“Our pressures.” Does that sound familiar? Been under any pressure lately? Boy, we all know what that feels like. Experiencing pressure is such a part of life on Planet Earth. Pressure to measure up, pressure to conform, pressure to perform, pressure to provide, pressure to fit in, pressure to get everything right, pressure to be strong, pressure to have it all together, pressure to progress; the list goes on and on.
As the Bible acknowledges, there are often both external and internal pressures weighing on us:
As if external pressures weren’t enough, we humans often end up putting all sorts of pressure on ourselves. Even the amazing Apostle Paul freely acknowledged living under an extraordinary amount of both external and internal strain. Can anything good come from so much pressure?
Diamonds. Did you know that it takes 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch for carbon atoms to bond together into these beautiful stones? Not to mention temperatures of 2000° Fahrenheit. We value these crystals so much that we choose them to symbolize our most sacred relationships. Yet, how did something so precious come to be? Pressure and heat. Sound about right?
What a perfect illustration! As uncomfortable as the weight is that we feel bearing down on us, it’s bringing forth something exquisite as we persevere. And in the midst of it all, here’s the good news. We find it in the following verses. We don’t have to come up with the strength that we need for endurance, on our own:
“And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope. And this hope is not a disappointing fantasy, because we can now experience the endless love of God cascading into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who lives in us!” (Rom. 5: 4-5,TPT).
Where does our needed strength come from? We receive it as our Father God pours His love into our hearts through His Spirit. Even a glimpse of His enormous, personal, tender love for us imparts a tremendous amount of life and vitality to our inner being. When that happens, it’s like a pressure valve opens up, releasing all that pent-up tension from our souls. In its place, supernatural peace settles in. Hope comes alive inside of us and we receive what we need to keep pushing forward.
My friend, don’t give up. The pressures you are facing today are producing diamond-quality character in you that sparkles and shines with the nature of Jesus. Each day, ask your Abba Father to pour His love into you. He will. He’ll give you what you need. And when He has completed the good work He began in you, you will be astonished by the beauty of what He has brought forth within you.
Have you found yourself becoming a more hopeful person after walking through prolonged difficulties and trials?