Weekly Devotional 8-29-22 Handling Pressure and Anxieties
The pressures and anxieties of our world today can be overwhelming, even debilitating if one should have a wrong perspective concerning that which causes the pressure or the anxiety, be it one source, or several sources, even the apostle Paul was not exempt from these pressures. Consider for instance his second letter to the Corinthian church. In that letter he was addressing an issue that some had with his apostleship. They were comparing him with the apostles who had been appointed by Jesus during His first advent. Concerning that concern, he wrote: “23 Are they ministers of Christ?–I speak as a fool–I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness–28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches” (2nd Corinthians 11:23-28)
If anyone should have been overwhelmed by pressure and anxiety, it would have been Paul but consider what he wrote to those of the Philippian church. “4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”(Phil. 4:4-6).
If after all that Paul experienced, he could still have this attitude and determination, there must exist a path for us of today’s church. There is, but it certainly is not an easy path, nor will it be easy. It takes a mental and spiritual adjustment. The question is, are you, am I willing to make those adjustments? Paul, in the same letter to the Philippians wrote: “7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:7-14). .
Paul was so overtaken by the person of God and what lay ahead for him that he was able to conclude that the pressures and anxieties of life was worth it all. This needs to be our conclusion.