Thinking Out Loud

September 27, 2011

Faith Under Pressure

Filed under: Faith — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:30 am

I’m going through a period of intense personal pressure and finding myself wondering about the condition and authenticity of my faith in light of the anxiety I am experiencing. There, I said it.  Scratch my name off your list of Christian superstars. Whaddya mean it wasn’t there?

My mother often quoted Jeremiah 12:5 to me at times like this:

5If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

In the NIV it reads,

 5 “If you have raced with men on foot
   and they have worn you out,
   how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country,
   how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?

In other words, if you panic and are stressed by a little pressure, what are you going to do when something serious happens?  Except things these days are more serious. “The swelling of the Jordan,” so to speak.

I say all this to say that it is so easy to espouse certain positional truths in scripture, but it is another matter entirely to live out those things practically when circumstances require a response.

In other words, we generally have all the answers — for someone else.  It’s easy to straighten out someone else’s life; it’s hard to accept God’s instructions when we are the ones under pressure.

Mind you, I can’t imagine not having God to turn to. 


  1. Paul, I put a piece of masking tape on the corner of my computer desk with your name on it. Seems to me that my responsibility at this point is to lift you up to the Father. And BTW I just had one of those experience when it would have been so easy to give advice if I had come across someone else struggling with what had landed in my lap…but when it happened to me I stalled. Thank God for grace!

    Comment by Cynthia — September 27, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  2. May God bless Cynthia.

    Comment by Brian — September 27, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  3. Praying for you. “The Lord will guard you as you come and go, both now and forever.” Ps. 121:8. This scripture spoke to me this morning. Hope it does you, also. Blessings, Dottie

    Comment by Dottie Parish — September 28, 2011 @ 7:14 am

  4. Your Mother was a wise woman – but wiser still was the Author of those words. You have just counselled yourself. Praying for you.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — September 29, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    • Still is! She’s still with us!

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 29, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

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