2003-10-31 - Pressure
Romans 5:3-5 (NASB) And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Recently I cut my finger at church. While helping me track down a bandaid, a friend teased me about using pliers to "help" me, assuring me that "pressure would be good for it!" Uttered in jest, that phrase was good for a needed giggle, butI realized that when it comes to our Christian lives, it's a painful truth!
We should be thankful for those "ordinary," smooth-smailing times, and thank God for them. But most of our growth comes during times of pressure. Some years ago, my then best friend, also our church pianist, had to suddenly move back to another state, to be near her ailing father. I was thrust into the position of church pianist. I was nervous and would not have chosen this position! But this pressure made me practice and practice, which not only helped my church, but also refined the skills God gave me and increased my confidence as an accompanist. Had it not been for this pressure-filled experience, I probably wouldn't be able to be the director of our Youth Choir, which is one thing God had in mind for me at my present church.
Think about the times of pressure you have experienced - whether at work, in family relationships, church responsibilities or whatever. God often uses these situations to teach us, strengthen us, develop abilities we may not even realize we possessed, to deepen our faith in Him, and to enable us to help others in similar situations. If we were never in the pressure cookers of life, we would stagnate.
If you are going through pressure right now, ask God to let you see it through His eyes, to see His work. For let me assure you: As the song says, "God is working His purposes out."