Published July 11, 2017

Shelia Shares

Are you dealing with stress? Today our guest columnist, Pastor Bill, tells us the cause. Perhaps this will help you to look at priorities and see where God can help you get rid of the stress in your life. This devotional is shared by Pastor Bill and used here by permission. Check out his website (

- Shelia

Stress & Problems
by Pastor Bill

The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:11b-13 says, "I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (NLT).

A small group of highly motivated individuals — the top in their careers — got together at a Christian seminar to understand the stresses and problems in their lives. The leader opened the discussion which immediately led to complaints about stress in work and life. The leader took many specific notes about what each participant was verbalizing and then laid down his pad and pen.

The leader asked everyone present to follow him into the kitchen area — where there was a large pot of coffee brewing on the counter. Next to the pot was a large tray of assorted cups. Some were porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain, others expensive and some very exquisite.

The leader asked each member to select a cup and fill it up, then take a seat around the large conference table. When all highly motivated individuals had a cup of coffee in hand, the leader, with no reference to all his detailed notes said, "Perhaps you noticed — all the nice looking expensive cups were taken, leaving behind the plain, ordinary and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your stress and problems."

The highly motivated individuals could hardly believe what they were hearing — that they paid a great deal of money to attend this Christian seminar to learn they were to blame for their own stress and problems.

The leader continued, "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee — not the cup, but you consciously picked up the very best cup and then you began eyeing each other's cups.

The leader now had their complete attention: "Coffee in your cup is your Life — your job, your family, your money, your position. The cup is just a tool to hold and contain your Life. The type of cup we have does not define or change the quality of Life we live.

Stress and problems in life occur by concentrating on the cup. We fail to enjoy the coffee Jesus has provided us. Jesus brews the coffee, you determine the cup!"

Prayer:  Father help me be more like Paul in his ability to be content with his life no matter what kind of cup his coffee was in. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

- Shelia

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