Grace Under Pressure

 

Grace is SufficientPressure. All of us experience pressure at one time or another in our lives. Pressure can come in a myriad of forms; financial, emotional, physical, mental or spiritual. Pressure can come from being a single parent and trying to make ends meet. Pressure can come from the loss of a job or the death of a loved one. Pressure can occur from dealing with the sickness of a family member who has been diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease or cancer. Divorce, disease, loss, or a toxic workplace all come with pressure.

Life is not perfect. By virtue of the world we live in, pressure is inevitable. The Bible cites numerous individuals who dealt with pressure and were able to overcome their challenges with God’s grace and mercy.

Apostle Paul

Once the Apostle Paul became born again of God’s holy spirit and received his sight back, he immediately preached in the synagogues that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (Acts 9:20). He didn’t hesitate, he didn’t consider, he didn’t ponder about whether or not he should preach Christ crucified. He just did it! People witnessing this miraculous change in Saul, who later became known as Paul, couldn’t believe it. After all, this was the man who was zealous for the law and persecuted the Christian Church and hauled people off to jail.

You can well imagine the pressure that Paul experienced when he began preaching about Christ crucified and that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. In fact, Paul and the disciples were persecuted, beaten, thrown in jail, and told under any circumstances, they were not to speak God’s Word.

Paul recounts some of the pressures he experienced as a result of holding forth God’s Word.

2 Corinthians 6:4-5
But in all things approving ourselves as the minsters of God, in much
 patience, in afflictions [pressures] in necessities, in distresses,
In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings

2 Corinthians 11:23-2
Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more
abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.
Of the Jews [Judeans] five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck,
a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by
mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils
in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

Jesus Christ

In addition to the Apostle Paul, Jesus Christ is another individual who experienced tremendous pressure as God’s only begotten Son. Regardless of the amount of pressures you and I may experience in life, no amount of pressure can ever compare to what Jesus Christ endured so that we could have eternal life. John 16:33 states, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Tribulation comes from the Greek word thilipsis and it means pressure and affliction. The word overcome in John 16:33 comes from the Greek word nikaō and it means to gain the victory. A popular sports company derived its name from this Greek word.

What did Jesus Christ mean when he said that “in me ye might have peace?” When people accept Jesus as Lord in their lives and believe that God raised him from the dead, people are born again and receive the gift of holy spirit. We now have access to peace, power, and all things that pertain to life and godliness (Romans 10:9-10). Learning how to operate the gift of holy spirit is a lifelong adventure. Galatians 5:22-23 says that “the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith [believing], meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

The Checklist

When I am not manifesting the fruit of the spirit in my own life, I have to check myself from the neck up. Invariably, there is something that I am missing as I compete in the spiritual competition called life. Mathew 6:33 states, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” If I am not manifesting the fruit of the spirit, here are some questions that I need to ask myself.

  1. Am I reading God’s Word daily? If not, what is preventing me from receiving the spiritual food from the Bible? What steps do I need to take to remove the distractions that are pulling me away from God’s Word?
  2. Am I speaking in tongues much? Victor Paul Wierwille writes in Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, that “speaking in a tongue is the believer’s external manifestation in the senses world of the internal reality and presence of the power of the holy spirit” (pg. 25). Speaking in tongues is the foundation by which the other eight manifestations of the gift of holy spirit are based. These include interpretation of tongues, prophecy, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, discerning of spirits, faith [believing], workings of miracles, and gifts of healings (see 1 Corinthians 12:7-10).
  3. Am I sharing God’s Word with others? Sharing God’s Word doesn’t always mean quoting Scripture. It does mean that we seek to help others by loving people with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. We find out what their need is and we share God’s Word that helps to meet that need.
  4. Am I tithing and abundantly sharing my finances to the organization that blesses and teaches me God’s Word? The tithe represents ten percent of your net income. Abundantly sharing is anything beyond ten percent. Abundant sharing can also include acts of service to help others or to move God’s Word in your local community. The importance of the tithe for financial prosperity is found in Genesis 14:20, Malachi 3:10-11, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8.
  5. Am I fellowshipping with like-minded believers? The world is full of negativity and is designed to break a person down. Fellowshipping with like-minded individuals who share God’s Word, who love, edify, and strengthen you to believe God’s Word about yourself and others is priceless. Praying with a group of like-minded individuals helps to bring the promises of God to pass in your life and in the lives of others.

Dealing with pressures in life is not always an easy task. However, God gave us all things that pertain to life and godliness through His written Word. As we read the Bible, share His Word with others, and apply the principles from God’s Word, we will absolutely see the results of our believing action. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

All scriptures are quoted from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Explanatory insertions within a scripture are enclosed in brackets.

Copyright © 2015 Aleta You. All Rights Reserved.

 

Comments

  1. Sandy Beets says:

    Thank you so much for your teaching! Wonderful how you rightly divide the Word in such a logical fashion. God bless you!

  2. To God be the glory! This was a timely word for me. God bless you!

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