WHEN YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH

By: Gary L. Rodgers

I believe that one of the toughest topics to deal with is stress and how we handle it. Stress comes to us from all sorts of avenues and we all experience various degrees and levels of stress. None of us are exempt from troubles[1] and troubles will stress you out if you let them. Stress will age our appearance, stress will cause us to experience physical and mental breakdowns, stress will ruin our lives and can have an adverse effect on those that we associate with and live with. Stress will change who we are and cause us to act or do things out of character. Stress will always cost you more than just the funds needed to pay for ways to remedy our stress problems. Stress can cause bitterness, anger and hate. Everyone faces some amount of stress in their lives and it is never an easy thing to get through. Some of us need to seek advice from professional people in fields of medicine and psychology or Pastors and counselors from our home church. We can be released from the burden of stress and live a happy productive life. What are some of the things that cause stress for us?

  • Financial difficulties
  • Being a new parent
  • Being a newly wed
  • Uncertainty of our future
  • Divorce
  • Competition in sports, in our careers and other things that matter to us
  • Employment difficulties
  • Being overlooked and taken advantage of in the work place
  • Being let down by those that we trust and depend on
  • Sickness and disease
  • Hunger
  • Fear
  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Low self-esteem
    • In our character
    • In our appearance
    • In our abilities
    • Losing someone important in our lives through separation or death
    • Being over worked

I have gone through several of these stress points in my own life and have always managed to get through them with God’s help. Times that were the most difficult for me were those times that I doubted or lacked in my faith. And there were times that I blatantly refused to be obedient to what I knew that God wanted me to do. For myself I had to come to a point where I said that I had enough and now I need to do something about it. Rather than trying to work out my problems of stress under my own power and strength I started taking them to the Lord and He got me through them.[2] We are His children and as any loving parent He will protect us and help us during those times. Christ can get you through it all.[3]

THE WORLD HAS A DIFFERENT OUTLOOK ON CHRISTIANS

Sometimes people get this idea that because we are Christians that they can walk all over us and do whatever they want, and we are supposed to lie there and take it. Of course these are the same brilliant people who think they can go out cow tipping in the middle of a pasture and tip over a large bull and get away with that also. Most rocket scientists are developed out of this kind of thinking. And in case you are wondering what cow tipping is, it is the ultimate rush and the fine art of two people working together in a field with great mastery and synchronization of precise timing. It is where one will get the attention of a cow and the other guy will sneak up close to the other side of the animal, and then all of a sudden run into the side of it knocking it off of its feet. It takes a great deal of speed and training to rise to this level of stupidity.

Well guess what, when I got saved that made me a child of the King, that made me and it will make you someone special. I didn’t get saved to be another person’s door mat. Now that doesn’t mean that I should go out and look to even the score, we should try to avoid conflicts and live a peaceable life with all men, we need to be Christ like; that is what the word Christian means. Christ had His way of putting the scribes and Pharisees in their place, and I believe that when we are troubled by others He will take care of that for us.

I’ll never forget when I was in my early thirties I was working a bus ministry and there was a young man following me in a section of the city where I was visiting a lot of families. Apparently he was having a bad day and I became his focus for releasing his energy on. Instead of passing me on a street where we had two lanes going in one direction and plenty of room, he decided to harass me with his vehicle. I pulled over and he pulled over behind me. We both got out of our cars and he started on me; what an arrogant obnoxious person he was. He started yelling and cursing at me. You remember what I said about being Christ like? Well at that moment I was thinking that I wanted to be more like Peter and take a sword and chop off more than just an ear. In the middle of this scene I happened to notice several people out the corner of my eye standing in the doorways of their homes watching us. They were people who I was intending to visit because their kids rode on my church bus. I felt the Lord ask me, what are you going to do here? If this turns into a fight you can pretty well kiss your testimony good-bye with these people. Talk about being under stress! So I did what I felt that God wanted me to do, I simply turned around and walked away without saying a word. Of course the guy got a little braver and cursed and threatened me a little louder. All I could think to do was to keep on walking and totally ignore him. I went about my business and visited some families about a block away from where I left my car. I had all sorts of visions that I would find my car doors kicked in when I came back, so I just left it in the Lord’s hands. Twenty minutes or so had passed and I headed back toward my car. When I got to my car I found nothing wrong! Not a scratch! So I went across the street from where the incident took place and began knocking on the doors of the homes that I needed to visit.

GOD WATCHES OVER US

I apologized to the people at the first house for the scene and to my embarrassment and surprise they said “we were watching you Brother Gary; and people around here know who you are. We were waiting, and if that guy would have laid one finger on you the whole street was ready to come out there and tear him apart.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. What a secure loving feeling I felt with these people. The news of the incident spread like wild-fire and everywhere that I visited that day the people all said basically the same thing. “We heard what happened and we want you to know that we watch out for you Brother Gary. And you have nothing to worry about down here; we will take care of you and protect you.” I loved all of those people so very much and I knew that they loved me as well. I thanked God and praised Him for each and every one of them. I’ve had other incidents that occurred in my life where I was under pressure from people who thought that they could walk all over me. I learned to claim this portion of scripture that I’m about to give you and have decided to let the Lord handle these situations of stress in His own way.

2 Thessalonians 1:6 “Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

God does take care of His children, you can be sure of that. You might have to take some abuse now and then, but rest assured that God will repay what others do to you.

Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

2 1Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 GETTING THE UPPER HAND ON STRESS

If you don’t get rid of stress than stress will get rid of you! For the most part I am able by the grace of God to get above my circumstances and live a life pretty much free from the burden of stress. Not always but for the most part I do. There are those times that I have to deal with stress, but I made up my mind that it doesn’t need to destroy me. I’m kind of like the guy that said that he doesn’t worry anymore, and someone asked him why not? He said “because I pay someone to worry for me.” They asked him how much does it cost. He said five hundred dollars an hour. So they asked, “Well what if you don’t have the finances to pay him five hundred dollars an hour?” His reply was “well then, that’s his worry.” Get above your circumstances. If you are saved then Christ has sent His Holy Spirit into your hearts to teach and train you. He will guide you and help you to get through situations of stress,[4] just trust Him to do that and He will.[5] If you try to deal with your stress alone it will cause you to say and do some things that you will be sorry for later. We need to stop worrying and fretting over every little thing that comes our way. We need to put those things out of our lives that don’t really matter and ask the Holy Spirit to help us confront stress in areas of things that do. So if Jello makes you nervous then stop eating it!

THE WINDS OF ADVERSITY

Have you ever considered that sometimes the winds of adversity are just the thing that you need to drive your ship forward and make you strong? Have you ever taken notice as to how a tree rocks and bends on a windy day? Those limbs and branches are strengthened by the action of the wind, and the root base of the tree is strengthened as well. Some limbs and branches break off during a wind storm to lighten the burden of the tree’s stress against the wind. Some trees will uproot and fall over. Well God will allow the winds of adversity to occur in our lives so that those limbs and branches of sin that so easily beset us[6] will break off and allow us to be strong. If our tree base (faith) has been rooted deeply in our God and His word, then we will stand strong.[7] We are living in a time when people everywhere are faced with great amounts of stress. And people are becoming desperate and doing things that they would not ordinarily do.

The core of most people’s problems is their apathetic attitude of being increased with goods and having no need of Christ.[8] They want and crave their toys but they refuse to accept and acknowledge that what they really need is a Savior. They try to live life straddling a fence. If they would just get off on one side or the other the Lord could deal with them and get them through the stress that they have brought upon themselves. But because they refuse to get off of the fence God will uproot them with the winds of adversity and they will fall. Sin brings stress and affliction into our lives. Psalm 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

THE INVITATION

The truth is, like it or not, believe it or not, we are all sinners. None of us were born into this world as a perfect human being. Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Christ was born into this world sinless and perfect because the seed that Mary carried in her womb was from God and not from Joseph. The seed that our mothers carried for us came from our human fathers. Therefore we are not perfect and coequal to God the Father. We cannot get ourselves into heaven through our own self-righteousness. If we could, then Christ going to the cross to pay for our sins would have been in vain. Sin has a price and in the first half of Romans 6:23 it tells us what that is. (For the wages of sin is death). There is a payday someday. We all face physical death, but for those that reject the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ their souls will face the second death where they will be cast into the lake of fire.[9]

Salvation is a personal thing in that no one can do it for us. We can’t be baptized with water into Heaven, nor can we be prayed into Heaven. We must all come to Christ of our own free will and bow before Him, acknowledging that we are a lost sinner needing a Savior. By accepting Him as our Lord and Savior He will wash away all of our sins with His shed blood.[10] And the Holy Spirit will come into our hearts because we are the children of God[11] to teach and train us in the ways of righteousness.

CLOSING

If you made a decision to pray and ask Christ to forgive you, and to wash away all of your sin with His blood, and to come into your heart to be your Savior, then we praise God for you.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

You should write down the:

Date: _______________________

Time: __________________________

Place: _______________________________________________________

of your decision. Record this information in your Bible as a record of that decision. It is part of your testimony.

Please contact us through Myerstown Baptist Church, 59 N. Ramona Road, Myerstown PA. 17067 to let us know that you have made a decision for Christ so that we can pray for you and rejoice with you. We would like to send you some information to help you get started in your Christian walk.

Thank you, and may the Lord richly bless you!

ADDITIONAL VERSES OF ENCOURAGMENT

A) Psalm 119:165 – If we love God’s Word the result is great peace.

B) Isaiah 26:3 – If we trust the Lord and keep our mind on him the result is perfect peace.

C) Isaiah 48:18 – If we obey the commandments of God the result is peace like a river.

D) Matthew 6:31-34 – Don’t fret over things, God already knows what you need. Start off your day by seeking after the righteousness of God. Seek salvation through Christ and the result will be the peace of knowing that God will give you what you need.

E) Matthew 11:28-29 – Take your burdens to Christ and the result will be rest to our weary souls.

F) Philippians 4:6-7 – Praying to God and asking Him for the things that we need and being thankful for what he has done for us will result in a peace beyond words.

G) 1 Peter 5:7 – Christ loves us and we need to take all of our stress to him.


[2] Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

[4] PSALM 17:5 Hold up my goings in the paths, [that] my footsteps slip not.

[8] Revelations 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

[9] There are some key verses that I will like to bring to light regarding this truth. Revelation 20:6 and verses 14 – 15.  This would be a good chapter for all of us to read through and study.

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