If you look up the word, “Excursion,” you will see that it usually means a short trip mainly for pleasure. Nowadays you can do that right in your own home. That’s right. You can travel wherever you want through a technology called virtual reality. And it feels like you’re really there. I’ve heard some alcoholic drinks and drugs can do that for you too. Music to many is an excursion. Others say watching movies does it for them. Just about anything can become our getaway. It all depends on what we like. But when it comes to pleasures there’s a need for caution. Why? Because our desires are rooted in sin. Something so innocent can become our demise.
“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:14-15 NIV
“Constantly be on your guard so that your hearts will not be loaded down with self-indulgence, drunkenness, and the worries of this life, or that day will take you by surprise.” Luke 21:34 ISV
Jesus warns if we become OVERCHARGED with self-indulgent pleasures and the worries of this life we will miss out greatly. Instead of His return being the best day of our lives it will be our worse. Excessive pleasure and the cares of this life go hand in hand. Today people are more stressed out than ever. The normal solution when feeling this way is to do something that makes us feel good, something pleasurable. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is we often go overboard. Instead of a relaxing drink we get drunk. Instead of some relaxing recreation to recharge our batteries we seek pleasure all the time. These things become distractions that take our eyes off of the real prize; the day when we will never ever be stressed over anything ever again, the day Christ returns and gathers us to be with Him in heaven forever.
THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH STRESS
While there is nothing wrong with engaging in entertainment to recharge our batteries there’s an ultimate way to deal with stress. To illustrate let’s look at David. Here is a man who was on the run from an unrighteous king named Saul. Saul sent men to watch David’s house around the clock in order to kill him. How did David respond? He wrote a Psalm; a song, a prayer that he sung to God. David’s prayer/song went like this:
“Save me from my enemies, my God; protect me from those who attack me! Save me from those evil people; rescue me from those murderers! Look! They are waiting to kill me; cruel people are gathering against me. It is not because of any sin or wrong I have done, nor because of any fault of mine, O Lord, that they hurry to their places. Rise, Lord God Almighty, and come to my aid; see for yourself, God of Israel! Wake up and punish the heathen; show no mercy to evil traitors! They come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city. Listen to their insults and threats. Their tongues are like swords in their mouths, yet they think that no one hears them. But you laugh at them, Lord; you mock all the heathen. I have confidence in your strength; you are my refuge, O God. My God loves me and will come to me; he will let me see my enemies defeated. Do not kill them, O God, or my people may forget. Scatter them by your strength and defeat them, O Lord, our protector. Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely. Then everyone will know that God rules in Israel, that his rule extends over all the earth. My enemies come back in the evening, snarling like dogs as they go about the city, like dogs roaming about for food and growling if they do not find enough. But I will sing about your strength; every morning I will sing aloud of your constant love. You have been a refuge for me, a shelter in my time of trouble. I will praise you, my defender. My refuge is God, the God who loves me.” Psalm 59:1-17 GNT
Wow! How many people you know when in trouble immediately start praying to God or praising Him in song? And how many do you know turn up the bottle, or smoke something to forget their troubles? The sad part is once the high is gone the problems are still there. And sometimes even worse because we spent all of our money getting high. David had faith that God would protect him, and He did. Sadly most people do not have this kind of faith.
“And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:2 NIV
While healthy excursions in their proper place are fine and dandy let us not forget where the ultimate help can be found when we’re stressed out. Let us pray to God and even sing to Him like David did.
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