How to go From Stressed to Rest to Being Blessed

Learning how to deal with stress by turning to God.

James Greer
Mar 3, 2019    27m
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In this sermon Pastor James Greer talks about the stress and pressure people face in their life today. He teaches us how to deal with stress by turning to God. He explains that God wants to help us, and have us rely on Him and his wisdom for our strength during stressful times. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer: 00:00 I guarantee what I'm preaching on today, everybody has struggled with at one time or another. I'm preaching on how to handle pressure and stress. And let's welcome the Alexandria campus. Amen? I know you all rock in the house over there and I'm so excited about that. Hey, take this card out, if you hadn't. I'm going to tell you, the Bible says, you know, it's how you agree, how your hardest receptive will depend on how you can apply this message. This message today can radically change your life. But now you have to decide upfront, God, I want to receive your word. And when I say I receive your word, it's just saying, you know when you say I received, sometimes you just say amen. So say Amen. So determine ahead of time that you would like to learn to handle pressure and stress better. Amen? It says 89 or you're going to see 90% of everybody says, that they're under a great deal of stress, and we're going to talk about why, and we're going to talk about how to handle it.

James Greer: 00:58 But what I want to do up front, is I want you to learn something. When stress comes, we want to learn to turn to God, and learn from God. What do we want to do? Turn to God, and learn from God. And God will remove the problem, or he'll add power to go through the problem, I'm going to give you a couple of verses that prove that. Paul who wrote three fourths of the New Testament in Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 23, I'm going to give you some insights from that. He says, as a minister of Christ, he said, I, more than all you all, labored abundantly. I was in stripes, I've been in prison, death oftentimes. Five times I received forty stripes plus one, three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked. Wilt eyed with weariness, sleeplessness, in hunger, fasts, cold, and nakedness . He was under a lot of stress. Amen. He said, but God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, know that I am not lying. In other words, he said, listen, I want you to know something. I've been beaten, I've been stoned, I've been thrown in prison, I've been a shipwrecked, I've been hungry, I've been naked, and yet I want you to know that God was with me. The very next chapter of Corinthians, he tells us how he learned to handle it. In Second Corinthians 12 seven, it's a really well known verse, but maybe you didn't see the application. This is Paul writing and he said, "Unless I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of my revelation, he said, I was given a thorn in the flesh. I was given a thorn in the flesh. He was given to me as a messenger of Satan."

James Greer: 02:38 Sometimes pressures and stress come by Satan, sometimes they come from ourselves, and sometimes their mystery. But he said, this was a thorn in the flesh. At thorn in the flesh says, I had unbelievable physical, emotional, and spiritual stress, and pressure that we're on my life. He said, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times. He said, there's pressure came, stress came, and the first thing that I did, I turned to the Lord. What's the first thing you should do when stress and pressure come? You turn. Amen? But you're not only turn, you turn to learn. And so he said, I turned to the Lord. He said, I didn't plead just one time, I pleaded three times that it might depart from me. I think the first thing we should do, whether it's an emotional problem, physical problem, or spiritual problem, I think the first thing we should do is say, hey, God remove the problem. Amen? But a lot of times God's not going to do that. But the second thing he will always do. And God spoke to Paul, he said, my grace is sufficient for you. He said, I'm going to give you power, I'm going to give you strength to go through what you're going through, and I'm going to even give you power to go through it with a certain amount of joy. You don't enjoy the problem, but you're going to enjoy the power that I'm going to give you while you're in the problem. And so if Paul could be in prison, if he can be beaten, if he could be stoned, if he can be shipwrecked, and now he has a thorn in the flesh. And that was the problem and the pressure. And he said, the first thing I did, I turned to God, I ask him to remove it. God said, I'm not going to remove it, but I'm going to give you grace, and my grace is sufficient for you. For its strength is made perfect in your weakness.

James Greer: 04:17 So it's so important that we learn what to do when we're under pressure and stress. I folded mine up, I'm going to carry it with me. Because I can assure you, before today's over, I'm going to be under pressure and stress. I mean when I get ready to preach, guess what? I get under pressure and stress. And so first thing I've got to do, I got to turn and learn. I got to turn and learn that God said, he didn't give me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. So God, what I want to do is I agree that your word is right. I want to say, and so I God, I don't want to experience fear, I want to experience your power, and your love, and I want to have a sound mind. Amen? Alright, talking about under pressure, and we're going to go from stressed to being blessed. And we have to learn that there's a universal truth in the Bible that God said, we're going to sow whatever we reap. That there's some things if you really want to learn, and sometimes, you ready? Less is more. Stress is bad. God is good.

James Greer: 05:22 And if you don't learn that sometimes that less is more, you just keep trying to get more. You keep adding more, going more, and you get more stress, and you leave God out. So one of the first things you need to learn, if you want to reduce your stress and reduce your pressure, sometimes less is more. Sometimes you don't need to go so much. Sometimes you need to learn to say no. Sometimes you don't need to add more. Sometimes less is more, stress is bad, and God is good. Amen? So let's learn something, you ready? Stress is unbelievable, it's a big issue. In a recent survey, it said 89% of Americans reported experiencing high levels of stress, not just stress, but high levels of stress. Forty-three percent of all adults are suffering some health issues due to stress. Stress is linked to all kinds of health issues, even death, heart attack, accident, suicide, ulcers. Not counting sleep disorders, I understand about sleep disorder. Have you all ever been under stress and have a sleep disorder? I go from my bed, to the chair, to the couch, to the other bed, back to the bed, to the couch, to the other bed, I just kind of make a circle. And so when I have a sleep disorder what it is, it's usually I'm under unbelievable stress and pressure. And every time I say, God, I don't want to think about this, I don't wanna think about this, I think about it more. The truth is really, 89 to 90% of everybody is under stress and some type of pressure. Okay here's some of the insights you really, really have to learn. If you want what normal people have, do what normal people do. Because if you always do what you've always done, you can always get what you always got. Amen.

James Greer: 07:13 If you want what few people have, do what few people do. In other words, 90% of all the people who are struggling with pressure and stress, right? But listen, the truth is Journey. people, you all ready Journey Church, and Journey Church people that are watching online, you are not normal. That's one thing true about Journey Church people, you're not normal. And finally, it's okay that you're not normal, we want you to be super natural in your abnormal life. In other words, you don't act like normal people, it's finally okay not to be normal. I mean, the truth is when you go somewhere and they say, where do you go to church? You always wonder what to say. Journey Church, and they said, oh, they're are a little different. Now you say, amen, you don't want to be like everybody. Amen? Ninety percent of the people are suffering under stress and pressure, and you're not going to be like them. You're going to be like the 10%, you're going to learn not to be like normal people. Amen? So finally, Journey Church, it's great that you're not normal.

James Greer: 08:24 So the first thing you've got do to learn to deal with stress, you've got to learn to turn and learn. I can tell you something, if you don't learn to turn and learn, you will burn, you'll burn out. Some of you all came in today and the if the truth is known, you are but so burned out you don't know what to do. You're so stressed out you're saying, man, I just don't know what to do with myself. I want to tell you what to do, turn to God, and learn what he would have you to do. Galatians chapter six verse four and seven you ready? "Let each one examine his own work." Let who? Each one. In other words, now, the first thing to do if you want to start dealing with stress and pressure is, you examine your own work. It's very easy to blame everybody else for our stress and pressure. It's easy to blame your mate, your kids, your job, especially your preacher, but it starts out examine your own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone. In other words, there comes a point in time you're responsible for your own joy and happiness. I mean, you've got to learn that everybody else isn't responsible for your own joy and happiness, you are, not another. Until you get to that point, you'll blame everybody else. For each of us have to learn to shift to bear our own load, we have to do it. When stress and pressure come, what do we have to do, we have to learn to turn and burn. What's the main purpose, what's the main purpose? If you don't get anything else, what is the main purpose of stress and pressure? To cause us to, what? Turn and learn. You got it? The main purpose is to turn and learn.

James Greer: 09:55 Let him who is taught the word.. I like this. that's you I hope. It's you, if your heart is right. It's you, if your heart is receptive. See, there's two people, there's two types of people. There's some people out here that would say, that won't work in my life. Guess what? It won't work. And there's some people who'd say, I'm going to receive that, because God word says it, I'm going to apply that. So let him who is taught the word (that's you) share in the good things with him who teaches (that's me). Man, I want to share in the good things with you all together. Amen? Let's share it together. Because it does matter how you apply God's word. It does matter what you're doing. It does matter how to reduce stress. It does matter how you handled pressure. It does matter if your heart is receptive. It does matter where you learn. It does matter how you learn. Because it says, don't be deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, he shall reap. Universal principles set up by God for our good.

James Greer: 10:56 Then it goes on and it says, Galatians 6:9 says this, "Let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." What's the main purpose of stress and pressure? To turn and learn. Amen? It's to cause us depend on God. When we're under stress and pressure, if you're not careful, we do everything but turn and learn and depend on God. We try to go faster, we try to do more we try to depend on work, our mate our kids, whatever it is. God says, uh oh, that that's just going to bring more pressure. From now on when you hear the word stress, when you say the word pressure. Thank in your mind, did I turn did, I learn? See, if you allow this to fall on good soil, your heart. If your heart is really receptive, you can learn and I can learn together, and we can have some good things happen. We can to deal with stress and pressure differently than 90% of the rest of the world. Go for it Journey, be different, enjoy it. Galatians six says, "Let's share in the good things together." Okay, first turn and learn.

James Greer: 12:13 Second, learn to wait upon the Lord. This is going to be real critical. In fact, I'm praying about next Sunday or two teaching and preaching on just how we can learn to do this. Because Isaiah 40 verse 29 puts it this way, He. Who is he? He gives power to the weak. God. I want you to know it's he gives power to the weak, not mama, not daddy, not your job, not your mate. So first of all, he's saying, who gives power to the weak? God does. So when you have pressure, and when you have problems, and when you have stress, who do we turn to? God. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, he increases their strength. Even the youth, they're going to faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. You know when you're young, you don't really think that's going to happen, and man, you think I can do anything, but if we will be careful and we'll step out of the way. Even our young people will come under pressure, they'll have unbelievable stress, they'll become weak and they'll become weary, they're going to even fall. We've got to discern and have good insights, when to help them, and when not to help them.

James Greer: 13:27 With those who wait (young and old alike) those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings like an eagle. (I love that) They shall run, and they shall not grow weary. They shall walk, and they shall not faint. So what does it say? Number one, God, wants the weak, the powerless, those who are about the faint, to wait upon the Lord. The result is, God said, I'm going to renew your strength, you're going to mount up on wings like eagles, you're going to rise above your sufferings, your pains, your pressure, your weakness, I'm going to give you a new energy. But what he's really saying is, you all understand, he'll give you a new insight. What happens when you're down low, you just see all your problems. But when you get up here and you look down, you can see the problems, you have better insight. That's what wisdom is. You get God's perspective on your problem, you understand how to apply God's principle to your problems, and God says, I want you to rise above that. He says, it's like renew your strength, and you shall mount on wings of an eagle. And eagles man, they soar up high, and they look down on their prey. And God says, that's what I want you to do,I want you to rise up, and have new insights, new understandings. But there's a thing that it does not say, it doesn't say that mom and dads and grandparents come to the rescue, immediately when their and grandkids, get under stress and pressure. This is a dangerous insight. It's so dangerous, that I believe one of the reasons America today and society is living under so much stress and pressure, is because it's been generational, and don't even know why. We know that God's purpose for allowing stress and pressure, even in our children's lives, is for them to learn and to turn to God. It's for them to learn to turn to God, and to depend upon God. To depend upon God for the strength, for comfort, for power, for provisions.

James Greer: 15:29 And second it is to teach them to wait upon the Lord. God's timing is always right, even when it doesn't seem like it's right to me in you. So when our kids come under hurt, stress and pressure, God wants them to turn to him. Second of all, he wants to wait, to learn to wait for his timing, to deliver them.

James Greer: 15:51 Third is the main purpose for stress and pressure for our children as they get old and older. Depend less and less on us, and more and more on God. Then when a kid really starts getting mature, they don't tell you what to do, they finally began to ask you what to do. There's a real danger, when we don't allow them to go under stress, and pressure, and hurt. The earlier we can allow them to hurt and suffer the consequences for their wrongs. the better. Earlier, young, because when we don't do it, when we don't allow the stress and pressure to have its way, you ready? The children begin to grow up, and they depend more and more on me and you and the grandparents. Without knowing it, I've done it myself without knowing it. Parents, we've become the kids, God. We began to meet their needs. The kids without knowing it, look to the parents instead of God. The dangerous result of all this, we grow up with a stressed out, pressure filled society. And families that don't really understand what happened, and even how to get out of it. I don't mean don't help, but I say that we have to learn to allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us when to help, and how to help.

James Greer: 17:24 When God impressed this upon me, I was driving back from a particular place, and I actually pulled over on the side of the road and almost wept. I stopped and made my notes, and I drove from there to here, and I drove to church. And I called some of the staff, the young guys in. And I said, I want to teach you something I just learned, you all have young kids. And I want you to learn right now, when they do the wrong thing, when they're suffering, let them suffer the consequences now. Let them hurt and suffer at a young age, and don't bail them out too quick. And you said, well, how do you discern when to do it, and not do it? I guess the Prodigal Son was the best example. He went and he told his dad, he didn't ask, he told his dad, I want my inheritance now, give me what I have coming to me. He almost demanded it, really it wasn't his anyway, his dead had earned it. But instead his dad decided to give it to him, and he gave him the wealth. And the young man, he left his daddy's place, and he went and he spent the money up on wine and women and having a great time, you know. And he didn't save any of it, he didn't invest any of it, he just blew it. And when he was broke, all his friends were gone, all the women had left him, there was nobody there. Nobody wanted to help him. So then he ended up in the pig pen, and then he finally hurt bad enough, the Bible says he came to his senses. Why did he come to the senses? Because the prodigal son's dad did not go get him as long as he was doing the wrong thing. He finally got to the point that he humbled, himself and he came into himself and he said, my father's hired servants, they have bread enough to spare. I'm going to rise and I'm going to go to my father's house, and what am I going to say? Make me a hired servant? He said, man, he said, I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. He said, you know, I've sinned against you, and I've sinned against God. See, when they understand, when they say their heart is finally broken, when they said, man, I sinned against God, I sinned against you. And they turned back, and then he begin to head home. His Dad didn't meet him halfway and say, I told you, son, you sorry, sucker. Now you might think that, you might even feel that. ` No, no, his dad had compassion on him. He saw him coming. He knew that he had hit the bottom. He ran to his dad, and before he got there his dad hugged him and kissed him. But he's still looked at his father and he said, father, I've sinned against heaven, and I've sinned against you. And the father hugged and kissed him, put sandals, a ring, and a robe, on him, and they had a party. He didn't get his inheritance back, by the way. He'd blown his inheritance, his inheritance went to the son that stayed home. He was still happy now, he had the love of his family, he had a robe on his back, and he had food that he never had. That he didn't have when he left. He found out what he thought he wanted, he didn't want. He found out how good he had it at home. He found out how great it was to have a comfort of a dad that loved him, and food every day, and a roof over his head. Which his Bible says that's need, and that's contentment.

James Greer: 20:37 So how do we reduce stress and pressure? We turn to God for help. And we turn and we learn, and God will remove the problem, or he gives the power to go through the problem. Psalms 50:15 puts it this way, "Call upon the Lord in the day of trouble, and he will deliver you, and you shall glorify him." They had trouble during stress and pressure. See I've claimed that promise a lot of times, but I don't want to go back in and apply psalms 50:14. I'm going to skip to the good part. I'm going to say, God, I am in trouble. And do you understand that pressure and stress, the answer is the same way whether we brought on ourselves, our it's outside of our boundaries. And just like calling on the name of the Lord in time of trouble, he doesn't say whether it's your fault or not, he said, I'll deliver you. But we got to go back to 14 he said, "I'm going to offer God thanksgiving. I'm going to pay your vows, uh oh, to the most high. Oh God, I'm going to go back, and I'm going to fulfill the commitments that I should have been committing. I'm going to do what you told me to do. , I'm going to straighten my life out, and then you're going to do it. I'm going to believe your word. I'm going to obey your word. I'm going to keep your word. I'm going to pay my tithe, and I'm going to go to church. I'm going to put you first. I'm going to stop depending on myself. I'm going to stop blaming others. I'm going to stop [inaudible] and I'm going to stop complaining. I'm going to stop stealing, lying, cheating. I'm going to stop depending on. God, I'm going to commit to loving and following you. And then you call upon the name of the Lord and he'll deliver you. See, what we want to do, is we want a shortcut to our commitment to God. God says, oh no, you can't go around the ways of God, and have the things of God. See, that's what everybody wants, they want to do Psalm 50:15, and they want to shortcut Psalms 50:14, and you can't do it. And see, you may be here today and you're under a lot of pressure and stress, and God said, listen, call upon the name of the Lord, and I'll deliver you. Hey, but I want you to remember, you've got to pay your vows. You've got to keep your commitment. See, God is not Santa Claus. He's a God that says, I put down rules, laws. You do sow, and so what you sow, you shall reap. You want to change what you're sowing, you change what you reaping. Okay, turn and learn.

James Greer: 23:01 Second of all, just remember how big God is. God is so big. Do you really think your problem is bigger than God? Yes or no? Just quit living like that, quit looking like that, quit acting like that. Journey Church you're different. Amen? You're not normal, you're really not. So start acting like it, and be proud you're not normal. You're not like 90% of the world, you're like 10%. Start acting supernatural, claim the promise, believe the word, obey the word, receive the word? Amen? Come on man. let's be different, God called us to be different. Hebrews 11:6 says, "Listen, without faith it's absolutely impossible to please God. For he who comes to God must believe that he is a rewarder of those that seek him. In other words guys, believe that he's going to do what he said. He said, call upon in me in a day of trouble, I'm going to deliver you. Do you believe that? Look for the reward, because you're seeking him. The psalmist said in Psalms 121:1-2 he says this, "I'm going to lift up my eyes unto the hills." I have that written in front of my Bible, "From whence comes my help?" I look up, and I say, God, you come my help. And then my help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." That's a pretty big God, the God that made heaven Earth, I think he could take care of my problem. Do you think he's a big God? Amen? Do you believe he's bigger than your problems? Amen? Can you learn to turn and learn? Amen. I mean, come on man, that's what God wants to do.

James Greer: 24:27 So in closing, I'm going to give you some insights. You're ready? How many of you all are willing to come this morning and say, I been stressed, but I have not been blessed because of it? See? How many have you been stressed, but the truth is you hadn't turned and learned. You're just about to burn. How many of you this morning would just tell God, listen, I'm going to turn this morning, in an act of obedience when I come. That's my way of turning, and God, I want to learn. God, I want to learn what you'd have me to do. And God If I can't get the insight right now, just you said your grace is sufficient. Do you understand, if you really believe God's word, and I do. When he says his grace is sufficient, his grace is sufficient. When he says his grace is sufficient, he says, I'll give you the power to go through the problem with a certain amount of peace and joy, if I don't remove the problem. Now I'm like Paul, the first thing I want to pray is, God, remove the problem. Amen? But if he doesn't, I want God to give you a peace and a power that you can experience like you never had before, it's all in how you receive it this morning. You got to believe it. He says, hey, God is a rewarder of those that believe his word and seek his word. He said in Second Corinthians, "My grace is sufficient". Psalm 50:15 says, "Call upon the name of the Lord, and I'll deliver you." Man, that's what I want our people to do. I don't want not one single person to go out, the same way they came. I don't want you to ever deal with stress and pressure the same way that you did before you came in here. Journey Church, we're going to be different, go Journey Church. Amen?

James Greer: 26:03 Alright stand up, let's pray. Father, you're a great God. You're a powerful God. Your grace is sufficient. God begin to change our hearts, our minds. Help us see stress and pressure in a new way. Drive us home to you God, starting this morning let us surrender our lives, surrender our hearts, to you God. Let us be a different people. Let us when they say, hey, where do you go? Journey church. They do know there's something different about us because of the way we handle stress, the way we handle pressures, and God, the way we love people. God, let us all make the first step today. Let us step out and surrender our problems and our pressure to you, oh God. Let us claim your grace, that it is sufficient. God, if there's those here today that are not sure they're saved, that they would come out today, and invite Jesus into their heart. That's how they get the grace of God. Maybe there's those that never been publicly baptized, and today's the day they want to follow through and do that. Maybe you want to join the church. But God, every single one of us has a next step this morning, our next step is to handle stress and pressure in a different way. So God, I pray today that would give our lives to you. It's in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.



Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360
318-640-1273