“If you are hungering for not only stress relief but also a renewed spirit and healthier outlook on life, cry out for the nourishment that God provides.” (from page 189 of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles)
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Whenever I find myself stressing out about something, it doesn’t take long for me to realize that I haven’t been in God’s Word enough. My quiet time is first thing in the morning; I’m a creature of habit and have been waking up at 5 am since I can remember. I need to read The Good Book BEFORE I read “The Book of Faces” (as my son calls Facebook) and my email. I’m one of those who is very easily distracted, and because I think the devil knows this about me, I’ve had to come up with some safe-guards to help me:
1. Journal on the kitchen table. This is where I have my quiet time, and by keeping my notebook there, I am able to jot down my prayers, any Scriptures the Holy Spirit impresses upon me, prayer requests, etc.
2. Cellphone AWAY from the table. By keeping it across the room, I’m not enticed to look at it.
3. Note to self on computer. This is new one for me, to remind myself to NOT search the web until AFTER my Bible study time. I need this visual reminder because I often use Biblegateway.com to look up parallel verses on my computer, so the temptation to look at other things on the Internet is always there.
I am always encouraged by what the Apostle Paul wrote, especially the letters he wrote while in prison. God used Paul’s finesse with the written word to encourage the young Christian churches during Paul’s time, and God still uses his letters to help today’s Christians. Paul’s suffering seemed to inspire him to even greater service for the LORD, something I need to remember when I have trials. I have had some pretty tough times, but I’ve never been in chains as Paul had been. Here’s some of my favorites from Paul:
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. “ (2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7)
“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Philemon 1:4-7)
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What Scriptures are spiritual vitamins for you? What habits or measures do you have in place to ensure that you get your daily dose of spiritual vitamins?