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Friday, May 4, 2007

Under Pressure...

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESVemphasis mine)
I guess endurance/perseverance is my motto for this week. Last weekend was so busy with getting things done around the house that my Sweetheart and I didn’t have time to relax. I was hoping for a little R&R, but we had to catch-up on stuff that didn’t get done during the week. I wanted to be fresh for a very busy week at work—long hours were scheduled since we have year-end-close in April/May.

We were all under a lot of pressure in my department. How to do you cope with pressure/stress? As for me I look to Him for strength; I put on my headphones and listen to praise music. Others just walk off the job…I am serious—we had one leave work on Wednesday because the stress was too high (no worries—the person returned on Thursday).

That got me thinking about our Lord. What if He would have said ‘No’ to the pressure He was under? He could have just refused to be the sacrifice for all of us. He could have said ‘No’ to the cross. What would have happened to us? I know that I could not save myself. I could never fulfill all the commandments God has set before me.

But our Lord said YES to the cross—despite the pain that came with it. His love for us was much greater than the shame He would have to endure…

I am glad that He poured hope into my heart when He took my sins and nailed them to the cross. With His strength I can make it through year-end-closing at work or through busy weekends…How about you? Will you travel the road of life with a smile on your face and a song of praise on your lips because of the hope He has given you? I pray you do…
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ~ Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Lord of Heaven and Earth. Thank you for saying YES to the cross. Thank you for enduring the pain and the shame. Lord, help me to travel the road of life with a smile on my face and a song of praise on my lips. In the precious name of Jesus ~ Amen.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Thanks for being such an encourager my friend, bless you.

May 4, 2007 at 4:11 AM  
Anonymous Mindy said...

Hi Iris.
This is something I can feel really guilty about if I let the devil get to me. I think about it and think how much *I* don't deserve a saviour who chose his love for me over his own safety and comfort.....
And I think about the possibility of doing that for someone else....who I choose someone else over me? I KNOW that is what I'm called to do but do I do it?
I try and praise God for his awesomeness instead of allowing the devil to put the guilt feelings in my head.
THANKS for this reminder!
In HIM - Mindy

May 4, 2007 at 7:49 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...

Iris,

This is a wonderful post. I don't think we realize just how much stress Jesus lived under.

He is my example, my hope and my rescuer when the stress mounts. Thank you for sharing this.

Lord, touch Iris this day and give her Your calm presence. Reduce the stress level for her today, Lord, In Jesus name, Amen

May 4, 2007 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

"hope does not put us to shame"---love that. Our trials do no produce despair but instead hope. He is so good and sooooo faithful--I'll put my hands to the plow for Him today and not look back.
Thanks for the good word.
Enjoy your visit today!

May 4, 2007 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

I say all the time, "It is a good thing I am not God, because if you mocked and spit on my boy I would have wiped you off the face of the earth and taken Him to the House."

I'll never be able to wrap my mind around that kind of sacrifice...

Thanks for a great devotion, Iris!

May 4, 2007 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger TNChick said...

"But our Lord said YES to the cross—despite the pain that came with it."

This is why we can only hope to be like Him... not many - actually, I doubt if any one else would have said yes. We fold at the slightest... but with Him - our strive to be like Him is greater.

May 4, 2007 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

As always, a beautiful and encouraging post. Thank you, Iris. Jesus endured much for us.

Thinking of you today and sending prayers.

love & hugs,
Vicki

May 4, 2007 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm afraid I don't handle stress very well. I like things to be under control and for everything to run smoothly - but that just isn't life. Jesus set us a perfect example. In times of stress He spent time with His Father. I think that is a great idea Iris.

May 4, 2007 at 2:27 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Great post!! That worked for me this week, when the computer gave me trouble. I gave it over to God and tried to preoccupy my thoughts with happier things. :)

Sometimes I have to drive. Even a little drive helps me to releive stress.

May 4, 2007 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

Wonderful reminder of how much He has done for us. Even the little stresses of life make me go haywire and there is no way I could do it on my own.

Blessings~

May 4, 2007 at 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Lori Madison said...

Dear Iris,

Years ago before I was really born again, I worked in a stressful retail enviroment. I did pray to God during the REALLY stressful times but I was miserable most of the time because my mind was not on Jesus, I didn't understand the sacrfice He made then. I didn't realize that I needed to go to Him when I became stressed instead of complaining, crying, and cursing. Thank you once again for an inspiring post that got me thinking about what is important.

May 4, 2007 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger NspiredByFaith said...

What a wonderful post, and encouraging, as you always are. Thank you for your beautiful words, Iris!

May 4, 2007 at 11:35 PM  

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