Stress Solutions for Your Soul:
Learn => Reflect => Identify & Adjust => Integrate => Act
How to Feel Secure in the Midst of Insecure Times
If you submerge a container in water without equalizing the pressure within, the container will begin to crush the deeper you go in the water. Why? Simply put, the force on the outside is greater than the force on the inside.
In order to override the fear and anxiety fueled by the recent public shootings, our point of reference for our sense of safety and security must flow directly from our identity in Christ. There is no other source that will give us the ability to maintain inner peace and calm in the midst of chaos and darkness than the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World.
Now more than ever it is crucial for us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Why? As a man or woman thinks, their body will follow.
Stress is the power we give to outside circumstance to define our sense of safety, worth/value and connection. As we give outside circumstance more authority than the power of God within us we render ourselves vulnerable to emotional turmoil. In order to override our fears, we must step into 1 John 4:4, zip it up around us and allow it to pour into our emotional acuity: “Greater is He who lives inside of me than He who lives in the world.”
In light of the recent tragedies another verse worthy of our memory is :
- “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28
Overcoming stress and anxiety involves identifying and adjusting those perceptions that do not align with your heritage in Christ: “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness (the quality of being right or justifiable) is of Me.” Isaiah 54:17
With that said, whatever you resist persists, it is also important to give yourself permission to feel any and every emotion without judgement, invite the Holy Spirit into your feelings. An emotion is your body’s response to your thought life. Allow yourself to feel what you feel as you sit with scripture that ignites a ray of light in the midst of darkness as Jesus did in the desert. When Jesus was face to face with evil He used scripture to bind, rebuke and cast out the forces of evil coming against him. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was able to enter His passion through the surrendering of His will to His Father’s will: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:42
- For He has said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” So that we may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper,” and I will not fear what man shall do to me. – Hebrews 13:5-6
Identify & Adjust:
Re-read the above verses. Identify 3 scriptures that speak directly to you. “Holy Spirit as I read through the scriptures above help me to be thoughtfully attentive to the word of God that helps me remember that the strength within me is greater that exterior circumstances.” Write those scriptures down and pray them into your life. For example, let’s say Matthew 10:28 is one of your scriptures: “Dear God grant me the grace of confidence and courage as I step away from fearing those who can kill the body and lean into trusting in you and living in reverence of your Sovereignty in my life and those I love. Replace any fear I am storing in my heart with your love and safety as I entrust my life and the lives of those I love into your care.”
- How will my belief in these specific scriptures strengthen my confidence in God’s care for me and those I love?
- How have the recent public shootings shifted my sense of security in public places?
- Do I experience more anxiety around my own safety of the safety of those I love?
- When I do drift into stress or anxiety in public places what do I want to remember ahead of time before stepping into those situations to help me feel more confident?
- What do I need to remember in order to increase my confidence and security in God’s protection and care in my life and the lives of those I love?
- As you become aware of anxiety associated with public places calm your body down so that your mind can remember what your soul always knows, you are safe. Use deep breathing along with tapping on your thymus which is located two inches down below the U-shaped dip in your neck. This area is one of many self-soothing spots on the body that releases a calming effect within your system. Because stress manifests itself in your biology it must be addressed at the source of expression: your body. As you tap on your thymus area simply declare: “I have faith and confidence in God, my future is secure, I am secure…God is with me.” Continue to repeat at least three times as you breathe deeply.
- Prayerfully invite the Lord to reveal to you your give back project today. Often times in the midst of trauma and tragedy taking positive forward action steps to outshine the darkness can anchor a sense of safety. Gathering several people together to initiate a give back project can also lead to a sense of safety and connection which helps you remember you are not alone. Just as Jesus sent out His disciples together to spread the gospel and do good in His name, so He sends us out to be the light of His presence in the darkness.
- Practice cognitive reframing. Step back from your fears as you shift your perceptions around the source of your safety and protection. Remember what you know to be true as a follower of Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
- Explore the Emotional Freedom Technique to help release any persistent biological expressions of fear, anxiety and stress. CLICK HERE for a quick 10-minute demonstration. You can declare the Holy Scriptures while you tap on these points to calm your body’s response to your thought life. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1 Give your soul permission to guide your flesh.
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Enjoy Your Gift of Life,
Outshine the Darkness:
Dear God, I know that you call me out of darkness into light. May each word and behavior this week shine forth the light of your presence in the midst of darkness. I want to be your ambassador in word, thought, deed and action so that when you call me home, my colors will be clear as I declare you as my peace and confidence. I am your child and with you I lack nothing. Help me to think about you 24-7 and close the gap between my ability to hear and respond to your voice behind me saying, “this is the way walk in it.” I declare victory over fear and doubt, anxiety and worry as I allow the light of your love and presence to outshine the darkness that surrounds me. Use me to play a part in anchoring security through a message of hope, confidence and love in the lives of those you have entrusted to my care.