This week I was at the gym doing a weights exercise class. As we all worked hard to push our weight bars over our head, the instructor encouraged us on by saying “pressure creates change!” The instructor was referring to the pressure we were putting on our muscles, and that by continuing with the pressure we would build muscle and change the shape of our bodies. But I found my thoughts drifting to my life, reflecting on the times over the years I have been under pressure, sometimes a great deal of pressure. What I realised, as I thought back, is that the times in my life where I was put under pressure I really did change and become much stronger - as I trusted Jesus.
Each of us in our lives faces pressure of all kinds. We have pressure on our time, responsibilities to fulfill with work and our families, financial pressure, and maybe our health. Also our communities, and even our nations, add a different level of pressure that we have to deal with regularly. Yet, as Christians, we want to serve the Lord and do our best for Him in the work He gives us to do.
I have sometimes thought how wonderful it would be if there was no pressure. But today I want to encourage you that the pressure we face creates change in us and builds spiritual muscle. Pressure forces us to need Jesus in our lives, for I fear without Him we wouldn’t have the strength to do what He wants us to do. Our gym instructor told us that it’s slow, controlled, regular resistance that builds our physical muscle. So it is with spiritual muscle.
Today’s verse from 1 Timothy is a great encouragement about the value of spiritual exercise in our life, and it’s not just a benefit for the present time, but for the future and all eternity.
Prayer: Dear Father, in the midst of today’s pressure I choose to lean on You. Build my spiritual muscles and make me strong in You. Help me to embrace the pressure and I ask You, Jesus, to give me Your grace to do what You know I need to do today. May I reap the blessing of abundant life. Amen.
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