How to Cope When You Can’t Escape Stress at Work

“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12–13 (ESV)

Stress is a feeling most of us know too well. Deadlines. Demands. Conflict. Crisis. Home, work, church, community… no place provides an escape from it.

Don’t forget when you are stressed, it’s not all bad! Stress can be understood positively in terms of exercise or challenge (‘eustress’). When God created humanity, he made us to work. He gave us muscles, breath, and energy to deal with the challenge of creating and caring. God designed us cultivate life, even before sin brought about the thorns and thistles (Gen 3:17-18).

In the anguish of the stress caused by sin, remember you do not walk alone. God is the good shepherd who walks with us through the dark valleys into life (Ps 23). Jesus entered and overcame the greatest manifestation of sin-induced stress — the cross (John 10:1- 18). Therefore, you can experience Jesus’ presence and strength amid tribulation (Phil 4:12-13).

When stress builds to the place of taking over and causing you to lose perspective, take a moment and pray.

Prayer: Father, you are the creator, help me to see how you have made me with capabilities to deal with the stress I am facing right now. You are the good shepherd. Show me the areas I am feeling stress because I’m trying to be a savior. Make clear the areas of difficulty you are calling me into for the sake of the world. Help me to go forth trusting in Jesus and his strength.

About the Author

Aaron is the senior pastor at Faith Baptist Church in north Minneapolis. He has an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a masters of divinity from Denver Seminary. God gradually called him from an engineering career into inner city ministry, and then into the pastorate. Aaron is also a Made to Flourish city network leader in the Twin Cities, helping pastors integrate faith, work, and economic wisdom. Aaron is married to Noelle and they have three kids.