There are many definitions of stress. Some of them have validity, and some do not. What about seeking God’s understanding of stress? After all, he declares his thoughts and ways are far higher than those of any human being. He invites us to ask him for wisdom and answers about life. Yes, we can go to God and get intimately involved in a conversation with the Creator of the Universe. “Come as often as you’d like,” he says.
Additionally, if available, various biblical translations serve as excellent reference points. The Scriptures (the Bible) reflect the heart of God, including his thoughts, logic, and understanding. The Scriptures have been revered and regarded as authoritative by people around the world for thousands of years. The wisdom found within the Scriptures has withstood the test of time. Biblical stories are not only true, but they revolve around real people, “whoevers” like you and me.
Let’s begin by stating that stress is a response to an event, condition, experience, or other stimuli. Causes of stress (stressors) may be mental, physical, or spiritual and arise from both internal and external circumstances. Examples in today’s world include: financial concerns, more demands in the workplace, challenges of family relationships, and the crippling fear of what the future holds. God’s solutions to stress involve his intervention and guidance on overcoming our problems and situations according to his ability and willingness. But, God is both willing and able to help.
Since the word “stress” rarely appears in most translations of the Bible, how are we assured God offers solutions for it? The answer lies with the etymology of the word. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word “stress” evolved around the 1300s. It is, in part, a shortening of the Middle English word “distress. Thus the word stress is a derivative of distress, a word used frequently in the Scriptures. We can rely on this biblical foundation as we explore the vital topic of overcoming stress through God’s solutions.
After examining most verses involving the word “distress,” I’d like to propose this biblical rendering: a narrowing, a restriction, trouble, pressure, affliction, oppressed, pressed, and confined. Even a woman in labor makes up part the description.
Here’s the reason I offer a biblical rendering of distress. Even thought words and their meanings are fascinating, they also might change over time. It is essential to understand, words in the Scriptures may have had different meanings when originally written than their current usage today.
Now that we have a biblical definition of stress, we can continue exploring ways to overcome it by going to The God Place.