Stress: A Positive Thinking Exercise

Reading Level: Leisurely

Learning to make stress, trials, and problems work for your benefit can often be a matter of choice.

If you are going through an extreme situation right now, you may think, “That is not possible.” However, contemplate all the people who have found out that they had various types of cancer or other serious diseases, and became well-known role models because they chose to find personal benefit in the midst of traumatic situations. It can be done. Some of them even credit this personal mindset as the reason they overcame non-curable illnesses.

Chose a perspective in which you can learn to benefit from it in some way, rather than be defeated by it.

Start looking for ways this particular pressure can work for you. This is actually a scriptural principle. Look at this quote:

For our light and momentary troubles, which are for the moment, works for us [or achieves for us] eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Cor. 4:17,18)
Amplified v. 17- For our light and momentary affliction, this distress of the passing hour, is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving in us an everlasting glory.

Troubles can work for you. They can prepare and produce and achieve some good for and in you. The good it can work for you or achieve in you may not be something that is physically seen. The personal growth and accomplishment spoken of by the famous people referred to above, who are going through or have been through serious illness, are not things they themselves, or anyone else, can physically see, but no one would deny the existence of their achievements.

Here are 2 illustrations to assist you in mentally and emotionally grasping hold of this concept so you can put it into action during your times of trouble, stress, or trauma.

Though these are everyday life illustrations, I cannot take credit for them. I heard them in a talk by Creflo Dollar on “Dominating the Physical Realm.” Most of us have lifted weights at some time. If not, we are all familiar with the process of starting out with a lower level of weights and then, through time, overcoming that particular level of weight or “pressure.” Eventually, that level of “pressure” that was difficult to deal with will become so light that it won’t feel like a pressure to you at all. It will take a far greater weight or pressure to make you struggle than the one you have already worked out with. Similarly, you can chose for each trial or difficulty to work for you. The development taking place in you now from your present pressure can make you ready for future pressures. In weight lifting, you could choose to misuse the pressure of the weights and be physically harmed, though it would be a foolish choice. With your problem, you can misuse the pressure and create unnecessary harm for yourself. Or, instead, you can develop above that problem’s ability to hurt you so that you will hardly even notice it in the future, hardly even consider it a problem because you’ve been through, benefited from, and conquered it before. The trauma that came to destroy you, you can instead use as a stepping stone.

The other beneficial illustration was of a vaccine. A vaccine is an injection of the actual disease into you but you are using actually using the disease itself to prevent the disease from harming you in the future. Like a vaccine, you use that problem/stress/trial for your future benefit. Scripture says to see problems in the physical realm as “light, momentary afflictions.” In other words, like weight lifting, what started off as a heavy pressure now, as you cause it to work for you, will be lighter the next time. Your present pressure should work for you so that, in the future, the same pressure or similar level of pressure not affect you physically, emotionally, and spiritually like it did before. Exercising this trial, stress, or pressure will develop you beyond that pressures ability to do to you and your life what it used to do to you.

Determine to look for ways to make each pressure work for you so that you will receive lasting results you can benefit from your whole life.

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