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People often ask me, “Pastor, what is going on in the world today? What’s the biggest problem we face? I have many answers, and each contains the same general word: pressure.
Family pressure. The pressure of time. Financial pressure. Unprecedented pressure to compete and succeed by societal standards – at work, at school, in our communities and maybe even in our churches. As Christians we face pressures in our society that we have never encountered before. We are living in an unprecedented era, which brings unprecedented tension.
But I was encouraged recently by discovering a certain little fish. The Mariana snail lives in the deepest caves of the ocean, where the pressure is a thousand times higher than at the surface. The temperature there is near freezing, and there is no light at these depths. But God created these fish, which are about the size of a human hand, to thrive in extreme conditions.
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How do they do? This snail has special characteristics such as flexible skulls and bones. They also produce separate chemicals which stabilize their constitution so that the pressure inside them is greater than the pressure outside of them.
Pretty incredible, right? God has given these strange creatures everything they need for where they are and what He wants for them.
He gave them everything they need not only to survive, but to thrive.
Could this be true for you too?
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Absoutely! There is one particular passage of scripture that I have studied all my life. I have known and taught him for years. But in the last few days, when I have been under great pressure like you, it has entered my bloodstream like a transfusion. This passage gripped my heart so powerfully that it even led me to write a new book:
His divine power has given us all that relates to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by whom we were given extremely great and precious promises, so that , through them, you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance piety, to brotherly goodness piety and brotherly goodness love. For if these things are yours and they are abundant, you will neither be barren nor sterile in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1: 3-8).
God has devised an ingenious way to bring his power to the center of your soul through the energized threads of his biblical promises, or as Peter called them, his great and precious promises. These promises energize you and allow you to share his divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world.
This passage was written by someone who knew all about fish: Simon Peter. After three remarkable years with Jesus, as recounted in the gospels, Peter continued to help establish the early church, described in the book of Acts. Despite the constant threat of persecution, he devoted the rest of his life to expanding the kingdom of God. He spent his last days in prison awaiting his execution, but even then the joy in him was greater than the fear around him. He had everything he needed to maintain his faith, optimism, and effectiveness for Jesus – until the very moment he entered heaven.
Peter’s last letter was written to “those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” (2 Peter 1: 1).
What does it mean? This means that your experience with Jesus can be as precious to you as that of Peter was to him. It is remarkable to consider. He has given you everything you need to develop a godly life, just as he has given the disciples who walked by his side.
And that’s just the beginning. God also devised an ingenious way to bring his power to the center of your soul through the energized threads of his biblical promises, or as Peter called them, his great and precious promises. These promises energize you and allow you to share his divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world.
Peter wrote: “If these things are yours and they are abundant, you will neither be barren nor sterile in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1: 8).
This is one of the great euphemisms of God! If these virtues are yours and if they abound in your life – that is, if you embrace them and fill your heart with them – there is no limit to what you can accomplish. And there’s no pressure you can’t take.
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It’s time to unbox all that God has given you and commit to cultivating the strength of character you will need to face the pressures of your world. Once you master these precious Bible verses – or rather, once they master you – you will realize that you have everything you need.
More so, you will find that it is all you need.
This is an adaptation of Dr Jeremiah’s latest book, “Everything You Need”.
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