Where can we go to find more strength to handle the daily pressures we feel in life? Let’s take a look at the life of Paul, a man that faced great pressure.
If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
We all will feel pressure and we will all face failure. The key is learning to find more strength from God so that we can handle more pressure and can learn from the times we fail.
We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.
II Corinthians 1:8-9
Paul faced pressure beyond his current ability to handle. It taught him how to rely on God in a greater way. Everything we go through can produce a greater reliance on God’s word, prayer and friendships if we chose to turn to God in times of pressure.
What are the things in your life that you feel pressure about?
We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.
Oh, dear Corinthian friends! We have spoken honestly with you, and our hearts are open to you. There is no lack of love on our part, but you have withheld your love from us. I am asking you to respond as if you were my own children. Open your hearts to us!
II Corinthians 6:3-13
Paul identified the specific hardships he was facing.
What are the specific hardships you are facing in your life?
How are these troubles affecting your heart? What are the top three emotions you are feeling about them?
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a] being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
II Corinthians 4:16-18
Paul said he didn’t lose heart through the hardships he was facing.
How are your troubles leading to you losing heart?
Paul said he was renewed inwardly from his relationship with God.
What can you study in your Bible today that will help you get faith and hope?
Let’s look at some other ways you can renew your heart today…
And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.
II Corinthians 1:10-11
Paul let his friends know what he was going through and this helped him in overcoming the pressure and trials he was going through.
Who will you let know what you are going through so that they can pray for you and walk with you?
When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside. But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus. His presence was a joy, but so was the news he brought of the encouragement he received from you. When he told us how much you long to see me, and how sorry you are for what happened, and how loyal you are to me, I was filled with joy!
II Corinthians 7:5-7
Paul was comforted by his friendships with Titus.
What conversations with friends can you have today that can help you spiritually and practically handle your troubles?
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
II Corinthians 1:3-4
Paul said that God comforted him in his times of pressure & trouble so that he would learn how to comfort others when they went through troubles & pressure.
Who can you help bring comfort to today by sharing how God is helping you to deal with your troubles and pressure?