Posted on April 30, 2013
Romans 8:18 states, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Suffering usually doesn’t fall in people’s category of “good news.” And I don’t want to give the impression that my own personal challenges compare with the persecution believers experienced in history or the current landscape of today’s church. With that said, I am learning about living in the midst of pressure and realizing there is a lot of good news in pressurized circumstances!
There is something amazing about pressure that I would not trade for a life filled without difficult circumstances. Pressure reveals places in our thinking and belief system that need upgrades. The anxieties we experience are meant to teach us what areas in life we trust ourselves and our abilities above the nature and character of God. These pressures are intended as an invitation to a higher perspective into the mind of God. For God is never worried about any situation; therefore, that is my invitation to journey with Him in learning to think like He does.
I’ve said this before and I will reiterate it again, this is not a process of becoming like God, we are new creations and are made in His image and likeness! However, this is a process of discovering how thorough of a job He did in remaking me in His redemptive work. Therefore pressure is a gift because it teaches me where I have not come into alignment with His purpose and work on my behalf. Also, notice what the passage actually says. The suffering is not worth comparing to the glory that will be REVEALED in us! This glory of Christ in me, is a revelation of the person of Jesus in me and in my circumstances!
Again, this is not a process of becoming glorious, it is a process of realizing how glorious I am because of who now resides in me! I believe it is this revelation of Christ that allowed Paul to state in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest of me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul isn’t saying he loves pain or he is just a really tough dude. He is saying, ‘I have found the secret to life! It is Christ, and not my strength! Therefore all my trials work for me, to upgrade my faith to live above the pressure. I love trials!’
Pressure only gets to us, when there is a belief in us that is contrary to the nature of God. No financial challenge, relational challenge, or any challenge can harm us, if we trust God rather than ourselves. Sounds simple, right? I have found it more of a challenge only because I’m not always aware of how much I trust my own abilities to fix things in life, rather than relying on the life, presence, and power of God.
Finally, pressure increases our awareness of His presence. We realize how much of a comforter He really is. We realize how interwoven into His resurrection life we really are. We lose sight of the problem and are transfixed on the person! So, celebrate pressure! Get excited about problems! They are a grand invitation from a loving Father to live differently, think differently, and expand the borders of His Kingdom in your family, city, and nation. Pressure is actually really good news!