“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12 NIV)
One of the reasons many cave is because they have not learned to brace themselves to withstand the pressures of life. The end result for caving to pressure is suicide, depression, hopelessness, and frustration with everything and everyone.
I remember a number of years ago when I was visiting a church, a preacher called me out for prayer. He didn’t know me and made some erroneous assumptions about my character simply because I was wearing a red suit. I know this because of what he was praying–for my salvation and at the time, I was not only assured of my salvation, but I was also ministering the Gospel as an ordained Elder. He didn’t know that. While he was praying, he had the audacity to lay hands on me attempting to force me to fall “under the spirit” so he could get the glory. He also didn’t know I knew a phony when I heard one. So, while he was trying to push me down, I repositioned my feet to brace myself and I didn’t budge and he was left stunned. When I finally looked up at him, I smiled and walked away. Needless to say, I had no respect for that man or the leadership in the church.
About five months later, he found out who I was and was annoying in his attempts to show me how much he respected me. I don’t seek to impress people and I’m not usually impressed with others–especially those who are attempting to impress with foolishness. I’m impressed with a demonstration of their relationship with God, not who they are.
My point to this little anecdote is to remind people that when the pressures of life assault us, we have to know how to “reposition ourselves” to brace against the pressure, so the trials of life won’t cause us to fall, defeated.
In order to brace for the trials, we must be determined, using stubborn character constructively, refusing to give in or give up, no matter what happens. When we feel the strain of the pressure, we need to flex our spiritual muscles and reposition our thinking, finding balance to push back against those things that attempt to bring us down.
While we’re pushing back, we need to have enough Word in us, to help us to withstand the attack of the enemy and when we are armored up and know that God is going before us, enabling us to “stand” we can expect to receive the prize for the win on earth and in heaven. Brace for the trials of life and never cave, being blessed and receiving our crowns!