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Learning How to Deal With Stress From Life's Challenges

Updated on May 14, 2016


Christchurch post Earthquakes
Christchurch post Earthquakes | Source

My Experience

I live in a part of the world that has experienced its fair share of fear and anxiety. We were in Christchurch during both the September 2010 and the February 2011 earthquakes and the recent Valentines Day "shake" in 2016. It's not for nothing that New Zealand is called the "shaky isles".

Rat race in Seoul


Shakings and Stress

After stumbling out of a supermarket after the February earthquake and driving home and seeing the damaged buildings and the return of the dreaded "liquefaction" (oozing mud from under the ground) in some streets I got home and, like much of the rest of the city, tried to make contact with my family to see if they were ok. Since all the phones were down and cell phones were not getting through because of demand, this took a while.

Over a period of weeks I prayed about where and what I should do. I made a decision-I would change career and try to get a teaching job. But which country? I liked the idea of Europe but Saudi Arabia and Asia was where the money seemed to be-particularly Korea.

After doing a cheap and fairly short TESOL qualification I applied for a job in Seoul. After many discouraging interviews (one Korean agency representative commenting that I had some grey hair and therefore was "too old" for Seoul) I eventually got a job in my target area of Paju, where I knew a church friend was based, whom I could hopefully fellowship with and help in his missions work.

In my book "The Wild Bulls of Paju" I describe my experience trying to teach 30+ students twenty times a week, having no previous experience and with no assistance by the co-teacher. "Just teach what you want," said my co-teacher gaily, when I asked how to approach my lessons. I then discovered that my students were not graded on what I taught-so that caused the majority to lose interest in anything I was trying to teach them. The result:great frustration, stress, loneliness and bouts of depression. "It seems no-one has your back in Korea," said an American teacher friend.

I ended up in Ilsan hospital having an M.R.I, high blood pressure and what I thought was something serious-but was in fact stress-induced Bells Palsy. God helped miraculously to complete my contract but I can tell you it was not easy. I managed, with God's help, to get well supernaturally and get off the blood pressure medication I had been prescribed. If you have stress and you are put on medication by your doctor, you are managing the problem, not curing it.

We are not Wired For Fear

I began to look for the root, or entry point, for the stress. Korea is one of the most pressurized work environments I have been in and Seoul is one big rat race, but I found that the greatest battle was the battlefield of the mind. I had allowed the world, the flesh and the devil to pressure me over different situations to allow him to build strongholds in the mind. God showed me that I needed to apply His Word to my thought life. Not every thought, I learned, was my thought. I needed to filter what the world and the devil were presenting as "truths" but which, in the light of God's Word, were actually lies and fabrications. My belief system had to based on the unshakable realities of the promises of God and the Person of Christ, rather than the shifting sands of feelings, symptoms,human opinions and relationships.

If you want to find a way to deal with persistent stress and or anxiety in your life first look at the spiritual component. That is because we are spiritual beings. God wired us for love-but the world system is wired to fear.

In Korea it's almost a sin to appear not to be busy. There is the pervasive fear-"If I don't work hard, I could lose my job". Everybody is tired it seems-including school age students who are compelled to go to evening English classes on top of school to ensure they have the edge on their peers.

While I was at my school one teacher died (I believe from stress) and another went on stress leave!

Christchurch Earthquake

When the ground shakes
When the ground shakes

Entrypoints for Stress-Related Disorders

There are some fears that are normal-for example, jitters that you feel before an exam. But some proceed directly from the devil. They are spiritual in origin and can cause mental disorders.

Occult Involvement.

I find it ironic that in the western world many people do not believe in the devil, yet they happily subscribe to well-written, but pernicious drivel all about witches and wizards. They are misled to believe that there are good witches and bad witches. That casting spells is desirable. There is no such thing as harmless or good witchcraft, according to the Bible. It can open up doors of mental illness in family lines, but I have seen many people set free from so called "incurable" illnesses when they have repented of an occult involvement.

The other thing that can cause stress is loneliness. This is a modern disease. It is epidemic in many countries. I experienced it firsthand in Korea particularly.but it is also problem in my home town in New Zealand where the elderly have been described as "chronically lonely". in a recent article in "The Press" the writer points out "In some cultures, the elderly are rightly valued for their wisdom and experience. Clearly in present-day {our city} that is not happening enough. Families have the prime responsibility to support their elders and keep them close. Strong families in turn build strong communities."

Henry Wright video

Traumas and Stress

Henry K. Wright in his bestselling and incisive book on divine healing called "A More Excellent Way" says "God has set parameters of protection around mankind against the devil.

Traumas and doorpoints are the incidences in your life giving entry to these bad roots. These points of entry could be in your own life or in your family tree.

Different phases or events of life bring their own traumas. Doorpoints around birth and early childhood could be issues of abandonment in the event of unwanted pregnancy. This allows a spirit of rejection to enter into the unborn child." How many people are walking around on medication and stressed out-by a spirit of rejection that they have never dealt with? Henry gives other examples of spiritual stressors and a link to his book can be found in my website.

50 Million Years of Work

The World Health Organisation in a recent study published in Lancet Psychiatry,says that without scaled-up treatment from the international community to make mental health a priority, "50 million years of work could be lost to anxiety and depression".

The president of the World Bank Group said "Despite hundreds of millions of people around the world living with mental disorders, mental health has remained in the shadows." The study recommends increasing investment in "psychosocial counselling and antidepressant medication."

Again, the world, here in the form of the WHO, can only come up with medication and psychiatry as answers. If, as I believe, stress, fear and anxiety are spiritual problems then we have to look elsewhere for real help. The church has the manual of hope to help, but many ministers have forsaken teaching the full gospel, teaching more on humanistic themes. They preach that Jesus did good works but they forget the context of the verse: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: that Jesus went went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." (Acts 10:38)

The church is meant to receive the anointing of God, do the same works the Head of the church did (by the way, you need to know the Head of the church is Jesus, not some man) and use the Biblical tools God has given us to help people receive their inheritance in Christ- that is the only real lasting answer to men's psychological needs.

Drug-Free Cure for Stress and Anxiety

Let God minister His peace to you right now. For more on God's answer to fear and stress check out my website, for more useful articles and recommended reading.:


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