By Tommy Rush

“Stress” is a word that we hear a lot, but seldom do we hear it come from the mouth of a nine year old. A friend recently shared with me a conversation that he had with young boy who had just celebrated his 9th birthday. When the young fella was asked if he enjoyed his birthday, he answered by saying, “Not really, my life is way too stressful right now.”

I’m still trying to imagine how a nine year old’s life could become too stressful to enjoy his birthday! I don’t know who the boy was, nor do I have any way of knowing the cause for the stress in his life, but he’s definitely been in my thoughts and prayers today. Could a family member be sick? Are his parents going through a divorce? Is there a problem at school that is causing his stress? It could be that he simply lives in a home that watches world news every night. Is there anything that would cause a young heart more stress?

If you search through a Bible dictionary or concordance, it might surprise you to find that the word “stress” is not even listed. Yet, our current culture has made the word so common that a nine year old used it to describe his birthday. The Bible actually says much about stress, but the word itself goes by several different aliases, like cares, burdens, troubles and anxieties. On a good note, almost every time one of these words for “stress” is used in scripture, there is a promise from God attached to it. I’m praying today for the many children who feel overwhelmed with the cares, burdens, troubles and anxieties of this world. May the Lord help us to always give words of hope and encouragement to our young people! A great way to do that is to speak more of the promises of God than the problems in the world. Were it not for the awesome promises of God, there would be no hope for the future. Here are a few good ones for all of us to remember in times of stress and anxiety…

John 14:1 Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me.”

Isaiah 41:10 says,“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”