How to Handle Stress Biblically

January 24, 2023

manage stress biblically


Am I stressed? Just because I can’t sleep, eat at all times of the day, can’t get my work done, am tired all the time, forgot to pick up the kids at dance and I fell asleep in a meeting! Does that mean I am stressed? And on top of all that, I have a headache every day. Surely that is not stressed!

Can you relate?

Do you reach for caffeine to wake up and tylenol PM to go to sleep?

Yes, we live in a stressed culture. It feeds our stress.

Stress has been called the fastest growing disease in the Western world. It is all around us and affects every area of life: emotional (soul), physical (body), and spiritual. 

Some people believe Christians shouldn’t have problems or feel stressed and that if you feel overwhelmed, you are 

  1. not spiritually mature, 

  2. lacking in faith, or 

  3. not praying and working hard enough. 

Others believe God punishes you for past failures. Don’t believe these lies, my friend!

Friend, we are to expect stress. And, as you will see in this article, stress will help you grow stronger, draw closer to God, and embrace His invitation to rely on Him. 

However, we can learn how to decrease the load and cope with stress biblically. Especially since it is important for your physical and mental health and the balance of your life. 

So, if you’re wondering, how do I give my stress to God? This article is going to help! 

Keep reading as we uncover how to look at stress biblically to be at peace!

Christians Can Live Relaxed

christians can live relaxed

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matt. 6:27)

Before we dive in, take a deep breath and grab a cup of herbal tea. Discovering God’s answers is always life-giving and even fun!

How do you relax as a Christian?

First, if you are a Christian, remember it is not a sin to be stressed or weary. Even Jesus was weary (John 4:6).

Second, many people in the Bible dealt with stressful situations in their lives: 

  • Ruth experienced famine and then traveled with her mother-in-law to a foreign land
  • Daniel got thrown into a den of lions
  • Jonah sat in the pit of a large fish’s stomach
  • Moses cared for two million people who complained over every minor inconvenience
  • Hannah experienced infertility
  • David fled from Saul in fear for his life
  • Jezebel hunted Elijah
  • Joseph learned about Mary’s pregnancy out of wedlock
  • and Christ wrestled in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane

Let me say this straight.

If our Bible heroes and even our Savior dealt with stress, it shouldn’t surprise us when it comes knocking at our doors.

What Is Stress, And What Causes Stress?

what is stress

What is stress? Stress is the gap between the demands that are placed on us and the strength we have to meet those demands.

There are four major causes:

  • Environment (external)—noise, heat and cold, toxins, travel, jobs, family, world issues, circumstances
  • Diet—malnutrition, illness, weight problems, drugs, processed foods, medicine
  • Exercise—lack of exercise can cause small amounts of stress seem monumental
  • Emotions—anger, resentment, envy, guilt, revenge, tension, anxiety, unforgiveness, fear of change, rejection, job loss, finances, home life, depression, love, joy, unrealistic expectations, low self-esteem, self-criticism, perfectionism, and worry.

Are you dealing with a difficult family situation? Battling health issues? Are you going through a rough transition? 

What is causing the emotional or physical stress you are experiencing right now? Grab a notebook and jot it down. We’ll soon discover God’s answers!

Stress Can Be Turned Into A Treasure

stress can be turned into a treasure

Now, while Scripture does not specifically use the word stress, it does address the idea of it.

Scripture uses words like distress, tribulations, trials, ordeals, hardship, trouble, difficulties, persecution, affliction, worry, suffering, adversity, pressure, disaster, and discipline. These words do a good job describing what it means to experience stressful or anxious situations.

But God's Word doesn’t leave us without a plan for tackling stress and anxiety. 

The words Scripture uses to overcome stress are grace, peace, love, joy, contentment, strength, encouragement, abundance, courage, perseverance, acceptance, and faith. And God commands us to rejoice, rest, and trust.

So, how do I give my stress to God?

The foremost key to giving your stress and anxiety to God is learning how to trust Him with the causes of it.

It’s also important to recognize that we are children of God, made of mind, body, soul, and spirit. If we are ignoring one of these areas, stress is more likely to overwhelm us.


Every circumstance that comes your way is an opportunity to lean on God and trust Him to help, strengthen, and deliver you (Psalm 62:8, Isaiah 26:3-4).

This is how stress can be turned into a treasure!

Because it occurs in the body, we need healthy ways to deal with stress physically and spiritually.

But how?

Overcoming Stress - How To Handle Stress Biblically

overcoming stress

We know now that feeling stressed is unavoidable. It’s as common for us as it was for men and women in Bible times. 

And the truth is, we can’t control what causes us to feel stress in our lives. But we can choose how we respond to it. 

We can:

  • Form new thought habits with truth
  • Cultivate a lifestyle and life rhythms that are Bible based
  • Grow with God as our refuge

Let’s dive into each one.

1. Train Your Mind With Truth

train your mind with truth

When we train ourselves to respond to stressful situations with biblical truths, we are fortifying our thought life and building resilience. This helps us handle difficult situations in the Spirit and with the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Scripture gives us a solid blueprint for how to train our thoughts: 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7)

Choose to meditate on truth, on Scripture, on good, wholesome, spiritual things. This will strengthen your mind to view all the situations confronting you through the lens of God’s Word.

2. Make Biblical Lifestyle Changes

make biblical lifestyle changes

When you practice healthy, balanced, godly habits in your life, it won’t be as easy for stress to knock you over. 

How does the Bible say to deal with stress?

  • Get regular exercise. (1 Corinthians 9:27)
  • Sleep. (Psalm 4:8) Sleeplessness can be one of the many signs that your body is under stress. Train your body to get at least eight hours of sleep (Proverbs 3:24).
  • Schedule your day with wisdom (Psalm 37:23).
  • Master your money and tithe as the Holy Spirit leads you. Pray about every purchase (Luke 16:11).
  • Enjoy today. (Matthew 6:34) “Yesterday is over and tomorrow will come later.” Enjoy the present and all that God has given you.
  • Resolve conflicts. (Matthew 18:15) “Pray about issues that concern you and resolve one issue at a time.”
  • Limit contact with stress-producing people. (Romans 12:18)
  • Laugh. (Proverbs 17:22) “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”
  • Love your family and the people God has brought into your life.
  • Continue in your faith and belief in God’s promises. (Romans 4:20)

Here are three more areas where making changes can bless your life:

Cultivate A Healthy Diet

cultivate a healthy diet

When we give our bodies high quality protein, whole grains, and raw fruits and veggies, our bodies are better prepared to deal with stress in our lives and recover from it. 

The Bible shows us the way both for our spiritual health as our physical health. To learn more, click here

Magnesium is a mineral that calms stress. It helps to balance cortisol, which is blown out of balance by stress. These foods eaten regularly will lessen stress naturally.

Magnesium-rich stress reducing foods

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Dark chocolate: 70% dark and up to one ounce per day
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Spinach


Because our foods aren’t as nutrient-rich as they were in ancient times, we need to supplement. 

Certain supplements can help our bodies combat stress. 

Here is a list of individual herbs, vitamins, and minerals that reduce stress levels: 

  • Protein , my favorite is a chick pea blend that builds the microbiome and connects the neurotransmitters to reduce stress in the brain. 
  • Rhodiola Rosea Root
  • L-Theanine
  • GABAB6
  • Calcium/magnesium
  • Zinc (for skin problems)
  • Ashwagandha Root Extract

My co-author, Dr. Richard Couey and I use a product called ReZEN from Transformation Enzymes since it has a calming effect, improves mood and promotes balance within the automatic nervous system and overall brain health.  It is suggested to take 2 capsules daily between meals. Use REEDR10 for our office discount. 

Sabbath And Rest

sabbath and rest

Allow time for adequate rest and relaxation. We know we need sleep, but we also need time for just plain relaxing.

Read Mark 6:31

What does Jesus say about rest? Let’s meditate on these words and ask Christ Jesus to help us.

Practicing the Sabbath is another way to ensure we are getting enough rest. A weekly routine of not doing any work for a 24-hour period will do wonders for your stress and anxiety levels, and help you trust God more.

3. Make God Your Refuge

make god your refuge

Remember that every time stress comes knocking on the door, you have a choice. 

You can either let the stress get to you or you can give it to God.

Lord, I’m dealing with this issue right now and I know you have a purpose for me to see you at work through this. I know you are always with me and have given me power, love and a sound mind to conquer this issue.”

Every time the issue rises, turn to God in prayer and let Him be your refuge amid difficult circumstances. The Word promises He will help! (Isaiah 41:10)


Stress affects the body, soul, and spirit. But when we respond to stress and anxiety with biblical truth, prayer, healthy habits, and a determination to rely on the Lord, God can then turn our stress into a treasure.

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

What steps can you make this week to reduce or handle your stress better?

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