Strength For Stress by Claude Thomas

Isaiah 40:28-31

Introduction: Athletes in the 24th Olympiad in Seol, Korea experienced enormous stress. They were to represent their countries well. They were to compete excellently, and their goal was to bring back the gold! That is stress! Stress is common to all mankind.

I. Presence of Stress

Explanation: The words of this text are addressed to a people living with a longing to once again return to their homeland. Israel was seen by Isaiah, the prophet, as fulfilling their time in Babylonian captivity. You remember how the history developed. Because of the nation's rebellion against God, she was carried away into captivity. There she remained under the stress of: captivity, of being separated from Jerusalem, and of wanting to return home while lacking the resources necessary to do so.

They were a nation wearied, without might, and failing. Israel's old and young were seen as worn down by the "stress life" of captivity. They were not coping well with stress.

Transition Statement: That ancient picture of a people worn down by stress is as current as the people of our city. When we understand stress, we will discover why this is true.

Illustration: Contemporary Americans are losing the battle with stress. Stress is a leading reason why 230 million prescriptions for tranquilizers are filled annually. Stress is a leading reason for a million heart attacks each year. Stress is a leading cause for 8 million ulcers. Stress is a leading cause of about 50 million adults and 2.5 million children experiencing high blood pressure.

Transition Statement: Why?

Application: Understanding stress. Definition - stress is the body's response to a demanding situation. In the broadest sense, this relates to the whole person -- physical, mental, and spiritual. But what is called the "stress of life" is from social situations and the emotional responses to them.

These psychological reactions -- or stress of lif ...

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