Have you ever noticed the way to know how much water is in a common dish sponge is to squeeze it or apply pressure? The water, how ever much is present, will naturally flow from the sponge. If you need the soap in the sponge to be effective, you must squeeze or apply pressure multiple times. Through this process, the soap will be influenced by the water and the action of cleaning will commence.
One item of notice is that the sponge will not produce the contained water without applying the pressure or squeezing the sponge. And the soap cannot be honestly effective without squeezing the sponge and making the soap and water combine their efforts for cleaning.
God shares with us in James that pressure encourages and produces maturity and perfection in Christ. In other words, there is a maturity and a walk with Jesus that is only produced from pressure and struggle (Jms 1:2-5). Paul shared that he welcomed hardships and difficulties because they helped remind him of his weakness and of Christ’s great strength (2 Cor 12.10).
We also learn that through difficulties and pressures of life our true trust and faith in God is clearly revealed. We find a great deal of truth about what is within our spirit and mind when we deal with struggles in life. What are you producing when pressures and difficulties come? Do you find patience, faith and trust; or do you find distrust, frustration and disorientation toward God and life? Remember, God allows these difficulties so we can see where we are and what we need to work on. God took Israel through the challenges of the desert to reveal in them a powerful need for God’s wisdom and guidance (Deut. 8:2f).
What are you dealing with today that your feel you are being squeezed and challenged? Are there people in your life that frustrate you and cause a degree of grief? May we each see these as opportunities to draw closer to God in prayer and meditation. May we see these as God’s tool of applying pressure to get holiness out of us and increase our walk with Him.
God, help us to trust you and lean on you when life becomes challenging. Help us to walk in your Spirit so when life begins to squeeze us, our life will produce fruit from your Holy Spirit. Thank you Lord.
~~ Andy Burns