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Stress is one of the foundational human experiences. Since man first sinned against God, and incurred the consequences, we have had to suffer under the weight of stress. We are born into a stressful environment of cold air and the discomfort of using our lungs for the first time. Though there are all manner of things we can do to mitigate or distract from stress, we cannot escape it. Thankfully, God knew what it was like to be human in a fallen world, so He gave us many mechanisms we can use to help us through it. From a Biblical perspective, stress can be a highly motivating factor, and it can also be an indicator of needing to change something in our life. The “good” stress of striving to do our best in whatever we do to His glory can be rewarding. The “bad” stress of having to measure up to some imaginary standard for God’s affection will crush us under the weight of failure. The article I read for this discussion was about the intersection of religion and community violence and how religion can help protect Latino youths from psychological harm. According to the article, higher levels of religious pursuit in the home directly correlates to lower levels of PTSD or depression in Latino youths when violence happens in the community (Alers-Rojas et al., 2020). In what was surely a stressful time in David’s life, he ran for his life from Saul. At certain points, he was hiding in caves, relying on God to protect him. David had faith that God would do what He promised, and that God would protect Him no matter how dark the situation got. More than that, David felt peace knowing that he was doing the Lord’s will by not killing Saul when he had the chance, in the midst of the stress (New Living Translation, 1996/2015, 1 Samuel 24). We can truly live in peace if we do our best to live in obedience to God, and rest in His grace when we fail.

 

 

Jocson, R. M., Alers-Rojas, F., Ceballo, R., & Arkin, M. (2020). Religion and Spirituality: Benefits for Latino Adolescents Exposed to Community Violence. Youth & Society, 52(3), 349–376. https://doi.org/10.1177/0044118X18772714

New Living Translation. (2015). New Living Translation. (Original work published 1996)

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