Mature Class Study, teacher Rick Coleman.
The Bible calls pressure tribulation. How we handle pressure is when we can shine. Sources of pressure are: temptation, persecution, ridicule, rejection, sickness, and expectations. God gives us grace when the battle is hot. The battle is the Lord’s.
I Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.
We often want to put our hands into things. When we have unexpected trials, we need to go to God right away. Sometimes we think we can handle things by ourselves. God makes us gold and silver through the refining fires of trials.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
As God’s people, he will hear us when we’re going through trials. We want to keep our heart clean because what is there will come out when the pressure is on. Anyone can act like a victorious Christian on Sunday morning. How are we when the washer breaks, the family is upset, and hubby calls to say he got fired from his job? God is like a pressure valve for us.
Luke 11:9-13 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
The longer we serve God, the better we will be at handling pressure by going to God for help. The family of God is there to help those who are still learning to go to God when pressure is on. Experience is important.
Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
We are growing in experience and patience by studying and learning in the world.
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
We want to grow – to increase and abound in love so we can be better at going through pressures and trials.
I Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
God wants us to increase so we can be what he wants us to be. We have weaknesses that we need to be aware of and work on. The devil wants us to get lazy, but we need to be diligent and strive to give heed to what we’ve heard. We have to be careful! Paul was telling the saints to give heed.
Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
We can avoid some pressures by being proactive and watchful so we don’t enter temptation.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
We need to avoid some things and watch out for our associations.
Proverbs 4:14-15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
There’s no friend like the saved to be close to. We can avoid things by not going some places. We are guided into the peace of God by the Lord. We are to walk humbly, in the light, in love, and circumspectly.
Luke 1:76-79 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
If we understand the trial, we’ll know how to walk right in the trials and to shine there. Sometimes it’s hard to rejoice because we are partaking of Christ’s sufferings. We will take pressure because we are like Christ.
I Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
Moses chose to suffer affliction with God’s people.
Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.