2 Corinthians 1:8
For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life.
It is probably safe to say that you have been under pressure during some time of your life. Saul of Tarus, later renamed to Paul, accomplished much during the 60’s A.D. while under great pressure.
Paul made three long missionary journeys throughout the Roman Empire, established churches, and gave encouragement to a brand-new faith group: Christians.
Of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament, thirteen are commonly attributed to Paul. He had a brilliant mind and an impressive knowledge of philosophy and religion. He had no difficulty debating the most educated scholars of his time.
Approximately 2000 years later, his determination inspires missionaries today.
So now that we know what Paul did, do we know what he felt? In his letter to the Corinthians he notes that he had more pressure than strength. He goes on to say that it became so stressful, that he despaired life itself.
Pressure builds in silence. You can be at the breaking point and no one knows-perhaps even you don’t realize it. Headlines are filled with people who reacted badly under pressure. At the extreme, violence and murder are enacted on others, often as a result of inward pressure.
What about violence on oneself? Just because some people are silent, doesn’t mean they are not under pressure. We live in a society where we may feel obligated to be okay-or at least appear that way.
Pressure doesn’t necessarily stop you from doing well; but, it can make you feel like you are not doing well. Recognize the pressure and take some time to distract yourself from it. Pray, walk, and practice your hobby. For some, it helps to hit the gym or play sports or connect with friends.
Find your way of relieving the pressure. It’s a part of life-recognize it and take care to manage it the best you can. If you need help, reach out to someone you trust.
“et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis”