If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small. Proverbs 24:10 (NLT)
If you have ever felt like you’ve failed under pressure, reading this Proverb makes one want to cry out, “Well then how do I get more strength?!” However I think the more effective cry of our hearts is, “How do I start using the strength I actually already have?!” In Christ it’s not that you have too little strength but that we utilize too little of what we have! 1 John 4:4 reminds us that although we are little, great is the strength within us. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (ESV)
Times of pressure are for our benefit in that it reveals to the wise where to take more ground in emotional self-control within the True promises of God (2 Tim. 1:7). The great prophet Jeremiah was honest about his struggles with the pressure of his calling and God was honest back about how to handle it. Jeremiah knew where to press in when the pressure heated up. Do we?!
In Jeremiah 12:5 God reminds him it’s not going to get easier on this side of heaven. We must let the trial train us to turn in total dependence upon our Source of all, the great I Am (Ex. 3:14). In Jeremiah 15:19-21 (NLT) God says, …You must influence them; do not let them influence you! They will fight against you like an attacking army, but I will make you as secure as a fortified wall of bronze. They will not conquer you, for I am with you to protect and rescue you. I, the LORD, have spoken! Yes, I will certainly keep you safe from these wicked men. I will rescue you from their cruel hands.”
So in this Truth we find that we will feel and see the effects of cruelty fighting against us like an attacking army. BUT we are not to let that influence us. Rather, we can rest our minds and hearts in the Truth that God will make us secure, strong and fortified, we will not be conquered but rescued and kept safely protected, we will not be overcome, for we battle IN our Conquering King (Jn. 16:33) and we have a Home not of this world. We are given these Truths to rest in but often the details of the strengthening, the rescuing, the fortifying… remain with Him. This strengthens our “dependence on Him” muscle, so that in our weakness, in our smallness, we become strong under pressure through trust.
He declares Himself to be the Word (John 1:1) so the way to increase our dependence on Him is to daily “dance” with Him in the Word. The more we know Him the more we can trust Him. Then, when under pressure we can press into the One we know and trust is above it all, and the Source of all the strength we need. You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. Psalm 18:28 (NIV)
Where He calls, He leads.
- Noah, in the face of a trial that could literally have drowned him in fear, heard God call from out front, “Come into the ark… (Gen. 7:1 NKJV) God was already where He was calling Noah to go.
- The disciples wanted to know where to prepare the passover meal for Jesus and He sent them ...to a large room that is already set up. (Mark 14:15 NLT)
You are not alone in what He is calling you to, The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut. 31:8 (NIV)
Dear overcomer (Rom. 8:37), when the pressure rises, don’t let it make you think you have not what it takes; rather use it to press you into deeper dependence on the Source of your unending strength (2 Tim. 1:12).