Stress is Profitable (Stress is a part of life series #5)

STRESS is a part of life series #5

“Stress is Profitable” [winsgewend]

No matter what you ‘Go through’; with God you will always benefit in the future.

 

By Pastor George Lehman

 

For bodily discipline is only of little *profit, but **godliness is profitable for all things since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.   – 1 Timothy 4:8

compared to*

**godliness = living in obedience to God’s commands

 

The things we go through will be profitable – the test becomes a testimony.

We have seen over the past few weeks that:

Stress is predictable
Stress is problematic
Stress is paradoxical
Stress is purposeful

James 1:9-12 (NIV) – 9The brother in humble circumstances[poor] ought to take pride in his high position. 10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wildflower.  11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls, and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.  12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

It’s been said “That a Christian is like a teabag” – he is not worth much until he has been through some hot water.

 

James illustrated this fact with his descriptions of the person:

With poverty
With plenty and
the person with pressure

Trials have a way of bringing all of us to the same level of need.

Take a not so well-off person with poverty.

 

James 1:9a (NIV) – The brother in humble circumstances…

James here is describing a person who is low on the socioeconomic level, relatively poor and powerless.

While the world might think little of him…God thinks much of him.

James encouraged this believing person to take pride in his high position.

He is of great worth to God and can rejoice in spiritual things he can never lose. So many feel I don’t have much – Look what God is doing to me.

Jim Elliot, a missionary, martyred by the Auca Indians, wrote this in his diary:

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose”.

James then turns his attention to a person who has plenty.

 

James 1:10 (NIV) – But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wildflower.

Stay humble or you’ll trust your own resources.

The beautiful thing about the church is that it is made up of all people.

The early church, just as in the church of today, is blessed with people of wealth, such as Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, and Barnabas…

…people blessed with material possessions may take pride in them.

But knowing that earthly treasures will one day fade away.

Poverty and plenty are temporary.

No matter how much you have – someone else has more.

No matter how little you have someone else has less.

Jesus said:

Luke 12:15 (Amp) – And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs.

 

No matter what your stressful trial, whether in abundance or poverty, your behaviour will ensure you profit greatly in this life and will be rewarded in the next.

James switches the focus a bit:

James 1:12 (NIV) – Blessed is the man who perseveres[endures] under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

 

Satan attempts to use our stressful trials to cause us to stumble.

But the Lord allows them in order to strengthen our faith muscles so we can stand strong.

James chose the word ‘endures’ to indicate staying power.

Blessed is the person who endures under stressful trials.  Why?

Because he knows he will receive the “crown of life”.

 

2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV) – 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

 

God has a special reward for those patient sufferers who endure their stressful trials.

They win in the end.

Story:

Little boy who found a cocoon.  When the beautiful butterfly started to struggle to escape from its prison, the boy took a scissors and cut the cocoon to help release the butterfly.  It came out but couldn’t fly.  Having avoided the struggle of coming out of the cocoon, its wings never properly developed.  The boy’s good intentions robbed the butterfly of its ability to soar.

 

Stress has never been an easy experience.

5 Fascinating facts about stress.

#1  It is predictable.

It is a question of when, not if and it’s not going away.

#2  It is problematic.

Left ignored, it can be physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive.

#3  It is paradoxical[teenstrydig].

We can count it joy knowing that the outcome will be for our good and His glory.

#4  It is purposeful.

The stress we now feel is there for a God-allowed purpose.  It’s often a time of testing of stripping ourselves of false priorities.

#5  It’s profitable.

Just think ahead – we win in the end.

 

James 1:4 – Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

 

Hebrews 10:35-36 (Amp) – Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.

 

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