Hang in there

Hanging in there

Pilot Knob Lutheran             Hanging In There                     10/19/2022

If you’ve ever used a pressure cooker you know nothing happens inside as soon as the heat is turned on. However, it isn’t long before the heat builds giving way to a build up of pressure, enough to move the weight on top and relieve the pressure so it wouldn’t blow up; life’s circumstances can be that way. The ‘heat’ is what irritates or causes hardship. These can cause stress to build up within us and if we aren’t careful we can blow, or we can find ways to releave the pressure.

When pressures of life surround us, by nature, we seek pleasure of any type to release the stress. It can range from alcohol & drugs, to shopping and sexual immorality; anything to escape or ignore the pressure. Our brains are hardwired to look for distractions when under pressure and we’ve seen and heard a lot more of this due to the COVID lockdown.

Luke 21:34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. As Americans we are told we have a right to avoid or throw-off problems and pain, after all we deserve to be happy and free of trouble. (Good luck with that philosophy). Feelings are what matters, in particular, my feelings. We want what makes us feel good and sometimes we are told that’s what God wants for us all the time. Happiness is important, but more important is wanting what God wants for us and sometimes it includes problems, pressures and pain.

Jesus talks frequently about perseverance; endurance in the midst of difficulties. We must pray for it, ask for it repeatedly. When Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane in deep anguish an angel came and strengthen him. Luke 22:43-44 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Was it easy after that? No, the pain and pressure were still there but he received strength to persevere.

Read what God has to say: Matthew. 10:22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew. 24:12-13 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Revelation 2:10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. These are all ways of saying, hang in there, persevere to the end. It is a decision of the will, a daily discipline to say to God: ‘if going through this period of pressure serves your purposes, then may your will be done.’ Perseverance is built by being faithful to the small difficulties in life preparing us for the big ones that are bound to come.

Pray for the grace of endurance.

Pr. Bob Snitzer

By the Way:  

Today, 4:30 confirmation class.  

October 23, 9:00 Morning worship. 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 Handling God’s Word 

10:15 Sunday school for all ages.

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