January 4, 2021

How do You Handle Distress?

If you are slack in the day of distress, Your strength is limited.Proverbs 24:10


We live in distressful days. The Bible, however, still contains all we need for the days in which we live. God’s Word informs, instructs, and strengthens us. But allowing adversity and anxiety to overwhelm us limits our spiritual strength. That’s why today’s verse warns about slacking off, especially in troubling times. As believers, how we respond to difficulty is like a barometer for our spiritual health. So, how do you handle distress?


First, we shouldn’t be surprised when difficulty or hardship disrupts our lives. Since the world is dominated by sin and deception, distressful days are not really unusual. The Bible even tells Christians to expect adversity, not because God doesn’t care about us, but because we live counter to the world system (1 Peter 4:12-14). Yet, for mature believers, distress and adversity aren’t synonymous with anxiety. Scripture teaches us to talk to God about everything so we won’t be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6).


The Bible also equips us with truth, exposing the world’s lies and telling us who we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit—the Spirit of truth—enlightens us so we can understand and apply the truth of God’s Word (John 14:17, 26). He also empowers us with the strength to accomplish God’s work.


Finally, we need to be involved with God’s people. Hebrews 10:24 challenges us, “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (ESV). As Christ’s followers, we are designed to live in community with other believers. But it’s impossible to be stirred up if we don’t show up! Being a participating member of a local church acts as a holy stimulant to our spiritual strength. And serving side-by-side with other believers motivates us to continue.


So, ask yourself, “Am I in the Word of God, filled with the Spirit of God, and involved with the people of God?” If you’re slacking off in any one of those areas then you’re limiting your spiritual strength. Days of distress don’t have to be days of defeat. In fact, we invite God’s power when we handle distress God’s way.