Stressed Out

 

Scripture: (Matthew 24:6 KJV) And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

 

This past week you may have experienced some of the most intense stress of your life.  I have heard people say so many things, like: what next? If it is not one thing it is another. How much more can we handle? I sought God this week for the right words to give you and He led me through some prophecy to an ancient secret that will bring us great relief to our present stresses. First I have to tell you that I have never been a deep student of prophecy.  I do not know why but I was just never led in that direction. I do remember reading the book of Revelation over and over again trying to discover the deep truth that lies within its words. I also turned to some contemporary books on the subject of stress relief and discovered that the techniques they teach go back to the ancient revelation that I will teach you today.

            First I want to ask you if you are ready? Are you ready for what may come next? Are you ready for anything? I am going to suggest that you read the 24th chapter of the book of Matthew this week then let me know if you are indeed ready? Sometimes it takes tragedy for us to realize just how fragile and precious life is. No matter how bad things may get in the future please never forget that God is still in control. At times like this it is easy to ask those questions of Godís whereabouts. Yet we need to know that our ways are not Godís ways and He alone knows the end of things even before the beginning of them. Right now we need to, stronger then ever, cling to the knowledge that all things are even now working together for the good of those who love the LORD. Right now I want us to take a quick overview of this 24th chapter of Matthew and then we will further discuss this stress relief technique.  

            Jesus is talking to His disciples and giving them a snap shot into the future. He begins by telling them of how Jerusalem was soon going to be destroyed. Some things are impossible to believe until they happen. Throughout history prophets have been giving people pre-warnings of coming destruction. Most of the time no one would believe that destruction was possible let alone probable. After His disciples ask Him to explain, Jesus goes on to give one of the most dramatic pictures of the coming end in all of human existence. In verses 7 through 14 He tells of the wars and rumors of wars. He talks of diseases and starvation and earthquakes all over the place. He goes on to talk about the persecution and death that will come upon Godís people. Jesus forewarns us of the coldness of peopleís hearts. He tells us of all the false prophets that will lead many straight into hell. He tells of betrayal and the sin and the hatred that will be in the world as the end nears. He then tells us that he who endures unto the end, the same shall be saved.  Jesus then goes on to explain that first, the good news of this salvation of God will be spread around the entire world, to all nations, and then shall the end come.

            Let me just ask you; where do you think we are along the timeline of life? The gospel of Jesus Christ is now being broadcast around the world through television and radio in just about every language known. We have experienced more persecutions and deaths of Christians in the last 100 years then in the whole 2000 before that. In the last five years there have been more earthquakes and tornados and natural disasters then in the entire history of record keeping. As we become more technologically wise and modern medicine thrives, diseases continue to mutate and are increasingly becoming immune to treatments. While we are sitting fat and happy here in our homes children are dieing of starvation throughout the far reaches of the world. If I continue to go on I might just begin to get a little depressed and distressed and even down right stressed. It is all coming about, just as the word of God has showed us that it would. So how are we supposed to deal with this? How can we handle any more? What are we to do? If you will read this 24th chapter of Matthew you will discover how we are instructed to be faithful and ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Are you ready? If the end were to come today do you know where you would be spending eternity? I want you to be sure of your salvation. I want you to know that by trusting in the price that God paid upon the cross all of your sins have been forgiven and by His resurrection power you are born again unto eternal life in Christ Jesus. All it takes is saying yes LORD. Just ask Jesus into your heart and know that eternity is assured. Now I know that many of you have already asked Jesus to be your LORD and Savior and you know that you have a home in heaven. For both the long time believer and the one who just now while reading this has said yes in his heart to Jesus, God has got something special for you today.

            I discovered it as I read the 15th verse of this 24th chapter. Letís read it together. (Mat 24:15 KJV)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Now letís go back into the book of Daniel and discover the root of this prophecy.

   (Daniel 9:24-27 KJV)  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

            Now I do not have time today to even begin to explain this prophecy yet perhaps by going right now to the end of the Bible and the book of revelation you will see the salvation of God. (Revelation 19:20 KJV)  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

            So before you go worrying that God is not in control I want you to know that God saw all of this even before the foundation of the earth and He has the ultimate victory in store for us. He also has the perfect answer for your present stress and fears. God knows that you worry and have fears. God knows that you will grieve and that there will be times of sorrow. God knows that in this world there will be tribulation but He wants you to know that you can be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. Let me show you how I discovered this mystery of stress reduction that is taught in the Bible. It was as I was researching this message. I first knew that God wanted me to teach on stress but as the events of this week unfolded prophecy became a major focus of mine. Yet even before Tuesday Matthew 24 was going to be my starting point. I just never realized that I would be going back to the book of Daniel, and it was there that I found my answer. Daniel was one young man who experienced a lot of stress. Yet he was so centered that it would seem that nothing could shake him. I looked at his life and found the key to overcoming stress when he was being plotted against and soon was going to be thrown into that lionís den. Now at first the simplicity of this truth might bother you. You my be looking for some type of eastern religion deep breathing exercise or some yoganic positioning, I have tried all of that and trust me it is all empty and just plain expensive. Look at this great spiritual exercise that Daniel practiced. As we utilize it in our own lives with all the stress of the coming end we will be able to remain centered and faithful always being ready.   (Daniel 6:10 KJV)  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

            He kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God. Do you desire to be stress free? Do you desire to be more focused and centered in every area of your life? Do want true lasting Peace?  Then simple get upon your knees, put your face to the ground and seek the face of God. Call onto Him and he will show you great and wonderful things that you knew not. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Pray for the presence of God in your life.  You can find that hush, that peace in the midst of the storm as you learn to move your center into relationship with Christ in prayer. Pray that God fill you with His Holy Spirit to the overflowing and go forth in that blessed assurance that victory is yours in Christ Jesus name AMEN AND AMEN!