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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

God Calms Our Distress

Lately, I’ve noticed being distressed has become popular. Blue jeans come straight from the manufacturer with holes already in them. It’s hard to find new jeans without holes in the fabric. It’s also a trend for furniture and picture frames to have a worn, used look.

Just because it’s popular now though, doesn’t mean it always will be. The trendy, worn look will slowly go out of style and we’ll want new things to look new again. A different style will come along, and that’s good because we all like a little change.

It’s not good though when we become distressed.

It comes upon us in various ways. We may lose someone we love in a terrible, unthinkable way. We might discover the pain of betrayal. Distress can come from dealing with aging parents or from our own beloved, rebellious children. We might find ourselves with a gaping wound in our hearts or our minds due to a number of issues.

When we're distressed, we get no rest. We’re uneasy and can’t calm down. It’s in this unsettled place that we must trust God. We beg Him in prayer for relief.

"Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." (Psalm 4:1 NIV)

When everything seems crazy, out of control — He is in control. He doesn’t always take away our heartache or end our deep grief. Truth is, we often must go through it.

Three Ways God Calms Our Distress

1. Prayer

When we feel deeply troubled, our natural instinct is to tell someone about our problems. We may need to vent and get everything off our chests.

The best person we can talk to is our Heavenly Father. He actually wants us to go to Him with everything, especially problems in life. There’s nothing we’re going through that He doesn’t already know about, but humbling ourselves and seeking Him in times of trials is the best way to relieve distress and calm our spirits.

2. His Word

The Bible teaches, comforts, and reassures us when we’re going through difficult times. Thank goodness God gave us such a beautiful love letter.

The Psalms are so comforting in times of distress. When I went through a dark valley in life a few years back, I memorized the 23rd Psalm and repeated it to myself in my mind each night before I drifted off to sleep. It gave me great comfort. Truly, I still do this to this day.

3. Others

God sometimes speaks through other Christians at distressing times.

It can be helpful to confide in someone you trust who is older and wiser. Those who have been through some life with its difficulties can give beneficial advice because they’ve been there, done that. They also know how you feel because they’ve experienced distress themselves. Sharing with a trusted Christian can bring comfort and calmness to our souls.

Just like fashion trends come and go, our trouble won’t last forever. Eventually, it will come to an end and God will do something new. Until then, we trust Him, knowing He is faithful to answer when we call out to Him. He will calm our distress.

"But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain." (Psalm 3:3-4 NIV)

Copyright © 6/9/20 Melinda Eye Cooper, used with permission.

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