It would only take a glance at social media or watching the nightly news to know that many people are suffering from mishandled pressure. They are living their lives under immense weights that often create devastating consequences. Without understanding what can cause such destructive pressure and how to handle it with divine peace, we will not understand how to persevere during the confusing, chaotic events of life. There is no better example of how to rise above what the world will put you through, than to explore what unfolds the last days in the life of Jesus.
He was divine enough to redeem us yet He was human enough to relate to us.
A third of the gospels talks about the most stressful week in the life of Jesus. Like us, He too could feel the pressures going on around Him. The ridicule, mocking, criticism, being beaten beyond recognition, the lies He had to endure, the risks He had to take, all building up to the fulfillment of what the prophets said. It is during this time that we gain insight into what it means to have inward peace while dealing with outward pressure.
Stress is inevitable but it’s manageable…
The first way to balance stress in your lives is to have an eternal balance of who you are and who you’re striving to please. This is so important especially in the midst of pressure. If you don’t know who you are, you will allow other people to manipulate you into being somebody you’re not and always striving to please man. Jesus knew who He was and who’s He was. He knew what God required of Him. He knew going into Jerusalem that He would bridge the gap between a sinful man and a Holy God. God was depending on Him. Mankind was depending on Him and He was determined to complete His assignment. He was about to walk across history’s stage for the last time and He knew it. Despite the danger before Him, He remained composed.
Only inward peace can create that kind of strength, that kind of courage.
The enemy would like nothing better than to create pressure that will make you revert to the places from which you have already been delivered. If he can disturb your peace, he has access to your heart and your mind. The next thing you know, pressure producers like insecurities, unrealistic goals, a lack of balance, etc., will begin to impede your progress. The good news is, it does not have to be that way. You do not have to have a heart attack when you are under pressure. Have a prayer attack instead.
It is imperative to make prayer a personal habit. Often times we start the day off completely wrong. We get up, turn on the TV and we get bad news. We check our social media feeds for some more bad news. And on the way to work we’re listening to radio… for more bad news! As if we don’t have enough of our own problems, we turn around and add on all the problems of the world! By the time we get to work, we really do have the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Instead, start your morning with prayer like Jesus, waiting for instructions. This principle is vital to maintaining peace of mind. Acknowledging Him and asking Him to order your steps throughout the day recharges your spiritual batteries, relieves stress, and gives you grace for endurance. It is freeing to know you don’t have to succumb to the pressures, demands and difficulties of life. You can take it all to the Lord in prayer and leave it there.
He is the Prince of Peace
You will never have ultimate inner peace or peace of mind until you intentionally invest and set aside time alone with the Prince of Peace. Talk to Him and tell Him all about what’s stressing you and He’ll talk to you about you. Beautiful moments where you can exchange your heaviness for His unspeakable joy. It’s like entering a decompression chamber, releasing all of your pressures. But those moments cannot happen until we pause, turn down the volume of life and be still.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10
So many of our problem’s simply come from our inability to be still. We get so busy doing what we do, we forget the important reasons behind what we do. No matter how busy Jesus got, He made it a practice to spend time alone with God. I encourage you to make it a personal practice in your life today. If Jesus was busy and made time for prayer, how much more do you and I need it?
You may not think it’s possible to do everything you need to do in the midst of what you’re facing, but you can. You may not believe you can carry what is going on outwardly without caving in, but you can. These principles will prepare you and empower you to have “Peace Under Pressure.”
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