Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stressed Out- Part 1


This week at WNW we began a new series called "Stressed Out".  For a few weeks we are going to look at the stress we face and how to deal with it while looking at the life of Abraham.  We began the night by playing a round of Deal or No Deal and Philip won the top prize which was $20 off his MFUGE cost.  We then took a few minutes with them split in groups of guys and girls and they made out a list of all the things that stress them out. We wrote several on a dry erase board which included:  tests, parents, sports, relationships, drama, hygiene (still confused by this one), etc.  We then went into a worship set that included "Happy Day" (Tim Hughes), and "Sweetly Broken" (Jeremy Riddle).  Our prayer time we focused on our upcoming MFUGE trip and specifically on the work that God will do in the hearts of our students, and the unreached people group Karamajong of Uganda, that part of our missions offering will send people to share the gospel to.

I began the message talking about good stress vs bad stress.  Distress is the bad stress we usually focus on that is destructive.  Eustress is good stress that challenges us toward greater fulfillment and improves us.  We took the dry erase board that we had written the things that stress the students out and decided if each one was distress or eustress.  There were a few that we concluded were both.  I transitioned by saying that our focus for the night is going to be on eustress in the form of high expectations.  We discussed some of the expectations that they have and why they are actually good for them.

We read Genesis 12:1-3 where we see Abram (who later becomes Abraham) and the covenant that God makes with him. A covenant is a promise and these verses include a pretty great promise from God.  We discover that God has a pretty huge calling for Abram's life.  We listed the "I will" statements from these verse:  show you the land, make you a great nation, bless you, make your name great, you shall be a blessing, bless those who bless you, curse those who curse you, and in you all families will be blessed.  So how do you think these high expectations made Abram feel?  It is very possible that he was stressed out a little bit by it, but it was a good stress.  Sometimes when we think about God's calling on our lives is can be stressful, but it is a good stress.  I laid out 6 things to think about to help deal with the stress of God's calling on your life.
1)  Know the 1st Calling- Be a Christ Follower
If you are not saved, then no other calling from God even matters yet.  Verse 1 says the "Lord said to Abraham".  If you do not have a relationship with Christ, then you cannot hear what he says to you.
2)  Be Open to Whatever His Call May Be
Do not limit God to what you want to do.  In verse 1 God calls Abram to leave his country and his family.  What if Abram had tried to make a deal to uphold part of the agreement but not leave his country and family?  You can't put limitations on what God is calling you to do.
3)  Be Confident that God Will Show You The Details
It is pretty amazing the details that God gives Abraham.  We can be confident that God will show us the details of what He wants us to do as well.
4)  Be Confident God Will Speak In The Right Time
If you read ahead to verse 4 you see that Abram was 75 years old.  God may reveal what He is calling you to do right now, but He may reveal it later.  He will reveal it in His perfect timing.
5)  God's Call Isn't Simply About Your Vocation
Sometimes we stress about what God is calling us to do vocationally but it goes way beyond that.  While our vocation is part of God's calling on our life, the question has to be asked what is calling me to do today as school.  What is he calling me to do with my time at home.
6)  Instead of seeking the answer to "What does God want me to do?"-- Seek God
Sometimes we get so stressed and wrapped up in trying to figure out the details that we stop seeking God Himself.  If we back up and simply seek God, then everything falls into place and God makes Himself known to us.

I closed by encouraging the students to not stress when it comes to God's calling on their lives.  It is an amazing privilege that God calls us to do His will.  We need to look at it as a good stress that is bettering us, leading others to Him, and bringing Him glory.

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