People react to pressure much the same way as does any metal that needs to be made useful. Stress can increase your ability to endure, but excessive pressure can break you. Your response to stress is critical. As you submit to God, he will reproduce the life of Christ in you, creating a person who is useful to his kingdom.
Here are some encouraging words from the Bible: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8–10).
Distress is a word used more than 100 times in the Bible to describe negative stress. It most often pictures the negative result that pressure and pain can have on the heart. The Old Testament Hebrew word tsarah is taken from the root word meaning “tightness” which means distress, anguish or affliction in a spiritual or psychological sense.
Due to a famine in Israel, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt in an attempt to buy grain, but as they found themselves in a stressful situation, they reflected on what they had done to Joseph many years before. “We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us” (Genesis 42:21).
[print_link] [email_link] [June Hunt, Hope for the Heart, 2008]