When You’re Feeling the Pressure

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”And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). The comprehensiveness of this passage is mind-blowing. It’s also amazing how the same passage of Scripture can lift us up AND humble us, can strengthen us AND spank us (discipline us) at the same time. Most deal with pressure in our lives; maybe it’s even a constant. However, there are times when, like Paul, “We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8). For someone with the faith and fortitude of Paul to say such a thing is a reminder that even the strongest of Christians sometimes feel the pressure and strain of living for Jesus and cry out. While bearing the weight and agony of our sin, even the Lord cried “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Yet He was forsaken for a while so that you and I would never be. We never face the pressure, strain and difficulty of life alone. God has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). We should respond to this glorious truth as the writer of Hebrews, “So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6).

It seems Satan has done his job awfully well. The Devil has made it his priority to hinder Christians through the use of worry, pressure, strain and stress. He seeks to wear out our patience, take away our joy, disturb our peace, mute our praise of God, undermine our walk with the Lord and silence our sharing of the good news. The Devil’s device (2 Cor. 2:11) is to get us to look away from Jesus and to start looking at circumstances. We know we shouldn’t; it doesn’t really help, but too often we still do. As a result, we FEEL the burden and pressure even more.

Over and above the circumstances—difficult and pressure—packed they may be, is 2 Corinthians 9:8. There is the all-important reminder, “God is able.” What a beautiful, wonderful history He has in showing us that He is able! Then the verse intentionally tells us how able He is. “All grace” is able to “abound to you.” There’s incredible grace that’s available to every child of God. “All sufficiency in all things at all times.” God’s sufficiency is ever available; there’s grace for every place, circumstance and time. No exceptions, no exclusions. Note also how the verse says, “You may abound in every, (all) good work” The verse begins by saying, “God is able to make all grace abound to you” and concludes with, “so you may abound in every good work.” It is the rich and abundant grace of God that motivates and strengthens us to abound in the work of our Lord. It keeps us going when the circumstances, pressures and difficulties of life might otherwise overwhelm us. When you feel overwhelmed, focus on God’s grace. When the load seems too heavy, cling to God’s promises. When you’re really feeling the heat and pressure, keep in mind that God controls the thermostat. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Mike Vestal
Westside church of Christ
Midland, TX

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