We are all bound to experience pressure in life. Perhaps at one point, you’ve felt the strain of a job loss, a difficult decision, a tense relationship or an unexpected diagnosis. Even today, as our world faces very real challenges, you may find yourself feeling heavy under the weight of a certain burden.
The apostle Paul served God and lived in a constant atmosphere of pressure. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 he writes, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself.” In other words, he was brought to breaking point. Yet even in midst of unrelenting pressure, God miraculously delivered him. 2 Corinthians 1:10 reads, “And he DID rescue us from mortal danger, and he WILL rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will CONTINUE to rescue us.”
If you’re facing pressure, don’t be discouraged! Just as God delivered Paul, we can rest in the assurance that He HAS delivered us, He WILL deliver us, and He will CONTINUE to deliver us. Here are three things that pressure will put to the test:
THE PERSPECTIVE TEST
Pressure will always test your perspective. When the pressure is on, it can be easy to lose perspective of what is important. However, it is possible to allow pressure to heighten our perspective of what really matters, what really counts, and what really is important in life. Jesus is described as the “chief cornerstone”, and when our perspective is built on the foundation of faith and the Word of God, it changes how we see and respond to challenges and pressure.
THE PRIORITY TEST
What are the non-negotiable priorities in your life? When we experience seasons of pressure, it’s common to react by adjusting our priorities according to the pressure. Instead of reacting, we should endeavour to respond to challenges by determining our priorities first, then adjusting according to those settled priorities. If you are currently in a season of pressure and tension, do not draw back on the very priorities that matters most: honouring God and putting Him first.
THE LEADERSHIP/OWNERSHIP TEST
A leader is not just someone in a position of power, every believer is called to be a leader and live a life of example. In times of pressure, it’s easy to point the finger and cast blame, but taking responsibility empowers us to make a way forward and see lasting change. Good leadership takes responsibility, and it starts with leading our own life well and stewarding what God has put in our hand. Ownership says, “my life is my responsibility”—you can’t change what you can’t change, but you must change what you can.
Though we can’t always change the pressure we face, we can change how we respond to it. When challenges arise in your life, take stock of your situation, create a plan and maintain a steadfast commitment to being a person of faith and prayer. Even if the intensity of pressure may seem unbearable, be encouraged that God will deliver us and with Him, we can overcome. Remember the words of the apostle Paul from 2 Corinthians 1:10: He HAS delivered you, He WILL deliver you and, He WILL CONTINUE to deliver you!