For many people, 'the most wonderful time of the year' is the most stressful time of year. And apart from any seasonal stress, life can be stressful enough. But there is relief and refuge from stress in the Lord. I don’t mean that in a vague or generic way, but in very specific ways as you look at how He reveals Himself: "Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." (Revelation 1:4,5)
Change can be stressful, and we face it often. But Him "who is, and who was, and who is to come" is constant and consistent. His love and care and promises are as unchanging as He is. It can be stressful to face life’s challenges, but God comes to us with "the seven spirits" – the gifts of the Holy Spirit to equip us are many. In a world of spin and deception, it can be stressful not knowing whom we can really trust. But "the faithful witness" gave His life for the sake of the truth that we might KNOW that He is our Savior. It is stressful to face death, whether yours or that of a loved one, but the One who gave His life is also "the firstborn from the dead" who rose to assure us of eternal life in His name. We can be stressed by those in authority in the world and in our lives, but who’s really in charge? Jesus is "the ruler of the kings of the earth." None of these stresses compare to the stressful burden of sin. For all our selfishness we can’t escape, for all our evils we can’t undo, for all that anguish that weighs on us, we look "to Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood." (Revelation 1:5) …Look again at all that He is, all that He has revealed about Himself just in those few verses. Do you see? GOD IS GREATER THAN ANY STRESS IN YOUR LIFE. "Grace and peace to you FROM HIM." Get to know Him; grow in your relationship with Him. The more you do, the more you will find the strength and comfort to handle any stress.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.