Are you under great pressure? You are not alone. Watch the news and you see your own experience is reflected and magnified around the world.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NKJV)
But doesn’t TRIBULATION only refer to earthquakes and persecution by torture and extreme horrors we read of and shudder? Certainly TRIBULATION includes all these things but the original Greek word has a more general meaning. THLIPSIS means simply being UNDER PRESSURE.
Job insecurity, workplace bullying, broken families and estranged children are all common experiences in our prosperous Western World. We are all UNDER PRESSURE and it is getting more intense. You are thanking God for miraculously bringing you through one crisis and the next day the spirits of darkness hit you again. It seems like you were run over by a truck and recovered and then another truck hits you.
The world has a way of getting to you through the workplace, through your children and loved ones and there are dark powers operating behind the treachery and weaknesses of people around you.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)
Notice the word WRESTLE. That means we are not just passive victims but we have power to fight even against dark spiritual beings that corrupt, threaten and attack families, churches, workplaces, cities and nations.
When a crisis hits, it often means you become aware of an attack that has been building for some time. The crisis is the breaking into the open of hidden forces of darkness. When the darkness become visible, you can shine the light of God directly into the dark places and the darkness must give way to light.
A crisis is an opportunity for turning a losing situation around and for winning a resounding victory with the power and love of God.
When the Prodigal Son reached the bottom of his downhill slide, the grace of God was able to turn his heart towards home.
When the savage oppression of Maoist China pushed the followers of Jesus into the most terrible suffering, a mighty underground church rose up and the Chinese Church became a mighty spiritual force in the world’s most populous nation.
A young man in Chile had been deceived and seduced by homosexuality and was dying of AIDS when a lady who loved Jesus visited him in hospital. Her powerful love and faith raised him up and the dying homosexual man was healed of AIDS, converted to Christ, raised up as a mighty evangelist and church planter and restored to normal manhood, so he became a fulfilled husband and father of children.
I knew a man who was a Hell’s Angel, a violent criminal and a heroin addict. He was suffering in prison when a chaplain reached him with the love and the message of Jesus. He became a powerful missionary evangelist on the streets of Melbourne, reaching out to armed gangsters with fearless love and faith.