It’s something we all experience. For example, pressure by 18 to determine our college major and to know our life goals. Pressure to know if that guy really is the one because all our girlfriends are getting engaged. Pressure to be and to look and to act like our culture says we should even though we know it’s in conflict with who God says we are. Pressure to be perfect, to be the best, as opposed to resting in Jesus’ perfection for us.
“Pressure to be perfect, to be the best,
as opposed to resting in Jesus’ perfection for us.”
Let’s journey together back to a familiar story in the Old Testament, located in Daniel chapter 3. We learn how to do this thing called life by embracing God’s Word. As we read these scriptures, we will see how some guys lived life in the face of intense pressure. I trust Jesus will use His word to strengthen and equip you. Because who we are, what we believe in, where our confidence lies will be evident in the heat of pressure.
“Because who we are, what we believe in,
where our confidence lies will be evident in the heat of pressure.”
There was a king named Nebuchadnezzar (King N for short) who made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet wide. When music would play everyone was to bow and worship to King N’s statue. Anyone who didn’t obey would be thrown into a blazing furnace. King N received word that there were 3 men – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego – who were not obeying the command to bow to the statue. King N became very angry and ordered that they be brought before him. When they were brought in, King N said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “We do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Let’s pause here, reflecting on the bolded statements. In the midst of intense pressure, we find out they were people with bold faith and unwavering confidence in God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego determined the pressure of death was not worth exchanging for their loyalty to God. They knew their God had been faithful to deliver from physical circumstances in the past. They remembered his power and might, and they endured. They purposed in their hearts to trust God regardless of the outcome.
While their faith is awe-inspiring, we are offered an even stronger faith. We have all earned the pressure, the weight, the condemnation of the Law, but we know Jesus absorbed it all on the cross for us. We know Jesus has taken our place under the ultimate pressure, the wrath of God. We can trust God now because he has already delivered us from eternal death, and He will deliver us to glory. “Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.” Psalm 68:20
Beloved, is there any pressure in your life right now? Any matter that is weighing on your heart? Jesus loves and adores you, and waits with open hands to take that which concerns you. Release the burden or pressure into His hands, and allow Him to absorb it for you. Recognize your dependence on Jesus to carry it for you. And, sweet friend, let’s remember His faithfulness to us in the past and dwell on His power and might on the cross for us today.
“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19
Would you share with us the pressures you’re facing?
How is our God holding onto you right now?
We would love to pray for you and praise His faithfulness together.
Soozi is a special friend of Katie’s and a treasured daughter of God. She just celebrated one year of marriage to John, and they currently live in Lexington, Kentucky. You can read more of Soozi’s precious heart on her blog: Lingerings in Lexington. We are so grateful to have her with us today. Be sure to check back in two weeks for the second part of Soozi’s insight on pressure.