Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Formed By Pressure by Martin Wiles

SERIES:PERFECTED BY PRESSURE
Our family was shocked by the news. We had noticed his slurred speech, trembling hand and dragging leg but never imagined the diagnosis: Parkinson’s. After all, my brother was only forty. He was in the prime of life and had a wife and three young children.

After three years of watching the disease take its toll, the doctor prescribed the “last pill.” Usually reserved for when everything else has been tried. But my brother wanted to enjoy the here and now. Trouble comes when we least expect it, and I’d be lying if I told you our family didn’t ask “Why?” My brother did too.

Believers in Thessalonica were wondering too. They were being persecuted for their faith, their loved ones were dying, and Christ hadn’t returned. But Paul thought they could learn from pressure. And God will use this persecution to show his justice and to make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering (II Thessalonians 1:5 NLT).

As much as I despise difficulties, life has taught me troubles form character, and character is who I am under pressure. Many materials crack under pressure and pressure will crack me too if I’m not careful. It’s easier to stand for God’s principles when no one is opposing me or when life is sailing smoothly. But pressures reveal the strength of my life’s foundation.

Foundations built on the unchanging and unmovable principles of God’s Word never shake or shatter when we rely on God’s strength to help us obey them. Regardless of the pressure’s intensity, obedience will always sure up the foundation even more. Is your character being formed or foiled by pressure? Do you stand regardless of the consequences?

Prayer: Sweet Jesus, we ask You to strengthen our character through life’s pressures.
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