Goodbye to Stress and Hello Purposeful Life

Finding balance with Hope Darst

Stress often finds a way to creep into our hearts and minds. It’s a common struggle, and even those who appear to handle stress effortlessly may wrestle with their own inner battles. Christian worship leader, musician and songwriter Hope Darst shared with Family Life Radio her personal journey of learning to live with stress and discovering the keys to finding peace.

Hope acknowledged her own struggle with stress. While her husband seems to carry the weight of numerous responsibilities with ease, she feels overwhelmed. In moments like these, it’s crucial to remember that your strength is limited, and it is important to rely on God.

Scripture reminds us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 ESV). Instead of depending solely on your own capacities, you can turn to the Lord for strength and find comfort in His presence.

  1. Acknowledge the cause of your stress.

For Hope, it is the deeper issue. She explained, “It’s fear and insecurity, and lack of trust. Maybe trusting too much on my own strength.”

Hope Darst

This causes stress. You may feel the need to control every aspect of your life, believing that perfectionism will shield you from stress. This can lead to an endless cycle of anxiety.

Hope described her own faulty thinking –

“I thought if I’m doing it all really well then I won’t be stressed. And that is such a false way of thinking, because the reality is this life can be overwhelming.

“There can be many things on our plates,” Hope explained, “that we’re kinda like, I don’t know how to balance all of that or do all of that!”

     2. The Bible tells you to trust in God’s sovereignty and rest in His plans.

Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages you, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths” (ESV).

By surrendering control to God and trusting in His guidance, you can experience peace in the midst of life’s challenges.

Hope Darst

Hope believes the Lord is trying to teach her how to have grace for herself during her attempts to do everything right. She is learning how to respond and when to let go of things, when she is being perfectionistic.

Hope is learning to recognize life doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be purposeful and good.

Even the apostle Paul said the Lord told him, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV).

     3. Especially during overwhelming responsibilities and conflicting priorities, it is important to discern what truly deserves your time and energy.

Hope is learning the importance of knowing when to say “yes” and when to say “no.” This wisdom comes from seeking God’s guidance and aligning your choices with His direction.

James 1:5 assures us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him” (ESV).

     4. When you approach God in prayer, ask for His wisdom.

He promises to guide you and provide clarity amidst the chaos. By prioritizing according to His leading, you can experience a more balanced and purposeful life.

Instead of striving for perfection and relentlessly pursuing worldly standards, Hope is learning to embrace the beauty of imperfection, understanding that God’s purposes can still be fulfilled through her as she follows His lead.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken(Psalm 62:1-2 ESV).

By cultivating a habit of resting in God’s presence and seeking refuge in Him, you can find renewed strength to face the challenges of life. In Him, you discover peace that transcends your circumstances and enables you to navigate through stress while you remain calm and steady.

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