"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Romans 15:13).
“In Him was life, and that life was the Light of all mankind. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
When we walk with Jesus and surrender to His calling, we will experience pressure and pain when living an effective Christian life. But with the increase of pressure and pain comes the greater measure of the Holy Spirit’s power within us! We may be the only light for God shining in the dark, but He enables us to push through, even when we stand alone.
The Apostles Paul and Silas experienced this when they encountered a “psychic” slave girl who was fortunetelling and making lots of money for her owners through her divination practice. She followed the apostles for days calling attention to herself and disrupting their efforts to preach the Gospel. Paul finally got fed up and cast out the spirit that possessed her, effectively ruining her owners’ business. Consequently, Paul and Silas, wrongfully accused of disturbing the peace, were beaten, thrown in jail, then heavily guarded, and fitted with leg irons to ensure they could not escape. At midnight, while in chains, Paul and Silas sang hymns to God. Then a massive (miraculous) earthquake flew open the prison doors, setting Paul, Silas, and the other prisoners free (Acts 16).
Paul and Silas experienced pain and pressure for the sake of the Gospel, but darkness pays the price when God’s light is shined on it. We must advance the light of God and courageously shine it brightly in those dark places. Human trafficking, agendas grooming our children, and Planned Parenthood (to name a few)—they pay the price when His light shines!
Call to Action: We are inclined to want power without pressure, but it is often through pressure that God refines us and increases our reliance on Him. Has pressure refined you? If so, what good thing has it produced in your life? When under pressure, do you sing or are you silent? Read and let these scriptures encourage you today!
“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light” (Psalm 18:28).
“I Am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12).
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness” (II Cor 12:8-9).
Prayer: Father God, You are the true Light on this earth. Your name is high and lifted up! Let Your light shine through us to this darkened world. Help us be effective and empowered as Christians as the power of Your Holy Spirit works in and through us to share the Gospel with all who will hear it. In Your name, we pray, Amen!
Final Thought: Keep shining and singing like Paul and Silas as you pray for a breakthrough!
Keeping the Faith Under Pressure
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
“The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all” (Psalm 34:17-19).
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8).
“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24- 26).
“Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
“God will let you laugh again; you’ll raise the roof with shouts of joy” (Job 8:20).
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).