The human counterpoint is emotion and knowledge. This includes our relationship with Jesus. Of course the unbeliever is left to temporal/secular perspectives.
We are to understand that grief/pain my stay with us for a lengthy period of time. Pressure may lead to anger, bitterness, isolation/loneliness and a critical spirit.
Pressure can also develop our spirit into a closer walk with God and a more gentle spirit for those around us.
Lose of a loved one, lose of income would build that type of pressure in ones life. Pressure reveals who we are as individuals and the choses we make when the pressure comes.
Pressure can have an extremely negative or an extremely positive affect on us. How a human responds to pressure is going to depend on the human and the kind of pressure. Things that pressure, or challenge, us to work harder, be more faithful, and grow in a positive manner can have a tremendously positive impact. However, the wrong kind of pressure can also destroy a person.
Friction and disputes with other Christians can apply pressure and might cause babes in Christ to become bitter or question why God allows that conflict to happen. When I was a new believer in Christ, I was under the false impression that others wouldn’t do things that would harm me, especially my own husband, who is also a Christian. In hindsight, I understand that it was necessary for me to experience what I did to be trained by it to “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.” God didn’t want me to have a false belief that bad things wouldn’t happen to me. Jesus said we would have tribulation in this world, but He had overcome the world. I did not enjoy the hardship but it made me stronger in the Lord and I’m better off on the other side of it. Even years later, I still don’t understand why certain things continue to happen but I’m still learning I need to trust God and not man.
We need to be pushed so that we can rely on our community, rely on our faith, and most importantly in a way be forced to know/develop our relationship with God. There are many sources of that pressure we as humans might feel- the pressure to do well in school, the pressure to obtain a specific degree or educational status, the pressure of a cancer diagnosis. Our earthly life is full of times of “refinement” and growth.
Pressure again forces us to rely on others for help, comfort, and support. Most importantly pressure can cause individuals to fall to the feet of Jesus on the cross and to ask for His love, comfort and forgiveness in where we have fallen short.
At times we need the 100 percent pressure to push us to move to God’s direction. We are stubborn until there is no way out. When there is no way out, we’ll remember that we need help, and we cannot do things in our own strength; then, we look up to God.
Pressures to refine the human heart come from life stressors. Maybe it is the loss of a loved one or of a job. Maybe it is the failure of a cherished relationship. Maybe it is a major health struggle, whether personal or in someone we love dearly. It can be any number of things. But when the rug is yanked out from under our feet and all we have left to stand on is our faith, we see more clearly how weak or strong our faith really is. When we commit to draw closer to God and to allow Him to help us through these storms and battles, our faith strengthens and grows, and our personal diamond shines brighter.
The amount of pressure one needs depends on the person. Some people need a great deal of pressure to be made into the faithful person that God wants. Others need less pressure as their hearts are striving to be what God wants. Pressure will either make us stronger or break us. We will either turn tomGod or walk away. It reveals to us the state our hearts are in.
I would venture to say that the life itself is the pressure we endure. Like the lecture said, our reaction to that pressure is what is intriguing. We want things to be easy, and when suffering happens we want to find someone to blame for it – too often that is God. However, without the pressures of life we would not grow prepared for the challenges down the road. Without being poor as a child the adult might not know the value of money. Without the loss of a loved one early on the adult might not appreciate who they have in their lives now. To end, here is a sports analogy. After a great regular season a team goes into the playoffs and gets knocked out in the 1st round. The following year they win the championship after another strong regular season. What to do we always hear sports pundits say? “They needed to learn how to lose before they could win.” And no one disagrees. They are think that it is spot on. So why so different with life and suffering?
We are creatures of ease. We want things with minimal effort. How often I hear my kids or my students say. “It’s too hard!” They have no perseverance to push through and learn what they can do. I think pressure is necessary so that we will get beyond feelings of things being hard. In truth, life is hard. But knowing that you don’t have to go through the pressure alone, knowing that the pressure is under the submission of a God Who loves you beyond all imagining, means that the pressure will bring about good. It will bring about strength. It will get you to the best place God has for you if you choose to trust Him in it. We get to choose to accept or reject God’s best.
The pressures that form us as human beings primarily come through relationships. Proverbs 27:17 states it this way: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. We can accept that sharpening or resist it.