I grew up in the Peruvian Andes. We lived over 10,000 feet above sea level. One of the characteristics of that living was that the water never got hot when it boiled. You could pour yourself a cup of tea and drink it immediately and it would not burn your lips. If you wanted hot food, you had to make sure to take it right out of the pot on the stove.
A pressure cooker was a must if you wanted tender meat or if you didn’t want to spend all day cooking. Especially when it came to beans!
One important feature of pressure cooker is a valve that lets out steam. You can’t cook under pressure without it, or the “cooker” will explode. That is not a fun situation! I know that for a fact, from a very unpleasant experience.
We once had a pressure cooker explode. We were cooking beans, and a little bean got stuck in the valve. No steam could escape! It exploded! The lid flew off and the bean stew spread all over the kitchen. We had tiny half-cooked beans stuck on the ceiling, the cabinets, the appliances… you name it! We had to repaint everything after clean-up!
Pressure cookers are great, only if they have an outlet for the pressure that builds up. It’s the same way with life!
Have you ever had such pressure that it felt like you were in a pressure cooker? That’s just a figure of speech, because none of us have been a bean in a pressure cooker. But we know pressure when it pressures us.
I heard a good message last Sunday about C.U.P. = Confidence Under Pressure. It was Pastor Robert Madu preaching at James River Church in Springfield, Missouri. I enjoyed it in live streaming on-line. It got me thinking. Let me share my own take on C.U.P.
Let me give you four P’s for Coping Under Pressure.
We have a Promise of God’s Presence until the end of the age. And after that, we will be with Him forever. Maybe you haven’t thought of this. I hadn’t. The Book of Matthew starts with the promise of the coming of a Savior, of Emmanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). It ends with Emmanuel’s promise to be with us ALWAYS, “to the end of the age” (28:20).
Whatever is causing your pressure (if not now, it will come; no one is immune), know that Jesus is with you. Nothing can bring more comfort.
More than anything else you need a Place of Prayer. When Jesus was under most pressure, when his soul was so “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38), he went to a place he knew well, the place of prayer. Read about it in Luke 22:39-46. His anguish was so extreme that his sweat was like drops of blood. He knew what it would mean to take all our sins and carry them on the cross. He prayed to God, asking if it would be possible for his Father to take the CUP from him, the cup of suffering for our sins. At the place of prayer God sent an angel to strengthen him. But Jesus had to drink the cup!
The place of prayer is where we are strengthened to move on, to overcome, to gain victory, to forgive… whatever the pressure is, the place of prayer is where the load is taken off. God could not take away the cup of suffering from his Son Jesus, but Jesus has taken our suffering and he will give us peace amid the storm. (See Ephesians 6:18.)
Jesus took his closest friends with him to the place of prayer. They were “exhausted from sorrow” and could not keep vigil with him. In our pressure we need People for Support, hopefully those that will keep vigil with us.
I read a testimony on Facebook of a mother who weekly seeks support in prayer for her autistic son in the prayer line of James River Church. I know this mother, we used to work together at Assemblies of God Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. I read of her struggles with Z. She has daily pressure, as do many mothers in similar situations.
Where did Peter and John go when they had the pressure of prison, pressure of percussion? (that was a lot of p’s) They went to their friends, the friends that prayed.
Read their prayer in Acts 4:23-31.
We need people. We need each other. I told you about my hairdresser (see previous blog). She took some of the pressure off me. She listened, and she prayed. That’s the best support!
Search that kind of support. Be that kind of support!
Here is what happened when Peter and John went from Prison Pressure to their praying friends:
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31
When Jesus knew he would not be with us in person, he sent his Holy Spirit to live in us.
Such sweet presence of the Holy Spirit cannot compare with anything. His supernatural power can fill you to overflowing. Peter and John continued to speak the word of God with boldness, even under the pressure of persecution.
Thank you, Robert Madu for getting my train of thought working “under pressure” of all the deadlines I have.
God bless you this day abundantly. I need to get back to work. This was the “fun” part of the day! To cope and Prevail under Pressure I need to Practice what I Preach.
May you cope and prevail!