2 Co 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
- A mind renewed by the Spirit of God with the truth of God is the only antidote for guilt, anxiety, anger, and despair. It is the only cure for a noisy soul.
- Pressure = those things that weigh on us
- Strain = the effect of the weight
Understanding Pressure and Strain
Pressure is first evaluated by the mind. The weight is determined by the mind.
When you get your school bill, it is first evaluated by the mind. If you have the money in your account, you withdraw and pay the bill and there is no pressure. If you don’t have money, your mind tells you that you have a real problem and you feel the strain.
Notice that the pressure is the same in both situations.
- If the mind cannot deal with the pressure, it causes physical problems.
- Our minds must evaluate the situation with the truth or we will have problems. If our problems are bigger than our God, we will struggle.
Persistent anxiety has negative effects (strain) on the body.
When we are mentally pressured, our body begins to feel it. The weight of the first beam when it cannot hold, is transferred to the second beam. Headaches, loss of sleep, loss of appetite, heart beats changing, stomach issues (can be caused by other issues too) all are made worse by our thoughts. It can lead to depression, boredom, listlessness, lack of interest, irritability, touchiness, fears, panic attacks.
A disciplined mind and body have greater ability to withstand pressure with fewer debilitating effects on either the mind or the body.
- If there is some discipline, we can stand more pressure. If there is no mental discipline, some people just give up and quit.
- A disciplined body can take more pressure as well.
- We must have enough sleep.
- We must have the right nutrition.
- We must get enough exercise.
God, however, never intended for man to be able to handle the pressures of life on his own
- This is true even if his mind and body are disciplined to the highest level. (Matt. 4:4; John 15:4-5; II Cor. 3:5, 4:7, etc.) Discipline of mind and body alone are very helpful, but never enough. God intended life to be lived in dependence on Him.
- Most people only strengthen their lives in areas that they like. They leave things out. (fig. 3). No one gets just one pressure at a time. We have multiple boxes at the same time. The things we like, we manage ok. It is the other things.
Handling Pressure Biblically
Eliminate the pressures God does not intend for you to bear.
- Eliminate sin and its results (Heb. 12:1; I Jn. 1:9; Eph. 4:22) – sin is supposed to pressure us.
- Eliminate responsibilities you have assumed outside the will of God. Motivation for good activities can come from sinful lusts (I Jn. 2:16).
- God does not give grace for what God does not ask you to do. Saying “no” might be the most spiritual answer when someone asks you to minister in yet one more way.
Reinforce your mind so that it will withstand the weight of the pressures you bear in the will of God.
- A disciplined body is helpful: adequate rest, nutritious diet, regular exercise
- A renewed mind is essential.
The Result—A Different Way of Looking at Life and Its Pressures
- A renewed mind possesses a Bible-taught and Spirit-illuminated belief that God is more than enough for me. See Figure 3.
- A renewed mind possess a Bible-taught and Spirit illuminated belief that God is more than enough for me.
- Pressure is all about evaluating the pressure against my belief in God’s goodness.
- This takes much time. You have to know what God says. Saturation in the Word begins with an intentional plan.
- It ends with what you believe about God.
Conclusion: You must spend much time beholding God if you are to have a renewed mind—and, thus, a quiet soul.
Download the pdf version The Solution here.
Thanks to Dr. Jim Berg for allowing us to use his material. Berg, Jim. (2005). Quieting a Noisy Soul. Greenville, SC: BJU Press