Monday, November 19, 2012

Identity Embrace: Despite the Pressure

"What is important is how you respond when no one is watching."

Courtesy of frillsthrills.tumblr.com

Have you heard that statement before? 

While reading Proverbs 24 the other morning, one of the verses struck me to the core. Verse 10 states:

"If you fail under pressure, your strength is not very great."

Woah.

Talk about how we respond when no one is watching! This verse resonated with me, encouraging me to ask the question, "What is considered 'pressure' in this instance?" I decided to read the side-note and glean the interpreter's point of view on the verse. And I found it very enlightening.

What do you think?

"Times of trouble can be useful. They can show you who you really are--what kind of character you have developed. In addition, they can help you grow stronger. When Jeremiah questioned God because of the trouble he faced, God asked how he ever expected to face big challenges if the little ones tired him out (Jeremiah 12:5). Don't complain about your problems. The trouble you face today is training you to be strong for the more difficult situations you will face in the future" (p 1013, Life Application Study Bible). 

Interesting commentary, no?

My initial reaction to verse 10 was to meditate on the source of the pressure: What type of pressure? Do I have this type of pressure in my own life? Have I before now?

But after reading the notes, it occurred to me: The point is not the source of the pressure; it is the faithfulness of our reactions despite the pressure!  

What if, instead of complaining when times get tough, we thanked God for preparing us for something even tougher in the future?

What if, instead of conquering the whole world with love all at once, we began by loving our family members more gracefully?

What if, when trials abound, we focus on praising the Father instead of gazing at our situation?

God commands us to permit His Spirit to turn the ideals of the world upside down--starting within our own minds and hearts. He manifests Himself within eternal perspective.

God said to Jeremiah, "If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in the thickets near the Jordan?" (12:5)

So, what will you do when the race arrives and the thickets threaten to consume?

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