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How to Go From Surviving Stress to Thriving With It

It may not feel like it, but stress can be a good thing. Here’s how to make stress your friend and use it to your advantage.

Mental Health
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What if you had the ability to eliminate all stress from your life with the snap of a finger? Imagine being able to coast peacefully through your day-to-day without a single troubling thought. Sounds great, right? 

We tend to assume stress makes our life worse. It often affects our quality of life and is sometimes attributed to negative physical and mental health consequences. Unfortunately, stress is pretty much a guarantee. Even Jesus said that we’ll have troubles in this life (John 16:33).  

However, just because stress is inevitable doesn’t mean we’re doomed to be a victim of it. There can be a good side to stress.  

Make stress your friend 

Stress has a bad reputation, and as a result we often try to avoid or ignore it. However, avoiding stress altogether can have negative implications for our personal and spiritual growth. 

Avoiding stress can lead to missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential. Growth, in all aspects of life, often occurs beyond the initial pain and discomfort. That’s why it’s important to try to make friends with your stress – see what it can teach you and how you can grow from it.  

Stress makes us resilient 

When managed appropriately, stress increases our capacity to handle life. Just like the strain of weight lifting makes your muscles stronger, navigating and overcoming life's stressors helps us become emotionally and psychologically stronger. 

The Bible speaks to the concept of resilience and reminds us that we need this kind of grit to navigate life. “If you fail under pressure,” Proverbs 24:10 says, “your strength is too small.” 

Acknowledging the presence of healthy stress and confronting it with faith can lead to personal growth, allowing individuals to face challenges head-on and emerge stronger on the other side. 

Stress teaches us to rely on God 

When it comes to relying on God, stress can be a powerful teacher. We were not designed to withstand all the curveballs of life with our own strength. In Psalm 55:22, we find an encouragement to “give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.” 

Stress reminds us that we’re not strong enough. We don’t have all the answers to life’s problems. It’s the feeling that bubbles up when we face this tension. But it also points to the opportunity to lean on our ultimate source of strength and guidance. After all, we can do everything through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).  

Next time you find yourself faced with an anxiety-inducing situation, tell God about it. Invite him into your struggle and ask for his help. Tell him where you’re feeling weak and ask for his strength. 

When stress becomes too much 

Just because stress can increase our faith and make us more resilient in the face of life’s challenges doesn’t mean it’s always a good thing. Too little stress can rob us of these growth opportunities, but so can too much of it. 

If your stress feels unmanageable, it could be time to make a change. Take an honest look at your routines and boundaries. Is there anything within your control that is causing unnecessary stress? 

However, if you’re feeling consumed by your stress to the point it’s causing you significant anxiety, it may be time to get help. Talking to a pastor or a mental health professional can make a big difference in your ability to manage stress and improve your quality of life.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’re happy to help you connect with a pastor or find a mental health professional near you! We also have mental health resources available that can help you navigate stressful seasons in a balanced way.  


There’s a difference between stress and anxiety – and anxiety should never be tackled alone! Here’s how to find a safe person to talk to about your anxiety

Looking to dive deeper into the topic of stress? Check out this episode of the Live Changed Podcast, where our hosts take an honest look at stress and how to manage it before it becomes overwhelming. 


The Live Changed Podcast is produced by LCBC Church. LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Subscribe to the Live Changed Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!

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