I was listening to the news one day, and a basketball coach was talking about his coaching job. He was answering a question about the pressure of getting this basketball team back on the winning track. He said that pressure is something that makes us work, it causes us to be the best we can be, it challenges us to work hard. I thought about this and perceived this is true also in the spiritual realm. Let’s develop a few thoughts along this line.
May we begin with a couple of passages of scripture to see, that the various “pressures” that come upon us can be used by the Lord to make us what we ought to be. Notice in James 1:1-5, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. Again I Peter 1:6-8, “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
The various trials that come our way, that puts the “pressure” on us, molds and shapes our faith, to develop that wonderful quality called patience. If we let patience have her perfect work James said, it will cause us to be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. The manifold temptation, or pressures if you please, have as Peter says, the same effect of gold being tried with fire. Gold has to be refined by the fire, it is what makes it pure. Even so, as we go through the fires of tribulations, persecutions, pressures of life, they are the things that make makes us what we ought to be. It builds strength in us, it makes us work at being the best we can be for the Lord. It challenges us to draw near unto God. It also shows us our weaknesses and the areas wherein we need to grow. Yes, the “pressures” of life can either make us or break us, it all depends on whether we love the Lord or not – Rm.8:28.
Dan McKibben

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