by J. Gerald Harris

How to Handle Stress with Great Finesse
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Psalm 46

This morning we are talking about stress. But what is it? It is the gap between the demands placed on us and the strength we have in meeting those demands. Call it what you will – the stress factor, the stress ratio. Over here are the responsibilities, the necessities, the deadlines, the demands, the opportunities – all of those things we want to do, have to do, ought to do and must do.

And over here, seemingly in conflict and pulling in the opposite direction, is my inability, my weakness. I think to myself, I ought to, I must do, but I can't. The chasm between all of the ought to's and the seeming can't do's overwhelms me, causing an increasing feeling of frustration and tension. There is an old expression which sums it up: "My can do can't keep up with my want to!"

Now, as we think about stress this morning, the first thing that I want us to consider is


Please notice what the psalmist says in verses two and three of Psalm 46 (read). I mean, the writer of this Psalm had his share of troubles. He knew something of the shaking of his life as if an earthquake had hit him. His experience at times had been like a roaring, overwhelming flood. He felt as
if the very rocks under his feet were moving at times. Perhaps this is the Hebraic way of describing stress.

Now, I guess I am unusually blessed and unusually fortunate, but most of the time the things that cause me stress are relatively insignificant. Seldom do I
feel like I'm about to be devoured by sharks and whales. But sometimes it seems that I am going to be nibbled to death by minnows. As Ludlow Porch
says, "It's the gnat bites that worry you to death." But let's look at some of the things that cause stress. I do not know that my list is all-inclusive, but I have seven things that cause stress.

First of all, there is change. Anytime you have to go through a significant change in your life, it c ...

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