by Pastor Tim Burt
When was the last time your character was tested? This morning? Last night? Yesterday or sometime last week? With your spouse? With your kids? With your boss or co-worker? On the road on the way to work? We all hope that in difficult times that test our character, the right thing comes out of us. No one really knows what will come out of themselves until pressure from adverse circumstances are upon them. It’s in that moment of time, that your true temperament will show. It’s at that place that the things that are in your heart will spill out your mouth and show in your actions. If the pressure stays on long enough, the real you will come out!
Before giving my life to Jesus, I never thought about these things. I probably didn’t care much about what I was like under pressure. Cursing, getting angry, and yelling at others was what I considered normal. When I became a Christian, I learned that God had better ways and so I began to change. It seemed that when it came to my temperament under pressure, change came much slower than I desired. Over time I learned that how I responded under pressure had everything to do with my heart and its relationship to faith, and trust in the Lord. It’s easy to say you have a close relationship with God and that you trust in Him. If you think your relationship with God is strong and good, but crumble and become an emotional wreck that falls into panic, temper, rage, hopelessness and quitting, then the trust and faith in Him is not there as you thought it was.
Intimacy with God is built through true heart belief in His promises to you such as in Isaiah 43:2. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you.” Wouldn’t you love for this to represent your temperament when under fire?
When you’re under fire it’s hard to think clearly and remember that God is there with you. If you are praying and you pay attention, you will notice that the Holy Spirit is trying to help you. Not only does He speak to you from within, but you’ll often see Him trying to reach you through someone or something to help and encourage you. I’ve learned in these times, to keep my mouth shut and know that the Lord is there to help me. His grace is always sufficient.
As we grow in our faith, trust, and confidence in God, we might hope to look like and emulate Paul and Silas who, next to Jesus, showed the greatest of responses under pressure. They had just been thrown in prison for preaching the gospel. Acts 16:24-34 “They thrust Paul and Silas into the inner prison, and put their feet in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
When Paul and Silas worshipped God from a sincere heart, knowing He was with them in the midst of their pressure and adversity, God supernaturally delivered them. The story goes on to say how Paul led the prison keeper and his family to the Lord through this demonstration of godly character under adversity.
He is trying to help us all change so we can respond in a godly fashion when under pressure and adverse circumstances. Supernatural deliverance and help most often manifests at times like that. We need to learn to respond by faith and trust and if we do, then victory will more often, be ours!
Psalm 31:7 (NLT) “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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