Three Loving Promises To Help Release Stress and Find Rest

by Bonnie Gray October 11, 2023
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8a (ESV)

For weeks, I tried keeping myself productive, thinking, Everything will be fine. But deep in my heart, where no one could see, I didn’t feel fine. 

So much of life had changed in such a short period of time. There were no blueprints for what was ahead, and every day there were new uncertainties to shield my children from — while trying to process things for myself.

Stress and worries have a way of reappearing on our paths, don’t they?

As I hiked up a trail one morning, I doubled up my powers of analysis to solve my dilemmas. But all it did was fill my mind with more troubling thoughts! As I reached the top of the hill and turned to walk back, my heart felt paralyzed and torn between pros and cons.

Do you ever feel this way, too — heart stressed and longing for rest?

I don’t know what to do. Help me, God, I cried silently.

Making my way down through tall, unruly grass, I noticed something I hadn’t seen on my way up. Specks of orange poppies were blossoming, opening up under the sunlight breaking through the clouds.

How did I miss the poppies when I was walking up?

It turns out poppies are sensitive to the elements and close tightly when it’s cold and windy. Yet when warmed by the daylight sun, the petals open up, releasing seeds into the wind.

Each of us is like a poppy. Our hearts close like petals when we’re stressed but open when we cast our cares into the warmth of God’s hands. It may seem like God is silent, but God hears our unspoken prayers for help. God calls us to open up to His love like wildflowers in the sun. We can lean on God’s help.

As I stood there admiring what I now know are California golden poppies, scriptures came to mind, helping release three stresses I was feeling. Perhaps your heart, like mine, needs these truths today, so here are three promises from God to help us breathe in His peace:

1. When you don’t know what to do, God whispers through His Word, Cast your cares on Me.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).

Just like a flower opening in sunlight, release your worries to God — not by ignoring them but by naming them and confiding in Him. God cares about how you feel. He wants to carry your burdens.

2. When you don’t have words to pray, you can draw near to God in the beauty of nature.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8a).

Praying doesn’t have to happen while sitting at home. Go outside, and let God touch your heart through His creation. Spend your prayer time simply resting in God’s presence in nature, letting Him refresh you. The most intimate prayer conversations often happen spontaneously when you finally have space to breathe.

You’ll also feel better outside in God’s creation! Research shows simply looking at trees or listening to sounds in nature can reduce stress levels and recover a positive mood, easing depression and anxiety about school, work and everyday life.

3. When you long for someone to hold you, Jesus reaches out His hand to help you.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT).

Jesus will never give up on you. He will never grow weary of you or your worries. He says, Abide in Me. I’m holding you close.

Picture Jesus with you now, standing in the midst of your troubles. What is the help you need? Share it with Him. What does Jesus say in return? What does Jesus want you to receive from Him?

Whatever it is, open yourself to His loving care, and let God’s words bring peace to your soul. Rest in these loving promises of God meant for you.

Jesus, help me to stop spiraling in worry, and draw me close to You. Thank You for loving me. Draw near to me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


If God said it, He meant it. The story of Jesus proves our God is faithful. Spend six weeks looking at how every promise God has made to you today is fulfilled in the life of Jesus with our next Online Bible Study … Pointing to the Promise: An Advent Study, starting November 6. Click here to sign up now!



Learn to break free of stress, worry and anxiety by hearing God’s voice more personally in your life. If you long to draw closer to God using Scripture, we invite you to join author Bonnie Gray’s powerful Bible study: How to Study the Bible: A Loving Course to Hear God’s Voice More Personally in Your Life. Click here to sign up today and join this wonderful study in community with other women!



Take Bonnie’s free “Soul Care Quiz” — your personal wellness assessment — to learn what type of care you’re missing most and how to flourish with God’s peace and joy in your life! You can also follow Bonnie on Instagram or Facebook.


Mark 6:31a, “… Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a little while” (NASB).

How do you best release stress and find rest? Share with us in the comments!

© 2023 by Bonnie Gray. All rights reserved.

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