February 5, 2021 Brethren Letter

Dear Brethren,

Have you ever experienced stress in your life? Of course, you have. There isn’t a person alive who hasn’t. The bigger question is just how well do you react to stress? Do you become so overwhelmed that you become somewhat depressed? Do you let anger get the best of you?

It can be incredibly stressful when a person has serious health problems, financial worries, or marital difficulties. There are many other causes as well, each with varying degrees, depending upon the situation.

A well-known doctor in the twentieth century (Hans Selye, endocrinologist), stated, “Most people who want to accomplish something, who are ambitious, live on stress. They need it.” Some types of stress will produce positive results, such as reacting quickly to danger, thus preventing physical harm. But other forms of stress can become almost debilitating if it continues unabated.

In 2001, USA Today published a survey which asked 1,220 adults how they felt about stress at their jobs. “Are Americans Working Too Hard?” Here are the results.

Percentage of Americans who say they:

· Need more fun: 68%

· Need a long vacation: 67%

· Often feel stressed: 66%

· Feel time is crunched: 60%

· Want less work, more play: 51%

· Feel pressured to succeed: 49%

· Feel overwhelmed: 48%

Obviously, a high percentage of Americans experience stress! So, what is the answer? Sadly, many people will try find answers in all the wrong places. They’ll abuse alcohol, they’ll overeat, or they will take opioid medications to provide relief. There are many physical things people will resort to, in order to combat stress. However, God’s people have access to something that isn’t physical at all. We have access to the Holy Spirit of God. Never should we be trying to alleviate stress by purely physical means. God is ALL powerful! We can achieve anything (good), through Christ. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). We are not left defenseless. God is right there knowing everything that goes on in our lives.

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

But when the Comforter is come, whom [which] I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father… (John 15:26).

God did not call us to fail! With even the greatest stresses we experience, God is much more powerful than any of them! Pray, study, meditate and fast! Remain close to God. Remember, neither God the Father nor Jesus Christ will ever leave us or forsake us! “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5).

Here’s one final scripture from the Book of Philippians:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Please have a wonderful Sabbath, everyone!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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