Are you feeling pressure in your everyday life? On the job. . .in your finances. . .at home either in your role as a spouse or a parent.
Does it seem that sometimes the pressure is almost overbearing?
Peter Marshal, a former Chaplain of the United States Senate once said:
“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
Perhaps, we need to catch a visual of ourselves becoming like the Hope diamond. . .the most famous of all precious stones.
There seems to be four main causes of pressure. . .whether externally or internally generated.
First, we get overloaded with more to do than the hours of the day will allow us to complete.
Second, we allow our emotions to create worry, anxiety and frustration. . .which drains us emotionally and physically as well.
Third, we always play worst case scenario. . .imaging the worst things that could possible happen. . .if something is not completed or doesn’t happen.
Fourth, the enemy wants to change your spiritual and mental environment. . .to break your focus off what’s important to your heavenly calling.
Pressure can cause you to either fight or take flight from your current circumstances.
1 Peter 4:12 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.”
No matter whether the pressure you feel is real, imagined, constant or temporary. . .God always provides you a “strength of resistance” and the “power to endure” whatever comes your way.
1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”
When we believe in His Word. . .trust in His promises and rely on His directions. . .it’s like hitting a pressure release value in our mortal minds.
John 14:1 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.”
What’s the best way to deal with pressure and stress? Here are seven ways to deal wherever and whatever pressure comes your way.
First, Confidently connect. . .with the One who empowers you through every adversity.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says:
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
When we know. . .recognize and acknowledge Him. . .there will be no hesitation or equivocation about what we should or shouldn’t do. . .how we handle this or any day. In the final analysis. . .our path to the good life. . .will be straight and made plain.
Psalm 34:4 says:
“I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
We must recognize that we can’t handle the pressures of this life. . .by ourselves. BUT GOD can, will and desires to deliver us from all fears and pressure.
John 15:4 in the Easy To Read Version says:
“Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you. No branch can produce fruit alone. It must stay connected to the vine. It is the same with you. You cannot produce fruit alone. You must stay joined to me.”
One of the best ways to stay joined. . .connected to the vine. . .is with a personalized confession of the Word. . .dealing with whatever you may be facing at any given time.
Second, Calming your mind and spirit.
If you ever saw the movie “Hook” about Peter Pan. . .you will remember that Peter had trouble flying until Tinker Bell told him the key. . .to think happy thoughts.
I’m sure Tinker Bell meant to say “Rich Thoughts.”
The best way for you to calm yourself in pressure packed situations is to think and speak happy, rich thoughts. . .which come from the Word of God.
Psalm 119:143 in the New Living Translation says:
As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.
Sadly, there are way too many people including believers who seek relief from pressure in all the wrong places and ways.
“I need a drink to calm my nerves.” “A glass of wine always calms be down.” “Going
shopping always takes my mind off the pressures at work.”
These short term fixes which will never create a permanent solution for the pressures you’re experiencing. If left unchecked these temporary fixes, can create addictions and dependency causing other problems and even worse pressure.
This is especially true when it comes to our personal finances.
Joe Louis, a former heavyweight champion of the world once said:
“It’s not that I like money. . .it’s just that it soothes my nerves.”
A temporary infusion of cash may temporarily relieve the financial pressure you’re facing but it’s not a long term solution.
Exodus 18:23 in the New Living Translation says:
“If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
Let’s see. . .follow His advice. . .endure pressure. . .go home in peace. . .sounds like a win win deal to me.
Third, Cast your cares where they belong. . .on Him not them.
1 Peter 5:7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
There is a great gospel song entitled “Since I Laid My Burdens Down.” Here are some of the lyrics.
Glory glory, hallelujah,
Since I laid my burden down.
Glory glory, hallelujah,
Since I laid my burden down.
All my sickness will be over,
When I lay my burden down..
All my troubles will be over,
When I lay my burden down.
Lord, I'm feeling so much better,
Since I laid my burden down.
The problem is that too many people. . .me included. . .lay there burdens down on Sunday but pick them up again on Monday.
The Living Bible translation of 1 Peter 5:7 says:
“Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
There is another great gospel song entitled Cast Your Cares. . .here are some of the lyrics.
In the middle of the night
When worry finds me
In the middle of the fight
When strength is gone
In the middle of a fire
When fear is closing in
You are, You are my song
You're my hope, when hope is gone
I will cast my cares on You the almighty
I will cast my cares on You 'cause You're good
I will cast my cares on You 'cause You love me, You love me
Oh, oh because You love me
If you have difficulties casting your cares upon the Lord and leaving them there. . .I suggest you go to YouTube.com and bookmark these two songs.
I have “O Happy Day”; “This Joy That I Have” and “As Long As I Have Breath” saved on my electronic devices and immediately available at the touch of a button.
The best way to deal with pressure is to cast your cares at and lay your burdens at His feet. God’s desire is for you to be free of pressure and the worries of this world.
Colossians 2:20 in the New Living Translation says:
“You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world…”
Fourth, Change Your Pressure Point
What you tolerate you accept. . .so perhaps it’s time to change your settings.
Change must first start in you . . . then it will begin to flow through you.
Galatians 6:15-16 in the Message Bible says:
“Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do. . .It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them.”
Someone once said:
“Change is a door that can only be opened from the inside.”
You’ve got to decide. . .you’re going to change your tolerance and acceptance of things that bring pressure into your environment.
You’ve got to change you. . .before you can release the pressure you’re facing.
Sometimes that requires you to makea decision to take a leap of faith
A boy told his father, "Dad, if three frogs were sitting on a limb that hung over a pool, and one frog decided to jump off into the pool, how many frogs would be left on the limb?"
The dad replied, "Two."
"No," the son replied. "There are three frogs and one decides to jump, how many are left?"
The dad said, "Oh, I get it, if one decides to jump, the others would too. So there are none left."
The boy said, "No dad, the answer is three. The frog only DECIDED to jump."
It’s time to take a leap of faith and change your approach the things bringing pressure into your life.
You write a list of the things . . .you need to change in your life.
Not only make the list. . .but create a plan to make the changes which you feel need to be changed.
Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in the way. . .in which you can change.
Matthew 9:17 in the New Living Translation says:
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”
Change before you burst. . .or worst. . .miss the opportunities God has set before you because you can’t effectively deal with pressure.
Fifth, Claim the promises which bring relief from the pressures of life.
Are you facing intense pressure in the workplace?
Do you need an increase in salary or sales, more money, understanding and/or favor from your supervisor. . .or perhaps. . .greater retirement benefits…maybe even a healing touch or a financial breakthrough.
Bottom line…do you feel mounting pressures in any area has placed you in a tight spot?
King Saul found himself in a tight spot in 1 Samuel 13:5-14.
“The Philistines mustered a mighty army of 3,000 chariots, 6,000 charioteers, and as many warriors as the grains of sand on the seashore. . .The men of Israel saw what a tight spot they were in; and because they were hard pressed by the enemy, they tried to hide in caves, thickets, rocks, holes, and cisterns. Some of them crossed the Jordan River and escaped into the land of Gad and Gilead.”
You may think this Bible passage is of little consequence in your daily life . . . but nothing could be further from the truth. It is a classic example of tight spots or pressure we find ourselves in. Only the names, circumstances, and era we live have changed.
In a sense, you face the Philistines every day.
Anything that takes your focus and attention off the things of God is an attack by a spiritual Philistine who’s determined to take you captive or torture you.
When it seems you’re surrounded. . .and the pressure is mounting. . .call for reinforcements.
Isaiah 55:6 in the Amplified Bible
“Seek, inquire for, and require the Lord while He may be found [claiming Him by necessity and by right]; call upon Him while He is near.”
You must believe that every promise in the Bible is yours to claim and manifest.
2 Peter 1:4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great
promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay
(rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust
and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.”
Sixth, A Can Do Mindset removes pressure.
If you feel you’re living in a pressure cooker. . .others can talk, make suggestions or even draw you a road map. . .but you’re the one who will need a can do attitude to turn things around.
Philippians 4:13 says:
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
There is no equivocation in this verse. But yet, you might be asking, “Brother Harold, do you really believe I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?”
The key component of this passage is that it is in fact Christ’s strengthen that allows you to do all things.
The verse doesn’t say you can do some things. It says that you can do all the things you need to do.
Is getting out of debt a thing?
Is walking in financial freedom and abundance a thing?
Is having a proper retirement income and investment portfolio a thing?
Is walking in divine health a thing?
Is having a peaceful and loving family life a thing?
Is being free of any and all addictions a thing?
Yes, and you can do all things through Christ which strengthens you.
With the mind of Christ. . .I can fully accept, appreciate and activate the principles of His Word when it says that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” and so can you.
Here is how this process works.
While your natural mind is saying, “No, you can’t do the things that God requires or says you can do” your spiritual mind is saying “Yes, you can! The Word says you can do all things through Christ.”
If you say “I can’t” then you’re giving place, strength, power and authority to what you perceive to be your inabilities to achieve what God Himself said you can do.
However, if you say “I can do all things” you are intensifying, fortifying and magnifying that ability in your life. You are choosing the spirit over the natural.
Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].”
Seventh, Conquering your environment. . .relieves and removes the pressure.
Pressure like waves of the ocean can roll in small but sometimes turbulence causes them to become bigger and more dangerous.
But the very good news is that regardless of the intensity of the pressure you’re facing. . .you are more than a conqueror.
Romans 8:37 which says:
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
I decided to look up “conqueror” in the Strong’s Concordance. It’s the Greek word “hypernikaō”(G5245) and it means:
“to be more than a conqueror, to gain a surpassing victory.”
I noticed that “conqueror” comes from the root word “nikaō”(G3528) which is translated 24 out of 28 times as “overcome.”
In today’s fast paced society. . .you may not be able to remove all the pressure you face but you can certainly overcome it.
What does the Word have to say about being an Overcomer?
Let’s being with an example from the story of David and Goliath.
Talk about pressure. . .if David loses to Goliath. . .he not only loses his life. . .but Israel will become slaves to the Philistines.
The pressure didn’t move David. . .he was ready to conquer and overcome all adversity.
1 Samuel 17:9 in Today’s New International Version says:
“If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us."
These are bold words David is speaking. The scriptures don’t record whether King Saul knew David was going to make such a bold statement but I think we can rest assured that David already knew the end from the beginning.
He was not fighting this battle in his own strength… he knew in his heart that God would give him the victory.
As you fight the good fight. . .you’ve got to know that God will give you the victory. . .over whatever pressure you’re facing.
You can also have the confidence that as you fight the good fight. . .God will protect you … consider the words of Jeremiah 1:19 in the New International Version which says:
“They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.”
One final thought. . .
Psalm 119:143 in the New Living Translation says:
“As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands.”
Sometimes. . .God will bring someone into your life. . .to speak a word. . .to help you relieve and remove the pressures you’re facing.
Let’s look at an exchange between Moses and Jethro, his father-in-law.
Exodus 18:13-22 in the New Living Translation says:
“13 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. 20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.”
Delegation removes pressure.
Do what God commands in His Word. . .and then you will not only endure pressure but you will live in peace.
By the way, did you notice that all seven ways to deal with pressure begin with a “c”.
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