As pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Your laws are always right; help me to understand them so I may live. Psalm 119:143-144 (NLT)
Frustration escaped my lips and landed a blow. My ill-timed words bruised her heart and her face couldn’t hide the sting.
Oh, how our true character bursts forth under pressure! Our involuntary stress response exposes our inner being.
So how is restraint (and even joy) possible when pressure bears down? Are the psalmist’s words irrelevant for our 21st century lives? Can God’s commands speak to the kind of stress we face? I believe so, but it’s a multi-step process.
We may not always understand the reasoning behind God’s commands, but we can trust that God knows more than we do. Knowing God’s Word gives us a firm stance for decision making. The better choice becomes clear even when we’re pressed on all sides.
Practicing God’s wisdom leads to behaving like Christ. (tweet this)
As we consciously apply His wisdom, we learn that His commands yield positive results. Over time our behavior changes. We stop thinking about God’s commands and begin embodying them as part of our character – a character that bursts forth under pressure. God is transforming our hearts.
Progressively, we find joy because our words encourage more than they sting. Our stresses don’t cause us to strike out blindly. We bruise each other less often. We learn to forgive and apologize. We find joy by relying on wisdom greater than our own.
What pressures are you facing?
Which of God’s commands do you rely on most?
How is God transforming your heart to be more Christ-like?
Open our eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. Your Word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light to guide our path. Psalm 119:18,105