Overcome Day 3: No Pressure No Diamond
Read: Matthew 5:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
In order to produce a diamond, you must first apply a certain amount of pressure. Without pressure, there is no hope of a diamond. In other words, no pressure no diamond. How can something so beautiful come from a process so brutal? How can something so precious come out of something so painful?
In Matthew 5, Jesus preaches what is become famously known as the “Sermon on the Mount.” He starts out this sermon with what we have coined as “The Beatitudes.” He begins to rattle off all these phrases that begin with the word “blessed.” “Blessed are the poor….” “Blessed are those who mourn….” “Blessed are the meek….” “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst….” “Blessed are the merciful….” “Blessed are the pure in heart….” “Blessed are the peacemakers….” I’m sure by now the crowd is getting excited and agreeing with every word that Jesus is saying. But then comes verse 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted.” What? Did I hear that right? I’m blessed when I’m persecuted? I’m sure that was the reaction of the crowd. But it gets even better. Jesus tells us that when we are persecuted to “Rejoice and be glad.” Why should I rejoice when I’m being persecuted? What reason do I have for being glad? Because of what Jesus goes on to say “because great is your reward in heaven.” What Jesus was trying to get us to understand is before great reward comes great resistance. Before great opportunity comes great opposition. In other words, no pressure no diamond.
Paul, who came to know his share of pressure, wrote this “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” Paul goes on to further expound upon this later in the same chapter when he writes “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” Paul wanted to inform us that the pressure is not going to be as heavy as we think it is and won’t last as long as we think it will. In other words, Jesus will only apply the necessary amount of pressure to our lives in order to produce the fullest potential that He has placed inside of us. There is purpose to the pressure that you have faced, are facing, or are going to face in life. It is to produce that diamond that is on the inside of you.
What areas of your life are you experiencing pressure? Are you rejoicing or are you regretting? Are you seeing the purpose to the pressure you are going through?
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