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Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

One of the great cripplers of society is stress. Stress seems to attack us at ever opportunity, robbing us of our joy, our physical health, our self-image and our relationships with others and God. Divorce, financial ruin and a whole lot of other issues can often be directly or indirectly attributed to stress.

Stress is a complicated issue dependent on each person’s circumstances, perspective and background. However, one of the causes of stress in our lives is our desire to get what we want. Who can fault us for wanting a nice home; for providing for our children or retirement; for having as successful business? But too many times the desire to attain those things leads to spiritual, physical and emotional turmoil…or stress.

The writer to the Hebrews closes his letter with a prayer for his readers and for each of us. He prays that God’s peace would be at work in us. It’s an easy prayer to make. Our Heavenly Father’s purpose for sending Jesus, for raising him from the dead and promising us present blessing and eternal life was to provide peace for us.

Many times, in the dark, honest moments of our lives we need to ask ourselves this question: “Am I doing all this for my good or for God’s good?” God wants to give us things to relieve our stress. God wants to give us peace. God wants to equip us for a successful life. His equipping is so that the things we do are for His glory and not our temporal earthly comfort. Those things may come as a result, but they are not a prerequisite to God’s good work being done through us.

What does God want for you? Peace. Peace gained through doing the things he wants us to do with the gifts he’s given us for his glory. It may be as a pastor or a server at the local coffee shop. The important thing is that you are doing the right thing for the right reason with the gifts God has supplied for you.

PRAYER: Father God, stress seems to be an ever-present part of my life as I strive to survive and succeed in life. I pray that you would help me to use the gifts you have given me for your glory and not my comfort. Place me where you want me so that I can do the work you have for me. Remove the obstacles that cause unneeded stress in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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