FEELING THE PRESSURE

Some people believe pressure makes the person some believe pressure reveals the person. Which is true? Does it make the person or does it reveal the person? I believe pressure reveals the person more than it makes the person. But I wouldn’t want to argue too long on that because I think pressure has both a making dynamic and it has a revealing dynamic as well.

When I grew up, my mother had something in the kitchen called a pressure cooker. What has happened to the pressure cooker? As I recall it had a gasket and you would close it and it would seal. You put it on the stove watched the gauge and it cooked whatever was inside of it. I was talking to someone about this and they said, “It cooked food faster.” Maybe microwaves serve this purpose today so I guess there is no longer a need for a pressure cooker.

But we know the phrase “being in a pressure cooker.” It means there is pressure being exhibited in some kind of way in our lives. And all of us have experienced it. In fact, you may be in it right now. You are under pressure. It is a season that can create a lot of doubts, a lot of stress, a lot of temptation.

It is a very dangerous season, which is why the Bible says to us in Hebrews 3:12-14 “My friends, watch out. Don’t let evil thoughts or doubts make any of you turn from the living God. You must encourage one another each day. And you must keep on while there is still a time that can be called today. If you don’t, then sin may fool some of you and make you stubborn. We were sure about Christ when we first became his people. So let’s hold tightly to our faith until the end.”

The phrase “watch out” is one word in the Greek and it is also used in Hebrews 12:16 which says, “Watch out for immoral and ungodly people like Esau, who sold his future blessings for only one meal.” Interestingly the Greek word used in chapter 12 is not the same as the one used in chapter three, though both are translated the same in English.

The word in chapter 12 has the idea of a general warning. The word used here means beware. What do we need to beware of? There is potential danger in a season of pressure. When you are in the pressure cooker, there are things that you can do that you shouldn’t do. There are things you can think that you should not think. There are attitudes that you can have which will not help you at all. In times of pressure don’t turn toward sin but hold tightly to your faith. The season will pass.

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