Summary: Learn how to maintain when everything falls apart
Staying Positive under Pressure
For the past couple of weeks, the Lord has burdened me with the various needs in the body. I will say again as I have so many other times; I am excited about God’s presence and power being manifested week after week. Let’s continue to dare to dream that with God all things are possible. For the past few months we have been enjoying the powerful presence of God in each service. But at the same time, the enemy is rearing his ugly head trying to distract us from moving forward with God. Families are being attacked, marriages are being attacked, finances, health and on and on it goes.
The fact of the matter is just because we name the name of Christ, does not mean we are exempt from the challenges of life. Peter tells us, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing is happening to you…” (1 Peter 4:12). The fact is: we all have times when we face tremendous pressure from everyday living. We all have been to that place where we lose or exhaust all possibilities of finding a way out of our situation. It is a place where we come to the end of all human ability and resources. You might be here this morning and you find yourself at that place; a place where seemingly there is no escape, no help; no place to run and no place to hide. You know; that place where we come to the end of our rope and we convince ourselves that it can’t get any better than this.
We resign ourselves to living a mediocre life and are happy just to get by. But, Jesus did not die on Calvary just so we could get by, using all of our strength just to cope. Jesus died so that we would have life, abundant life.
Our lives are much like this popcorn. Many people enjoy this wonderful snack; what a wonderful aroma it sends out. But do you realize this snack starts as a hard kernel of corn. But when it is subjected to the heat, put under pressure, it produces a great snack. It has to go through the heat and pressure before it explodes into this great snack called popcorn. In a similar way, there will be times when we all face the fiery furnace, the fiery trial that Peter refers too. There will be times when we face circumstances that put our faith to the test but in the end can produce in us an unshakeable trust in God and bring glory to a God who can do anything but fail.
When the children of Israel were set free from captivity, they were headed into the blessings of God. Understand that when we entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ, spiritually we left Egypt and started on the journey to the Promised-land. The Promised-land is not heaven; it represents the abundant life Jesus came to give us. It is entering into the blessings and favor of God where we are His people and He is our God.
When they left Egypt to enter into the life God called them to live, almost immediately they find themselves facing a major hurtle. They had come to the bank of the Red Sea and set up camp. Notice that they are in the will of God; they are following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Yet, the enemy pursues them and all of a sudden they were facing an impossible situation with no visible means of escape. In front of them was the Red Sea; the sides were surrounded by the hilly terrain and behind them the enemy was in hot pursuit. They had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Their only options seemed to be either get killed in battle or drown trying to swim across the sea. It looked as though they were boxed in and no matter what they did, where they turned, or what they contemplated, there appeared to be no way out.
And guess what? They were right where God wanted them to be. They were in the perfect will of God and yet in His will their faith was being tested. You might be sitting here this morning and like the children of Israel, you appear to be boxed in. It seems that your problems are so big and nothing you do brings relief. You are surrounded and the enemy is coming up from the rear. The enemy is mocking you and telling you how foolish it is to trust God; he tells you that it will do you no good to have faith. He says your marriage is going to fall apart; your finances will never improve; your health will continue to deteriorate so you might as well curse God and die. Quit coming to church, bow out of your ministry responsibilities; quit giving God His tithes and offerings, just curse God and die.