Christian Education

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Stress is a killer we feel we can’t escape. Our days include distressing situations of all kinds.
The question is, How do we handle it?
Many people try to escape their anxious feelings with medications, drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, or anything that brings relief. But none are truly effective. The ultimate solution comes only from God. Thankfully, He has freely provided it to every one of His children. The answer is not found in a bottle of pills, but in times of solitude with the Lord.
Jesus also experienced stress, but He knew exactly how to handle it.
On one occasion, after feeding a multitude of five thousand, Jesus sent His disciples away in a boat and went up on the mountain by Himself to pray (Matt. 14:22-23). In fact, seeking solitude with His Father was Jesus’ customary practice, especially after dramatic situations. We also see this example in the Apostle Paul’s life. After he was dramatically saved, he headed for Arabia to seek solitude with God (Gal. 1:17). Time spent alone in prayer with God is vital.
The practice of solitude
Spending time alone with the Lord sets us free from stress. This kind of isolation is different from loneliness. Solitude is a choice to be alone—to voluntarily separate ourselves from others. Loneliness is a painful inner emptiness that results from feeling disconnected from others. Loneliness involves a sense of not belonging.
The purpose of solitude is to privately commune with God. The goal is not to study the Bible or to bring our petitions and concerns to Him, but to simply be with the Lord. The chokehold of stress will be broken, and our tensions will subside. This doesn’t mean we’ll never experience stress again, but solitude teaches us how to deal with it in God’s way.
Reasons for solitude
The Lord wants us to be alone with Him for two primary reasons:
·         For a relationship. God created us in His image because He wanted to have a relationship with us for all eternity (Gen. 1:26). In fact, God loved us so much that He was willing to send His Son to die for us in order to break down the barrier which sin created (Rom. 5:7-8). Yet despite all this, many Christians don’t have time for Him. But we won’t be able to relate to the Lord if our minds are preoccupied, and our schedules are full. Solitude is the only way this intimate relationship with our Creator becomes a reality.
·         For preparation. Solitude is also God’s way of preparing us for the day ahead. That’s why we should begin every morning with time alone with Him. Although reading the Word and spending time in prayer are very important, the primary purpose of solitude is to experience God’s presence. He wants to be alone with us because that’s when He’s able to reveal Himself so we can know Him intimately and feel a sense of belonging.
Courtesy of Charles Stanley

God Bless and take care,
Doug Foxworth