THE ROOT AND THE FRUIT
“For there is no good (healthy) tree that bears decayed (worthless, stale) fruit, nor on the other hand does decayed (worthless, sickly) tree bear good fruit” (Luke 6:43).
Years ago, I lived in Southern California where citrus trees abounded in back yard neighborhoods and after buying our first home, we were going to plant our first fruit tree in our backyard. The soil was all clay, without grass, and without a fenced in area, BUT I was going to plant a tangerine tree. NO MATTER WHAT! NO STRESS TO BE SUCCESSFUL HERE!
The first year there were sweet-smelling blossoms but little fruit. The tree must be trying to adapt itself to the poor surrounding soil [I looked that up in a garden book]. Now the second year, not only did we have lots of fruit, God had put a ‘praying mantis’ in the foliage; to ward off harmful insects [I found that reasoning in the same book]. The third year of growing, not only was there only one tangerine found growing, but the leaves began to wilt; then the tree succumbed with all the leaves falling dead on the ground. That healthy looking specimen of a tree stood in our back yard that summer like the “Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree”! At the end of the summer, I dug up the tree with remorse and found out that the roots were all shriveled up! My conclusion; the roots were the problem! Because of my failure, I would be stressed out about planting any kind of tree again; in that particular backyard anyway.
TAKE CARE OR DEAL WITH THE ROOT AND YOU WILL TAKE CARE OF THE FRUIT
“If you’re dealing with fruit in your life that just keeps coming back in earnest even when you continually repent, STOP the vicious cycle of “fruit management” and allow the Lord to show you the ROOT that’s giving life to the FRUIT that is manifesting. Let Jesus heal you and deliver you” Pat Hodges.
THE ROOT IS STRESS: Stress [Root] —>Fruit
The FRUIT might include;
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
TIRED TO THE BONE
The ROOT is STRESS; handle the “root” to prevent the bad fruit fall, not to far from the tree.
In defining stress, it sometimes can be explained using construction terminology; “A building under construction is designed to handle STRESS”; a pressure placed on certain structures in relation to their ability to provide support.
Everyone has the “ability” to deal with stress, but not everyone knows exactly how to deal with it. Any building is equipped to handle a certain amount of applied weight; built to “specs” in that regard. We were never created to bear, or carry more than God intended.
LEARNING HOW TO DEAL WITH IT!
“We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9 Amplified).
“STRESS COMES FROM THE OUTSIDE IN”
Stress comes from pressure and circumstances around us that we may have control over or not. According to the apostle Paul, he confessed to the church of Corinth he experienced stress in every way. The key that’s given, when stress rises up, and it will, is being ready for what comes our way at any given time. Jesus tells us in the Gospel of John, the best way to handle stress:
“DO NOT let your hearts be troubled, (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me” (John 14:1).
When you read and meditate on God’s Word on a daily basis, you are preparing for what is going to happen for that day. Don’t wait for the FRUIT to show up first. If you do that, you will meditate on the FRUIT; the circumstance, the problem, in lieu of the solution found in God’s Word.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not frightened or troubled [or “stressed out”], for this must take place, but the end is not yet” (Matt. 24:6).
“Behold, God is my helper and ally; the Lord is my upholder and is with them who uphold my life” (Psalm 54:4).
“Cast your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it} and He will sustain you; He will NEVER ALLOW the [consistently] righteous to be moved (made to slip, fall, or fail)” (Psalm 55:22).
“Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:19).
CAUSES OF STRESS WHEN THEY ARISE
2. Unresolved conflict.
“UNCERTAINTY” in your finances? We all know that “finances” can cause us stress. There are two words that I want to emphasize in regards to your finances: STOP and MEDITATE.
1. STOP spending more than you earn.
2. MEDITATE more on things that don’t cost you money.
If you are unemployed, or you think that “inflation” has caught up to you, you might pray this prayer right now; “Father, you know my situation and I don’t want to go down that “stress road”. You promised me in your Word, that if I “cast my burden”, my financial uncertainty on the Lord, you will remove the weight off my shoulders! I believe and trust in You and your Word that my finances will be taken care of NO MATTER WHAT! In Jesus Name. Amen”.
“Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]” (James 5:16).
Unresolved conflict will cause stress in a believer’s life and confession will remove the conflict. DON’T CONFESS your sins to someone you don’t know in the Lord; immature Christians. Maturity isn’t how long you’ve been “born again”! It’s how long you’ve been obedient.
SOME RELIEF FROM STRESS
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him” (Prov. 19:17).
1. Ministering to the poor will cause stress relief in your life. Try it! Giving to others will always bless you. And if you are being blessed in your giving, there is no room for stress.
2. Order in your life. Lack of order causes stress in marriage and your finances.
3. Please God and live by faith. Quit trying to PLEASE everybody.
4. Take care of your body!
BIBLE VERSES TO READ AND MEDITATE ON BEFORE STRESS ARRIVES
Exodus 33:14 “And the Lord said, My Presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
2 Samuel 22:7
Psalm 16:8 “…I shall not be moved”.
Psalm 55:22 “Cast [fling] your burden on the Lord [releasing the weight of it]…”
Psalm 118:5-9 “Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-11
2 Corinthians 11:27-28
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not fret or have anxiety about anything…”
If you feel that you don’t know how to pray about your building fears; of stress of related circumstances, pray out loud and remind God of His promises. No, He hasn’t forgotten what He has said, but He likes to know of your faith and confidence of His Word.