Encouragements for our troubled times No. 35

COVID-19 Series | Date: 19 November 2020

The Elders and Deacons want to encourage the members and those who regularly meet with us through this weekly letter. If you have news which you would be happy to share with the fellowship or request for prayer, then please let us know.

A message from our Elder - Mr Michael Asare

Luke 10:41-42

“Jesus…said to her ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing needed…"

Coping with stress

The aim is to begin where people are and to show them the need for reconciliation to God in Christ as the necessary prerequisite to resolving life’s problems. When addressing the issue of death, depression, money, guilt or rejection we have demonstrated that man’s greatest need is to be right with God.

Why do we get overwhelmed with stress?

We get overwhelmed with stress when life’s strains exceed our natural strength. “Martha was stressed out” in the kitchen while catering for Christ and His disciples. Added to this was the inevitable gaze of critical onlookers and a desire to do her very best for Christ. What exasperated her most was Mary’s lack of help. Instead of assisting with the food, she was calmly sitting at Jesus’ feet, drinking in His every word. Martha was stressed and irritable, and it showed. She even accused Christ of not caring, and implored Him to remind her sister of the duty to “lend a hand.” We can easily identify with Martha, as in so many respects we behave in a similar way ourselves. Indeed, Jesus’ kind rebuke can astonish us as it surely astonished Martha. Far from correcting Mary’s behaviour, Jesus approved of it and blamed Martha for having an anxious spirit. “One thing is needed”, He said, “and Mary has chosen that good part.” Nor would Jesus take that “good part” from her on Martha’s insistence! Like Martha, life’s pressures get us down too. The legitimate demands of work and family can be very considerable. And now with coronavirus pandemic, lockdown, jobs lost, health deterioration, disruption in education, relationships, travel etc.

How can we resolve stress in our life?

To resolve stress, we must become like Mary. She had got her priorities right and was therefore commended by Christ. She was seeking first the kingdom of God and knew that all other things would be provided (Matthew 6:33). Experience shows that putting God first does reduce stress. She had tasted and proved by experience the goodness of the Lord (Psalm 34:8) and so can we! Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30

May God bless us all as we come to prayers on Tuesday and Thursday.