let’s Get Ready for Fall, Ya’ll!
The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.
See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New
We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.
When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.
To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints
Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube
You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
- Conversation Starters.
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
- Romance Builders.
- Relationship Builders.
- Personal reflections.
- Date ideas.
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.
Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.
Bible Studies, Bibles, Books & More
Looking for a Bible Study, Bible, book or Christian gift? We are an affiliate with Christianbook Distributors and receive an 8% commission on any item purchased through one of our links. However, the commission never increases your cost of any item. View some of our favorite items by clicking on the logo and thank you for supporting our ministry.
Wellspring Christian Ministries receives an 8% commission on any purchased made from Christian Book Distributors through any affiliate link on this site. Your price for any item is the same as purchasing from CBD directly.