Stress does not have to crush your life: Washington faith leader shares a way to greater peace
The summer has ended, school is beginning again (or has already begun) for millions of students — and everywhere, Americans are transitioning into the usual busy fall schedules.
With the return to full calendars, many people may be feeling “a lot of pressure and stress” or may have been feeling that way for quite some time, noted Pastor Jesse Bradley of Auburn, Washington.
“People often ask: ‘How can I have more peace and trust God during these times?’” he shared with Fox News Digital.
Bradley, who runs Grace Community Church, responded with advice and perspective that those of any faith belief may be able to use.
“All of us know what it’s like to feel burdens and stress,” he said. “Not everyone knows what to do with their stress, however.”
Remember, he said, that “God is compassionate and gracious — and faith has a very practical component.”
He added, “A relationship with God is a great source of peace. So you have options when stress escalates.”
Three ideas to keep in mind are the following, he noted.
Bradley pointed out, “The Bible says, ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:6-7).”
He said, “God is faithful. He has a peace you just can’t find in the world or through what is created.”
So it’s wise to recall, he said, that “we have a benevolent creator. We need the peace of God.”
“All healthy relationships,” said Bradley, “are based on trust. This includes your walk with God.”
He shared this verse, Isaiah 26:3-4: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself is the rock eternal.”
Said Bradley, “Far more than rules and dead religion, you have a relationship with the living God.”
Know that “Jesus is not dead; He is risen and will return,” he said.
Bradley noted that “there are no limits” to what God can do and why the faithful should remind themselves of this thought.
Added the pastor, “Peace is relational — far more than a principle. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). And that truth is not only for Christmas.”
Rather, “the peace of Jesus is greater than your challenges.”
Bradley said that for those who may be holding onto pressure in their lives “with a very tight grip,” there is an invitation worth noting.
“Here’s God’s invitation: Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7),” he said.
“Stress is real, but stress is not final,” said Bradley.
“Be still and know God.”