God’s plan is for you to stand up to pressure and get better thru the turmoil and grow in grace in the midst of it all.
Pressure points are sometimes self-imposed while others are outside forces some even beyond our control. We are made in such a way that the natural thing to do is drift into a state of lethargy, self-pity, and depression. The fleshly or carnal advice is to just withdraw and become bitter. But God has a better way.
2 Corinthians 1:8
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,[a] about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.
I. Pressure is a defining characteristic.
In many areas of our culture, the ability to perform under pressure is an impressive category of evaluation when we are considering the worth of an individual. Pressure and stress is a feeling, an emotion, anxiety.
II. Things to tell yourself in times of pressure.
- God has delivered us from peril and He will deliver us again.
- Change your focus.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
- Celebrate your position in Christ.
III. Submit to God’s order.
-as a citizen
-as a Christian
-as a converted spouse
Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.
Get out of the world mentally, emotionally, spiritually and focus on what is eternal, what is heavenly.
The Apostle informs his readers to direct that lifting of focus in three ways. In the first part of the book he says, “Now I want you to focus on your living hope in Christ, first of all
A. “by remembering your great salvation…
B. “remember your example before men…
C. “look to the future and remember Jesus is coming.”
If we are going to have an exemplary testimony in the world, the hostile world, and if we are going to be used to win people to Christ, then our lives have to be characterized by submission. The bottom line in our testimony in this society in which we live is submission.
1 Peter 2:13-17
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s willthat by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. 17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.