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How do you handle opposition and stress?

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Stress generally refers to two things: the psychological perception of pressure, on the one hand, and the body’s response to it, on the other.

If you recall the line from a hit song by Elvis Presley, ‘Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes,’ you will certainly understand that people will always, or at some point in your life, do this thing we hate with passion.

In fact, you may not get too far in life if somebody doesn’t propel your discovery in that “fearless tiger” in you. But before you get discouraged and throw in the towel, take another look at the life of Jesus. Though he was perfect in all ways, he was criticized continually. His enemies called him a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Matthew 11:19 NIV). They even accused him of being possessed by a demon (see John 8:48). Yet he never allowed bitterness or discouragement to defeat him.

To our savior, Jesus, every obstacle was an opportunity to demonstrate grace and grit. His heart was broken by those he loved, yet he understood and comforted others. He saw disease as an opportunity to heal those who were sick; hatred as an opportunity to love his enemies; temptation as an opportunity to overcome the carnal impulses we all deal with; and offences as an opportunity to forgive.

Jesus went through life turning trials into triumphs – and he’s our example. The Bible says, ‘Consider him who endured such opposition…so…you will not grow weary and lose heart.’

Pick up your Bible and reread his teachings. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said: ‘ You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemies.” But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in Heaven… be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect’ (Matthew 5:43-48 NCV). That’s how Jesus lived – and that’s how he wants you to live too.

 

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