An old saying goes that Christians are like tea bags; if you want to know what is inside us, just put us in hot water.
After all, what is within us is going to come out!
How do you tend to act under stress?
Look for someone to blame? Run to food?
We all have the tendency to default to our weak areas when under pressure.
But I read a message recently that can give you strength and encouragement in the midst of pressure.
The late pastor Ray Stedman wrote the following message in a Bible study on the book of Hebrews.
This powerful message is relevant to us, especially about acting under pressure:
‘We make faith so difficult, but it is simply trusting in the work of another.
And that is what the life of rest is: trusting the Lord Jesus who has come to indwell our hearts to do through us all that we do, using the functions of our human personality to do so.
That is rest.
It takes away from us our favorite excuse for failure. It demands we stop justifying our failure by saying, ‘Well, after all, I’m only human.’
For this principle proposes to meet every situation, not with human wisdom, but with divine; not with human strength, but with God’s strength; not by the exercise of sheer will power, but by the exercise of absolute trust.
Jesus knows us thoroughly, sees everything about us. Nothing is hidden from His gaze; we are absolutely open and naked before Him. He knows our weaknesses.
He knows that when temptation is heavy upon us, when we are being harassed and irritated by the children or the boss or our mother-in-law, we shall be strongly tempted to give way, to fight back, to lose our temper and say things we shouldn’t say.
The Lord knows that when we are treated unfairly–perhaps we have done the right thing but are blamed for it, even insulted over it–there is a strong, almost overpowering urge to strike back, to get even, to do something to even the score.
He knows that in the human heart there is a great hunger for acceptance by those around us, that we are very uncomfortable when we are in a crowd of people and feel we must act differently.
He knows, too, that under those circumstances of pressure we will tend to excuse our failure by saying, ‘Well, I know I should lean on the Lord, but the provocation here is too great. I can take it up to a point, but if it gets too strong, I know I will give in.’
Because of this tendency to excuse ourselves when the pressure gets too great, the writer now says in effect, “I want you to take a closer look at the great High Priest who is our strength, our refuge, our fortress, our enabler.”
– Ray Stedman
WOW. Isn’t that our story with emotional eating? Under pressure, we tend to run to food to cope?
It certainly was my story for many years, starting when I was just 6 years old.
The memory of that old way of coping is still there. It took time to learn a new way of coping, to run to Jesus and His throne of grace when under pressure.
I had to learn to trust that He knew the pain in my heart and that He would show me what to do with it in a non-destructive way.
That Jesus would give me the strength to cope.
Here is the promise:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:15-16).”
It is one thing to know this scripture. It is another to apply it when the old way of coping seems a quicker way to relieve the pain or pressure.
And yet, it is during those very moments when the greatest opportunity to deepen your relationship with God exists!
How else can you come to know Him as the God of Comfort unless you trust Him to bring you peace during moments of distress?
This is the good news of the gospel! His grace is sufficient for us.
His strength is made perfect is our weakness.
Today, embrace the Lord’s grace, which empowers us to do what we cannot do on our own!
And you too will experience grace under pressure.
Be blessed with health, healing and wholeness,
Kimberly Taylor, Creator of the Take Back Your Temple program
P.S. Tired of running the same self-defeating cycles?
The value of the Take Back Your Temple program is that you will learn how to think differently through Biblical truth.
You’ll discover how to lay aside what is weighing you down.
Join a support community of other empowered Christians discovering how to release weight and keep it off.