Victory For Those Under Pressure
By J. Sidlow Baxter
Much of the pressure today is the product of uncertainty. There is uncertainty about the big things – international issues; and the repercussions from this tremble right down to the individual worker and housewife.
Uncertainty engenders anxiety. Below the surface of many lives today there is a state of chronic suspense arising from a sustained chain of uncertainties. Life itself becomes anxious. Anxiety breeds worry. Worry means tension, strain, pressure.
Paul has an expression, “pressed out of measure” (2 Cor. 1:8). It is poignantly up-to-date!
To the Christian, these days are both exacting and challenging. The true Christian life never was easy. It is least easy perhaps just now. Crises of outward persecution often call forth spectacular heroism, but day after day of inward pressure tends to wear one down both nervously and spiritually.
A non-Christian may become impatient or sour or sullen and nothing be thought of it except the nuisance of it; but the spirit and temper of the Christian when under pressure always reflects upon the Christian faith.
Does our Christian joy, peace, patience, survive under such strain? Does it merely struggle against it, or does it thrive amid it?
The prince of evil will make Christ’s people his priority-target these days, seeking to wear out our patience, disturb our peace, smother our joy, undermine our spirituality, and silence our witness. His device is to pre-occupy the mind with cares, and swerve the gaze away from Christ.
“Pressed out of measure”; take that word with its prefixes – depressed, suppressed, repressed, oppressed; all these are states into which the adversary would bring us through pressure.
But over against all this is the all-sufficiency of our triune God; the Father above us, the Son beside us, the Spirit within us. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every [or all] good work” (2 Cor. 9:8). Oh, those “all’s”! Multiplied assurance! Our Lord is inexhaustibly adequate. He can keep us serene amid strain, and patient through trial, if only there is daily yieldedness and prayerfulness on our part.
– From the Prophetic News and Israel’s Watchman.