Does anyone really enjoy pressure? I know that I do NOT.
Daily, I ask God to remove it from my life.
I hash out consistent pressuring situations with my husband often.
My sister hears about them during long phone conversations.
I complain about them to my mom.
One day, I was bemoaning some pressure that I have been living with for the past couple of years, and my sweet, wise, godly mom blew me away with a quiet statement.
Sometimes God allows us to live with pressure, because He knows that it is helping to make us more like Him. He uses it to shape us into the women He wants us to be.
I ask God every day to make me more like Him. And then I turn around and ask Him to take away the very things that He can use to answer my prayer. Talk about counterproductive!
So today, my prayer was different. Here’s how I got there.
I recognized the pressure.
There is a need within us as women to TALK IT OUT. Am I right, ladies?
I don’t know why, but it seems like when we flip off the light switch at night, it flips the light ON in my brain. I think of all kinds of things I want to talk about with my man. Even if he can’t do anything about it right then, it just helps to say it out loud. (Poor guy, he’s over there trying to sleep. 😉 Such a sweet listener.)
But even better than talking things out with our husbands or a close friend, is taking our pressure to God. He wants us to tell Him what’s going on in our lives, even though He already knows about it. Oswald Chambers said, “To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying, ‘Prayer changes me and then I change things.’ God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature.”
So recognize your pressure. Tell God about it and in the process of prayer, He can change your heart.To say that Prayer changes things is not as close to the truth as saying, Prayer changes me and then I change things. Oswald Chambers #prayer Click To Tweet
I remembered Who knew about the pressure.
Psalm 139:4 says, “For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” It is not a surprise to God that I am dealing with this pressure. In fact, He is the One Who has allowed it to be a constant in my life. It is a part of His plan for me right now. So how is that okay? No matter the severity and duration of the pressure, we must be diligent to avoid bitterness—a resentment toward God because we are experiencing something that we don’t believe we deserve. We believe a lie when we believe we deserve better or that we know better than God. These lies lead to the pitfall of bitterness. Don’t jump in! We must build a bridge over it with stabilizing truths about God’s character.
- God loves me more than I can comprehend. Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.” John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- He is in sovereign control. Ecclesiastes 7:13 “Consider the work of God; for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?” Psalm 18:30 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.”
- He is too wise to ever make a mistake. He knows better than I do! Jeremiah10:23-24a “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O LORD, correct me…” Daniel 2:20-21 “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”
- He is good. Ever, only, always, good. Nahum 1:7 “The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”
And often, as the pressure continues, we must rebuild the bridges that we have torn down with our emotions and questions. Keep speaking truth to yourself and refuse to believe lies about God! Remember Who knows about your pressure.
I rested in God’s plan for the pressure.
Instead of asking God to remove it, I thanked Him for it. (And that is only possible because of His Holy Spirit’s power in me—lest you think I am some super Christian. HA.) Instead of using what feeble strength I have to push the pressure out of my life, am resting today in God’s plan for it. And I say today, because I will have to decide to do this again tomorrow, and each day after that. Definitely not a one-time thing.
God does not ever waste pain or pressure.
Did you get that? There is purpose—glorious purpose—in what you are experiencing. Whether the pressure be small or big, short or long, God has a plan.
The prophet Jeremiah learned this through watching a potter working on his potter’s wheel. “And the vessel that he (the potter) made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. The word of the LORD came to me (Jeremiah) saying, O house of Israel (you can insert your name there), cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel (your name).”
God is the Master Potter. He allows pressure into your life in order to craft you and mold you and shape you into His perfect creation. What would happen if the clay rebelled against the potter, saying he was pushing too hard or scraping too much away? It would never be the beautiful vessel the potter intended for it to be. You must trust our Potter. Rest in God’s plan for the pressure in your life.God does not ever waste #pain or #pressure in my life. Click To Tweet
I rejoiced in the God who allowed the pressure.
Psalm 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet on a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even PRAISE unto your God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
This is the last step! This is what I can do as I rise from my knees and continue through my day. Instead of walking around defeated and anxious, I can look to Heaven with a radiant smile on my face and raise my heart and hands in JOY because of what God is doing with the pressures in my life.
Recognize the pressure by telling your Jesus about it. He longs to comfort you and change you through your prayers. Remember Who knows about your pressure. Use that truth about Him to avoid the pitfall of bitterness. Rest in His perfect plan for the pain and pressure in your life. It is more glorious that you can even imagine. And rejoice in what God is up to in your life. Let others see your joy and praise God with you.
I love you, my sweet sisters. If you need someone to pray with you about the pressure in your life, please contact me through Facebook or Instagram. It would be an honor!