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Under Pressure

1 Peter 1:7, “These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you.”

Have you ever felt like telling the Lord, “Okay, no more, I don’t think I can take any more bad happening to me or those around me.” Maybe you’ve felt like you are the only one going through trials and every time you turn around you are faced with another one and you are asking ‘why’ yet again.

It’s interesting because when we feel we are being put through the fires and the trials just seem to keep coming, God has told us in 1 Peter 4:12 not to be surprised when the trials come as it is something strange to us. Then we find in James 1:2-4 that Jesus is telling us to count it all joy when trials come. So, now the question is what? How is being happy about our trials going to make it better?

Did you know that grapes must be crushed to make wine? Diamonds form under pressure. Olives are pressed to release oil and seeds grow in darkness. Great things have happened to things when put under pressure and the transformation usually produces something quite beautiful.

Jesus is saying that we are human and born in a sinful world and born to sin. When we choose to follow Jesus and look towards salvation, we must go through our own transformations to become the beautiful and holy person God created us to be. These trials, these moments of pain, hurt, growing moments, are all to refine us to be like fine gold. And James 1:12 gives us the hope we have when we have come out on the other side, “When people are tempted and still continue strong, they should be happy. After they have proved their faith, God will reward them with a crown of life. God promised this to all those who love him.”

You say, well that’s all good and well, but going through it can be so hard, how can I make it through the transformation. How much more does God expect me to handle? There are promises there too. Psalm 34:17-18, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

And my personal favorite, John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Even though we need to go through the things we do, God is by our side helping us through each of them. Some trials may seem almost unbearable, the pressures too much, but if we can just hang on and hold onto the hope, we will make it through to the other side stronger for Jesus and more ready to serve and follow Him. Remember, God loves us so much that He gave His only Son to this world to be ridiculed, tortured and killed so that we can have that hope of salvation and be reunited with Him. If Jesus can endure, with God’s help, the cross we can endure what is thrown at us with Jesus’ help. We only need to believe, be strong, and trust the process. Trust Jesus because He has walked in our shoes too and He knows what we’re going through and will help us overcome it or get through it. 1 Corinthians 16:11, “Seek the Lord and His strength. Seek His face evermore!”

Whenever you feel crushed, under pressure, pressed, or in darkness, remember you’re in a powerful place of transformation- Revelation 3:21, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

In today’s busy world, where we are dashing about from the time we wake up and don't stop until our head hits the pillow at night, it can be difficult to prioritize daily Bible reading. Even if the desire is there, life often takes precedence over reading the Bible consistently. Did you know we were created to operate within a godly rhythm of work and worship. When all we do is work, we’re stretching our body to operate without the essential praise experience we need to replenish ourselves. If we are to live the lives God designed for us, we must get back to what’s essential for us to thrive, reading the Bible. As a result, we’ll begin to see the world in a new lens, one colored with the hope and optimism we need to face the day.

Let's continue our study through 1 Timothy 3:1-13

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