Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Formed By Pressure by Martin Wiles

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.


  1. There have been quite a few "why?" situations in my life over the past 7 years... and yes, difficulties and trials do reveal our true character and the depth of our roots in Christ. I am just amazed that the devil means trials to harm us but God takes them (when we surrender to Him) and works something beautiful in our lives through them. Only God can do that... we are blessed Martin.

  2. We may not like it, but you're so right, Martin ... difficulties and trials form our character--making us more like Christ if we surrender to Him. I appreciate your challenge for us to embrace the pressure God allows in our lives. It's an encouragement that I need!