Here’s the bad news: there will be pressure. I know it sucks that I started a devotional this way, but I never want to think that salvation relieves pressure when, in actuality, it just might intensify the pressure. There’s a moment in Luke 8 when a young man is under immense pressure, and because of the clear pressure, there’s an unclear purpose:
When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me?…
— Luke 8:28
Have you ever questioned purpose due to pressure? Is this the right job? Will this marriage work? Am I a good parent? Salvation entitles us to God but not always to good. In the midst of the bad news of being pressed, know the good news is that pressure creates value. Oil doesn’t happen without pressure. Wine doesn’t happen without pressure. Diamonds don’t happen without pressure. So instead of thinking pressure is used by the enemy, it’s probably healthier to know that pressure is allowed by God. Paul gives me hope and good news in the midst of bad news. Value is pressed out of an olive because of what it’s made of. Value is pressed out of a grape because of what it’s made of. Maybe that’s why God says that we are wonderfully and fearfully made. Because when we face pressure, He’s drawing value.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
— 2 Corinthians 4:8