1 Kings 17:2-4, 15, 16; 19:1, 2; Matthew 11:28; Mark 6:31-34; Galatians 6:2; John 15:13
Stress. We all have it, so we need to learn how to manage it. By taking care of our physical,
emotional, mental, and spiritual needs, we can minimize stress in our lives.
Timer, pencils, paper, copies of Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale (http://www.familyofmen.com/
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Complete the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale. Discuss scores as a group. How did you do? Did your score surprise you? Do you feel it’s accurate?
- Sit in a circle and set a timer for one minute. Go around the circle shouting out―in one word―something that you find stressful. Go rapidly around, which will make things more stressful! Keep going until the timer stops.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- What are some proactive ways of reducing stress in your life?
- Thought Questions
Read 1 Kings 18:40; 19:1-4. What can we learn from Elijah about handling stress?
- Running from stress doesn’t solve the problem.
- We need to find strength in remembering how God has taken care of us in the past.
- We need to praise God even when times are stressful.
- We shouldn’t let ourselves get so overwhelmed that we want to die.
- We need to make sure we are always doing God’s will.
Read 1 Kings 19:5-9. What calming steps can we take when we’re stressed?
- We can pray―even if it’s a prayer of distress―expressing our feelings to God.
- We can get adequate sleep.
- We can eat a healthful diet, even if we crave only “comfort foods.”
- We can exercise (preferably outside in the fresh air) even when we feel lazy.
- We can divert our minds with hobbies such as reading, gardening, visiting friends, etc.
Read Mark 6:31. What are some quiet things we can do to find emotional rest?
- Sit by a babbling brook
- Hike to the top of a mountain
- Gaze at the stars at night
- Sit in an empty church sanctuary or prayer room
- Rest in an area of your home that you’ve set aside for personal quiet time
Read Philippians 2:4. What are some things we can do to take our minds off stress and help others?
- Develop a neighborhood program where we take care of each other’s needs.
- Volunteer in the children’s Sabbath School department.
- Send notes of encouragement to people who are discouraged.
- Take food to families who are struggling with illness.
- It seems that taking care of someone else’s needs would just add to my own stress.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: Do you know someone who is under a terrible load of stress? How could your group help that person? Food delivery? Yard work? Pay bills? Bedside care? Develop a plan and see it through.
- Option 2: Write these headings on a piece of paper: Physical Effects, Emotional Effects, and Spiritual Effects. Under each heading, list ways that stress manifests itself in your life. For example, “Physical Stress: loss of sleep.” Write as many as you can and then share your list with your group.
- Option 3: Share with your group the most stressful experience you’ve ever had. Be vulnerable and share how you handled the stress. What did you do that helped the situation? What didn’t help?
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Make a list of things that are stressing you today. Look at them and ask yourself, “Is this worth the stress? Do I need this in my life or can I eliminate it? How can I handle this better?” Ask God to help you find answers and give you strength to act on them.
- Make a commitment to spend daily time with God to de-stress. Be creative and do what works best for you. Take a walk and talk with God. Listen to your favorite Christian artist. Read encouraging Bible texts. Close your eyes and visualize heaven. Go outside and appreciate something in nature. Use your imagination!
Next Week’s Scripture Focus:
1 Samuel 25; Matthew 7:12; Ephesians 4:1-3; 1 Peter 3:9-12; Luke 17:3, 4; 23:34; James 5:16
For further study materials: