Life is full of stress, good and bad, but the burden of negative stress can affect your health. Stress causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol. If you’re stressed all the time, the effect can lead to high blood pressure and the retention of fluids. The end result is more stress on your heart. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (NASB). In John 1 scripture shows Jesus is the Word, and the “Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” A bible study to reduce stress is one way to “come to” Jesus and find that rest.
Meditation to reduce stress
Modern medicine backs up the benefits of meditation. Mayo clinic suggest that meditation can reduce stress and bring inner peace.
Scripture shows that taking time to meditate was part of life. In Gen. 24:63 we see Isaac go out to a field in the evening to meditate. In Joshua 1:8 we are reminded to meditate day and night, and Psalm 4:4 prompts us to be still and meditate while in bed. Meditation is a way to train our thoughts to focus on God and his ways rather than on our circumstances or feelings.
To better understand meditation in relation to the bible, consider the word mediate in the original language. In Gen. 24:63 the Hebrew word for meditate is suwach which means muse, commune, speak, complain (Blue Letter Bible). This shows that meditation is more than sitting quietly and thinking. In Joshua 1:8 the Hebrew word for meditate is hagah. It means to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, speak (Blue Letter Bible). In Psalm 4:4 the Hebrew word is ‘amar. It means to say, to answer, to say in one’s heart, to think, to command, to promise, to intend (Blue Letter Bible).
Meditation is active. It does involve pondering Scripture but it is more than that. It is two way communication between you and God.
Scriptures to turn to when stressed
- Isaiah 40:29: “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power” (NASB)
- Isaiah 41:13: “For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'”(NASB).
- Isaiah 57:10: “You were tired out by the length of your road, Yet you did not say, ‘ It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength, Therefore you did not faint” (NASB)
- Isaiah 119:105-107: “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word” (NASB)
- Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me” (NASB)
- Psalm 103:4-6: “Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. The LORD performs righteous deeds And judgments for all who are oppressed” (NASB)
- Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (NASB)
- 2 Corinthians 4:16: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (NASB).
Read the bible daily
Don’t wait until you’re stressed or faced with times of trouble to turn to Scripture. Make bible study to reduce stress a daily habit. In this way you can renew your strength and not grow weary.
“Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.” (Luke 18:1) (NASB)