The Pressure Cooker
For we don't desire to have you uninformed, brothers, concerning our affliction which happened to us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, so much that we despaired even of life. Yes, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us out of so great a death, and does deliver; on whom we have set our hope that he will also still deliver us 2 Corinthians 1:8 WEB
When we have something tough that we are trying to cook, we break out a pressure cooker that we have, and soon it will become so tender that it just falls apart. The pressure cooker is an amazing device for speeding up long cooking tasks. Something that would take three hours to cook normally, can be cooked in the pressure cooker in about thirty minutes.
When the Lord decided to put me in the ministry, He brought the pressure of closing our existing business. When I tried to keep it open, He turned up the pressure until I literally had no choice but to do what He wanted, or starve and be homeless.
You would think that He could have just asked me, but instead our business dried up and that brought great financial pressure on us. Then at the last minute, the week that we prepared to move out of our home, He opened up a door in ministry and here we are. Now I know without a shadow of a doubt that He put me here and that He is with us. I don't have to wonder if I forced my way into the ministry, for it was Him that forced me into the ministry.
We spent some quality time in God's pressure cooker. It got us to where He wanted us to be, and it also changed us in the process. We learned a lot during that season. Serving God with your whole heart, giving all that you have, praying on your face in tears, praise, worship, and fasting, does not necessarily rescue you from hardship or pressure. Sometimes you are meant to endure the situation and have something squeezed out of you.
Paul wrote that that they were under so much pressure, so far beyond their power and means, that he thought they were going to die. Then he wrote that it was so that they would trust in God, and not in themselves. This was the way that the Apostles lived.
That is scary for those that want to be in control, but still serve God, because there will come a time when He will break you and teach you to trust Him instead. When your world begins to crumble because you are no longer in control of the situation, guess who was your God: You. I still remember the day that I had to start trusting Him, and it was because I was powerless against what was happening, much like Paul.
There is good news, it does not last forever. Pressure cooking is the fast track, but intense. Who you become when under pressure, is just who you really are. God already knows, but He wants you to know, and He allows pressure to steer us in the right direction.
He knows just how much we need, for how long, and something that could take years, may only take weeks. So don't panic and give up when you are under pressure, you are not the first. You will come out of this better when you are done, and you will have a testimony to share with others who may go through the same thing.Prayer: Heavenly Father I pray that You work Your perfect will in my life. Please put me where I need to be, and surround me with those that need to be there. Give me hope Lord and help me to remain stable while under pressure. I have put my trust in God, what can man do to me? In the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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