What Does The Bible Say About Stress?

In a world where everyone is dealing with stress, how do we find peace and rest? How do we handle the pressures that lead to worry? Find out what the Bible says here.

What Does The Bible Say About Stress

According to the dictionary, stress is defined as, “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension.”

Although stress can be seen from different approaches, in our context today, however, we are referring to the excessive or negative mental or emotional strain that many of us have to deal with from time to time, or in some cases, regularly.

Even though the word “stress” is not specifically mentioned in the scriptures, it does talk about things such as anxiety, worry, or troubles —things we can associate with stress in our own lives.

We all respond to each of these things in our own unique ways. However, the word of God is the best instrument for dealing with issues such as this.

Note: Bible quotations are from the NIV, unless otherwise indicated

What Does The Bible Say About Stress And Worry?

Stress and worry are associated elements, and although the Bible does not specifically mention stress, it does mention worry as well as other related elements, which we find common.

For instance, worry can put so much pressure on us that we find ourselves under physical, mental, or emotional strain. This can go on to affect our health and productivity.

Does the Bible talk about something like this?

Surely, it does.

Jesus, for example, taught us in the Beatitudes, not to fret or worry ourselves in anxiety over what we have or don’t have yet, because God is able to provide our needs for us when we trust Him.

What Does The Bible Say About Stress KJV?

Here are two verses that talk about stress (according to our context today):

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:25-30
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad” Proverbs 12:25

Biblical Definition Of Stress

Based on what we have seen so far, biblically speaking, stress is situation in which an individual is overwhelmed by their circumstances in such a way that they become uninspired and unmotivated, losing their joy and peace in the process.

“best defines stress the way God sees it. It says, Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25

Whatever dampens a man’s spirit is a stress according to the Bible.

Is Stress A Sin In The Bible?

Stress is not a sin in the Bible. However, it can have a sinful effect such as fear, unbelief, doubt and more in our hearts towards God and towards life.

Nowhere in the scripture does God condemn anyone for being stressed out. Rather, God does instruct us to trust Him with our stress and worries, and not to linger in our frustrations or stress so that we do not give place to the devil in our lives and fall into sin.

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:22

What Does The Bible Say About Stress At Work?

Stress at work can come in different forms or through different means. It could come through an annoying boss, an uncooperative colleague, little pay but more work, annoying customers or clients, unhealthy work environment, etc.

Under such circumstances, productivity can be hampered, uncertainty will grow, fear, anxiety, frustrations can all come together to make you stressed out. It is also worthy of note that, work-related stress is more mental that physical.

Turning to the Lord is the best thing to do at such a time because He is the refuge for those who turn to Him. Hence, what does the Bible say about such kind of stress as we turn to the Lord:

  • Meditate upon God’s word
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalms 1:1-3
  • Express your gratitude to God for what you have
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1Thessalonians 5:18
  • Express your trust in God’s plans for your future
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
  • Allow God’s love to overwhelm your heart completely and spread to others
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5

What Does The Bible Say About Stress In Marriage?

Marital stress is very real. It is the reason behind many events that occur in a home that may look good on the outside but not alive inside.

Stress in marriage can come from finances, accumulated bitterness, unforgiveness, an uncaring partner, loneliness, and other bad behaviors from one’s partner.

However, we can turn to God, like any other situation, for help and guidance in overcoming the circumstances. Here is what the Bible says about dealing with stress in marriage:

“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” Deuteronomy 7:3
  • Put your trust in God than in your partner
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” Jeremiah 17:7
  • Focus on the good
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
  • Pray
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
  • Allow God heal your wounds
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
  • Allow God’s love permeate your heart for your home
“may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:18-19
What Does The Bible Say About Stress

What Does The Bible Say About Stressing Over Money?

Many of us are stuck today in this boat today. However, God’s word already has something to say to us regarding financial stress:

  • God is our source
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:22
  • No need to fret over money or your lack
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
  • Stressing over money can make us become desperate and compromise because of it
“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” Matthew 6:31-32

What Does The Bible Say About Stress Eating?

Stress eating or emotional eating is one of the causes of overweight or obesity. However, you can turn to God instead of food when faced with trials and temptations.

Here are a few verses about stress eating:

  • Your diet or any such action is meant to bring glory to God
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1Corinthians 10:31
  • Worrying is unhealthy but you can trust God with your problems
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1Corinthians 10:13
  • Your body is God’s temple and should be taken care of
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20

Bible Characters Who Were Stressed

Are there Bible characters who went through stress, hard times, and situations that threatened their faith and literal survival?

Yes, there are. Find below some Bible Characters who were stressed in one way or another:

  • Jesus
  • Peter
  • Moses
  • Job
  • David

How To Handle Stress Biblically

In addition to everything that we have seen thus far, here are sure Biblical ways to handle stress no matter what area we face them.

  • Take it to God in faith through prayer
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
  • Hand it over and take God’s rest instead
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
  • Develop a thanksgiving attitude
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
  • Meditate on God’s promises concerning you
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” 2Corinthians 1:20
  • Talk about God’s goodness with others
“They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.” Psalm 145:5-7
  • Look for ways to support others going through stress as well
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” Proverbs 11:25

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