Monday, 31 August 2020

The Pressure Test

Scripture: Isaiah 53 v 4 - 7: "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 
6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 
7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Life is full of various types of pressure.  The whole planet is subject to pressure bringing extreme situations at times, which puts people in danger and under pressure to just survive.  2020 is no exception as 25 million people who have been tested positive for coronavirus do know.  Some hundreds of thousands of people have died from it.

The pandemic is still raging and the second wave has started with the USA and India leading the numbers.  The latest numbers overnight for one day of new cases is over 73,000.  This is a pressure test for sure, and how do we cope with it.

Jesus said we should roll our burdens onto Him.  He took our stress and pressure upon Himself and said take My yoke upon yourselves for My yoke is easy and light.  He does not lay heavy burdens upon us.  Those are coming from the enemy camp.

There is financial pressure too that is created by debt, and  pressure on other health issues, family problems, schooling, careers it mounts up as high as Everest at times and has us staggering under the load.  This year is a particularly bad test because of lockdown for so long, and loss of jobs, big businesses closing, tourism wiped out.  

If we are still out in the world we have to cope alone somehow and try to survive.  However, in the Kingdom of God, He always has a plan.  Jesus, our Saviour, is the Prince of Peace and He lives in our hearts.  He gives us peace that passes our understanding.  We cannot comprehend the peace that flows over our souls when we find ourselves in trouble.

In the verses above we get an inkling of what Jesus went through to rescue us.  He took all stress, pressure, sin, sickness, sorrow and oppression on Himself as He was dying.  He set us free of it and gave us His peace.  We need to believe it to receive it.  We need to put our faith into it, apply the Word of God and stand against the Devil.

Our problem is that we forget that part and insist on sorting our problems out our own way.  In Hosea God says My people perish for lack of knowledge!  We are ignorant of what His Word says and we overburden ourselves with pressure and stress worrying about things we cannot control.

Our true manner of living in the Kingdom should be to trust Jesus as in 1 Peter 5 v 6 - 9: "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world."

It takes humility to cast our cares upon Him, as well as being sober and vigilant, in order to resist the devil who wants to destroy us.  He has schemes every minute of the day to entangle us in scams, problems, defeat, poverty and whatever else would trip us up.

The only One who knows what's coming our way is Jesus.  He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.  He knows how to keep the righteous out of trouble as long as we are listening to Him.  When we are panicking under pressure we make rash moves that generally create more stress.

We need to take a big step back and lay all our troubles on Jesus who knows how to deal with them.  He goes beyond all we ask or think. 

It takes faith and the power of the Holy Spirit to live every day the Kingdom way.  Eventually faith becomes a knowing that God truly loves us and His will for us is the abundant life.  It does not mean great wealth, it means that in everything we are completely satisfied.  

So let's build up our faith and resist the pressure the devil lays on us.  Take all needs to Jesus because He cares for us.  Let Him take control and feel the peace of submission to His will.  When the seeds of Faith are planted don't dig them up to see if they have germinated.  Water with prayer and praise and they will grow and produce peaceful fruit.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, There is an abundance of peace in Your Kingdom and it is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.  It is Your will that we overcome pressure and stress Your way to live in peace and harmony here on Earth until Jesus comes for us.  Help us to achieve this great blessing as soon as possible.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.