Withstanding Pressure

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil 4:13 

Introduction

The average person today faces a myriad of different pressure.  For some, I am sure, it feels like they are living in a pressure cooker.  Even the born again believers in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection are not exempted from the pressures of life.  However, feeling the pressure can actually be a good thing.  Why?  It will often drive us to rely on God’s presence, providence and power.  One thing God has taught me about the pressures of life is that it can either work for us or against us,  Listed below are some of the benefits of withstanding pressure with Christ as our strength :

 

  1. Contentment Phil 4:11-13

We must learn to be contented when withstanding pressure by being grateful for what we have and what we are in Christ.  Now you might think this sounds like a weird and almost impossible response when we are feeling the heat in life.  The Apostle Paul in the passage above was shackled to a guard in a Roman prison cell.  What Paul demonstrated was an art of contentment in a most awful situation.  Paul was saying this by his action, full or hungry with much or little and  comfort or adversity God is still our source.  It doesn’t matter what we are going through.  When we are going through a temporary rough patch or a temporary lean time, God is our source.  Contentment is only found when we are plugged into God,  No matter what is going around us, we can face anything through Christ Who infuses inner strength into us.  Paul looked for the good and was thankful in the midst of his adverse situation.  Paul was thankful he had a privilege to witness and impact the Gospel among the Roman troops even during this dire moments.

 

  1. Gratitude Rom 1:18-31

When we live a life filled with gratitude, we can withstand pressure.  The  seeds of depression  and bitterness will never grow  in a thankful heart.  In the passage above, Paul talks about people who are depraved when they resist the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.   If  you  read  carefully,  Paul  indicates  that ingratitude to God’s goodness leads one to depravity.  Bitter and depressed people don’t thank God for Who He is or for the things He has done.  This leads their minds being darkened.  This sin leads to another sin and to another sin until they end up in an absolutely depraved state.  Such attitude become the perfect recipe for emotional pressure among those who are unappreciative of God.

 

  1. Power Acts 5:27-42

The setting for Acts 5 is in Jerusalem a short time after the baptism, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Thousands of people had become Jesus’ followers.  This situation did not go unnoticed by Jewish leaders.  In fact, the Apostles had been arrested and warned not to speak anymore in the Name of Jesus.  They faced both religious and political pressure.  The Apostles were punished by the method of flogging.  Victims were whipped across the back with ‘forty lashes minus one’  and some died from the experience.  However, these early disciples did not crumble under the pressure that came against them.  Why?  They could withstand the pressure by claiming that ‘we must obey God rather than man’.  What about us?  We too face enormous pressure to administer the Gospel of God’s Righteousness in our culture.  There ae several values that can come from pressure when we glean the passage above demonstrated by the disciples.  Pressure can clarify our priorities, pressure can form our message, pressure can occasion our joy and pressure can foster our determination.

 

Conclusion

When a mother is giving birth to a baby, the pressure brings excruciating pain.  However, what enables the mother to endure the effects of the pressure is the fact her heart is fixed on the outcome produced by the pressure. 

Pressure will reveal the depth of our character, pressure will reveal the direction of our course and pressure will reveal the decisiveness of our commitment. 

In Phil 4:13, Paul wrote ‘I can do all things through Christ…..’

 

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