Step Towards Transformation
I’ve noticed that some Christians can’t handle stress or adversity in their walk with the Lord. As long as everything is going fine and the devil isn’t exerting too much pressure on them, they’re okay. But the minute they encounter problems or things don’t fall into place, they go to pieces.
First Peter 5:7 instructs Christians to cast all of their cares on the Lord. I know this is not always easy to do. But when the pressure is on, it’s the only way to walk above the circumstances and not be buried by them.
The next time you are under stress and you are tempted to cave in, here are some things you can do. If you follow these four simple steps, you will be able to overcome pressure instead of pressure overcoming you.
1: Keep Your Focus on God
Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Many people who encounter a crisis fail to keep their minds stayed on the Lord. They focus on the negative and only see what is going wrong. Instead of believing their situation can have a positive outcome, they begin to doubt that they will ever recover.
Focusing on the problem won’t do you any good. In fact, the more you think about the problem instead of the Problem Solver, the weaker your faith becomes.
To rise above pressure, you have to think on the right things. You must replace negative thoughts with good, positive thoughts. Doubt has to be replaced with faith.
The Apostle Paul told the Philippians to “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). What was in the mind of Christ? All things are possible if you can believe (Mark 9:23). Whatever is impossible with man is possible with God (Luke 18:27).
Problems become small or great depending on the way you think about them. We see an example of this in the Book of Matthew when Peter walked on water.
On Jesus’ one-word command, “Come,” Peter jumped out of a boat in the face of a strong wind and walked on choppy waves. He continued walking on the water as long as he maintained an unwavering gaze on Christ. But when Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at how strong the wind was, he began to sink. (See Matt. 14:25-32.)
Your success in the midst of the storms you encounter is determined by how well you control your thought life. And no one can control your thoughts but you. You determine what you think about and how you react to any given situation.
2: Focus on Your Potential in God
You probably don’t realize the potential you have in God. Although you can’t accomplish some things in your own strength, you can accomplish anything in God’s strength. Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on the strength potential you have in God. Joel 3:10 says, “Let the weak say, I am strong.” No matter what is surrounding you, “I am strong” needs to be your daily confession.
You’ve got to believe in yourself “in God.” The “in God” part is what is important. That’s the part that will see you through any adversity.
People often ask, “How is God going to turn this situation around?” I don’t know, but God does! Instead of focusing on “how,” focus on the author and finisher of your faith (see Heb. 12:2). He is the One Who can give you the ability to triumph over your circumstances.
3: Focus on What God Is Saying
Have you ever been talking to someone and you realized he was not hearing a word you were saying? Although he was right in front of you, his mind was someplace else.
God is talking all the time. Are you listening when He is speaking? Isaiah 55:3 says, “Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.”
The main way God speaks to His children is through His Word. However, when you’re under a great deal of pressure, do you run to the Word to find strength and peace? Or are you so focused on the problem that you neglect to pray and read your Bible? The Word of God contains the answers you desperately need. And it’s through prayer and meditating on the Word that God will show you what steps to take to see you through adversity.
4: Talk About God
Up until this point in the process of overcoming the pressures of life, you have kept your mouth shut. Now it’s time to speak. Psalm 105:2 says, “Talk ye of all his wondrous works.”
Throughout the Book of Psalms, you will see that the various writers talked about the bigness of God. They extolled His greatness. They praised His goodness. They set an example for you and me.
Anytime you are under pressure, begin to talk about Who God is and how big He is. Then put the devil in his place and remind him that God is bigger than anything he tries to bring about.
You may not “feel” like talking about God when you’re under a lot of pressure. But especially in times of adversity, you need to talk about the goodness and bigness of God. As you do, you will be revived and released from the pressure that is on you.
It doesn’t matter how bleak your future looks; God is bigger. It doesn’t matter what anybody says; God is able to bring you through. As you follow these steps, you will feel the pressure lift off of you. You’ll be able to look at your circumstances with an assurance that God will see you through.