Tag Archives: pressure

God Has Everything

I’m taking my annual sabbatical this week, but I want to continue encouraging you through God’s Word. Here’s a devotional from Timeout With Jesus.

Everyone was having fun and amazing things happening all around us when a beautiful little rainbow appeared in the clouds. It stopped me in my tracks and I thought “WoW” everyone needs to see this awesome 🌈 that appeared in thin air! I told everyone who walked by! To my surprise, it grew stretching out over the river. It was breathtaking! When we least expect something Awesome to happen, It does! It reminds me how we need to be awake and sober minded! We need to keep our lamp full and encourage and support everyone around us.

We can trust God completely because he loves us so deeply! His power holds everything and everyone together! Genesis 1 “Let there be light” And there was light! God parted the Red Sea, Exodus 14:21 and so many more! God took down the wall of Jericho without a single hit! Joshua 6:20. He raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been buried for 4 days! The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us, whoever believes in Jesus and accepts his free gift is a child of God! We can trust God completely because he loves us so deeply!In Isaiah 40:12, (NIV) “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Proverbs 30:4, (NIV)”Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind?Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak?Who has established all the ends of the earth?What is his name, and what is the name of his son?Surely you know!

Isaiah 40:22, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” Isaiah explained in words about God’s awesome power! It is beyond our human understanding! We think we are in control but really God has everything under control! God is the same yesterday today and forever! Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” In Hebrews 13:8, (NIV) “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” We can have confidence when things like the world shuts down and who knew schools would ever close down too! Yet, God opens the door for so many wonderful opportunities that only he could make possible! We can hear Him in the quiet but very loud everywhere in creation and through our sisters and brothers in Christ! He is in control and moving in a mighty way. Isaiah 40:28-29, (NIV) “Do you not know? Have you not heard?The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”I’m so thankful for everything God does for me and my family and the strength he gives me, because I cannot do anything without Him! It is only His strength in me that I can go and do what he has me do!

We can fully depend on God for our strength because He gives us everything we need to accomplish what plans he has for us! The world might not understand how it’s possible but through God everything is possible! Stand firm on Jesus and trust him even when it’s hard and confusing! As the pressures in life sneak in, keep going because through pressure, we grow as he pour into us! I’m not sure if I will see a harvest from my garden we planted, but I will keep planting and watering because I’m confident that God has only good in store for everyone including me and my family. He loves and cares for all of us deeply! I love praying scripture, Ephesians 1:17-21, (NIV) “17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” How high and how deep will we go in Jesus name to be the hands and feet we are called to be for His glory! It’s not easy to step out into the unknown but when you know God has already worked it out, peace comes in like a flood. As we live out what we believe, supporting and encouraging each other to keep going, we are living out the gospel by reaching all people. When leader come together working together as one body, our young generation will do the same! They will be drawn in by our Unity in Jesus! They are our future generation! When we all work together like Jesus taught, doors will be opened when the world tries to shut them! We are loving everyone the way Jesus loves. When we listen to the broken hearts who need to be loved! I’m so thankful! 😊 💗

Isaiah 40:28-29, “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:22, “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.”


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Responding To Distress

If you were to take a piece of pottery and a stick of butter into the oven, you’d get two different results. While the pottery would harden, the butter would melt. Even though it’s the same fire, things react differently to it. The same goes for us. Each one of us go through the fires of tribulations and troubles here on earth. Not one of us are exempt from it, but we each respond differently. Even though we have the same physical properties, those fires produce different results in us.

For me, those fires nearly wiped me off the earth. They destroyed everything in my life and left me with nothing. My response was to shut down and check out. I thought, “If I don’t have anything left to live for, why should I live?” Other people who have been through similar fires used it as fuel to get stronger, tougher, and better. They didn’t let it get the best of them. I don’t know that there’s a right or wrong way when it comes to how you respond to distress in your life except when it comes to your spiritual life.

Fires, tribulation and distress should push us closer to God, not away. Those are really the only two options spiritually. You can run to God and become totally dependent on Him or you can turn your back on Him wondering why He let this happen to you. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “Distress that drives us to God does that (produces all gain, not loss). It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets” (MSG).

In my life, the distress pushed me toward God in the end. It wasn’t until I had nothing left that I told God, “I give up. I can’t do this without you.” That moment sparked a change. Life didn’t get better immediately and not everything was restored right then. It took years, but God has been faithful to me and I don’t regret the pain I went through because it caused me to run back to God. I started off like that butter in the fire, but ended up like the pottery. You can too. Whatever you’re going through, it’s not too late to let it push you to God instead of away.

Photo by Gene Chauvin

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Troubles, Pressure And Pottery

Have you ever watched a potter with their wheel? It’s truly magnificent. They take a lump of clay, and with wet hands they begin to shape it into whatever they’re making. Then, they stick their scalpel in the middle that begins to follow it out. After that, they begin shaping the outside by removing more clay with the scalpel. If they want to, they add lines and other designs the same way. Once it is what they are looking for, they place it in the fire so it can be usable. After it cooks, they paint it and glaze it to continue the process of bring beauty out of what was once a lump of clay. Every part of that process must seem to the clay that the potter doesn’t love it, or is even against it, but the potter knows what the clay needs to go through to bring out its full potential.

I’ve never met anyone who loves going through tough times. We all enjoy good times and pray our lives are filled with those. However, God allows us to go through troubles and extended periods of pressure to produce in us things that can’t be produced any other way. He is constantly looking out for our good and will use whatever means necessary to form and shape us into the people He created us to be. Like the potter, He’s not afraid to use His scalpel or to put us in the fire for extended periods of time. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, God is working in our lives to create something beautiful. Most of the time He’s doing that though, it can feel painful and like He’s picking on us. Hang in there. He’s working things out for your good and turning your life into a thing of beauty.

Here are some Bible verses on how trouble can be good.

1. When things are going well for you, be glad, and when trouble comes, just remember: God sends both happiness and trouble; you never know what is going to happen next.

Ecclesiastes 7:14 GNT

2. Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 MSG

3. Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.


4. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Romans 5:3-5 NLT

5. Yet, as God’s servants, we prove ourselves authentic in every way. For example: We have great endurance in hardships and in persecutions. We don’t lose courage in a time of stress and calamity.

2 Corinthians 6:4 TPT

Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash

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Pressure, Prayer and Praise

One day I was walking and deep in thought. I wasn’t paying attention to what was in front of me until I stepped on a ketchup packet. When I did, ketchup shot out of the package and went all over the glass of a shop. While wiping it off, I began to think how when pressure is applied to something, what’s inside comes out. I began to wonder what would come out of my mouth and actions, from the inside of me, if serious pressure was applied. 

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison because they were preaching the Gospel and had delivered a girl from demon possession. Verse 16 says, “About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them” (NLT). When pressure was applied, prayer and raise is what came out of them. The goal for each of us is to be so full of God that when pressure is applied, prayer and praise would come out of us.

Here are some verses on prayer and praise. 

1. Proclaim with me the Lord ‘s greatness; let us praise his name together! I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:3-4 GNT

2. In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?
Psalms 118:5-6 NLT

3. In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 PETER 1:6-7 AMP

4. There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
Romans 5:3-5 MSG

5. Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

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Turbulence Is Good


 On a recent flight, the pilot said there was turbulence ahead and that he was going to try a different altitude. We lowered several thousand feet and hit turbulence there. He lowered some more and we hit turbulence there too. He went up some and we started hitting turbulence there. On our whole flight, he was readjusting trying to miss the turbulence, but he was unsuccessful. No matter what we did, we kept hitting these bumps in our path. He finally came over the intercom and said, “As you can see, we are not going to have a smooth flight today. I’ve tried everything and we’re still finding these pockets. We won’t be able to go as fast as we wanted.”

The pilot, like many of us, tried to avoid disturbances in our path. He tried different things to get around them and couldn’t. Our first instinct when there’s a disturbance or turbulence in our path is to try to find a way around it, but is that really God’s desire for us? Are we to avoid problems and things that slow us down? I don’t think so. I dislike them as much as anyone, but I’ve learned they serve a purpose. I may not always see the purpose right away, but I’ve found that God uses them to shape who we are and to change our course. The path God has for us isn’t an easy one.

Jesus was preaching in Matthew 7:14 when He was talking about the path you and I should be on. He said, “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (NLT)” The Amplified version said it is “contracted by pressure”. That doesn’t sound like we are going to be able to avoid the bumps and have a smooth ride into Heaven. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble.” Jesus was pretty open to us about what life will bring as Christians. He said we would struggle, suffer and have tribulation, and also that He would not leave us in those times.

My nephew likes to say, “No pressure, no diamond.” He’s learning at an early age that pressure can be a good thing. It’s what brings out the best in us. God uses pressure pockets in our life to develop qualities that won’t develop any other way. He uses it to have us change altitude and course so we can be put into the path of someone who needs our help. There is a purpose and a plan for the turbulence in your life. To avoid it is to avoid what God wants to do in you and through you.

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Spiritual Apnea

One of the things you may not know about me is that I have sleep apnea. What happens is that when my body is at rest, the air pressure outside my body is greater than on the inside causing me to not only snore, but also can deprive my brain of oxygen. To fix the problem, I sleep with a CPAP machine and mask that pushes air into me. The machine creates a positive air pressure in me so that the pressure inside is greater than the pressure outside.

You and I walk in a world that is constantly trying to force us and to shape us into its mold. We are pressured from every side to compromise, to give in or up and to conform to its ways. Romans 12:2 tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It’s a clear command that we are to resist the pressures that are on the outside.

Sometimes the outside pressure is stronger than our inside pressure to resist. When we give in to those pressures, our spirit is deprived of the things it needs to stay strong and healthy. We start to exhibit the side effects of spiritual apnea. We fall asleep spiritually, our prayers cease to have the power they once had, our faith begins to wane. We eventually allow this to be the norm for our spiritual life. There is no growth only maintenance.

The good news is that God has given each of us His Holy Spirit to create a positive pressure in us to combat the external pressures of this world. Acts 1:8 says, “But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” God has given us the power, ability, efficiency and might to combat the pressures that come against us. Just like I have that CPAP machine, if I don’t use it, it’s wont help me create a positive pressure inside. We can be guilty of having the Holy Spirit and not using the power He has given us to have a positive pressure.

II Corinthians 4:7-8 tells us, “This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side, but we are not crushed.” The power and pressure God has given us will not allow us to be crushed by this world. His desire is not to just equalize the pressure between our inside and the world, but to create a greater power and pressure in us that extends into the world. We are not to maintain, but to advance. We are to conquer.

Romans 8 says that we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. God wants you to walk in victory today. We were not made to be defeated. Quit living like you’ve been defeated today because that’s not who you are in Christ. Change your mindset, access the power of the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in you and go create positive change today in your world. You have the power and ability according to what we read. Now walk in faith believing in the victory God has given you.

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