John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world..”
This Bible verse is as much a promise as anything. “Ye shall have tribulation.” Everyone is going through a tough time, everyone is under pressure. In fact, the word “tribulation” also means “pressure.”
Just the fact that we live in this world means we have to live under pressure. But we wear ourselves out when we choose to carry more than we have to. Today I’d like to speak to you about some unnecessary things that produce pressure.
1. Pride Produces Pressure – Eliminate Pride.
Proverbs 13:10 says, “Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom..” At the root of every contention and argument is pride – thinking too highly of yourself, putting yourself first. People with pride must always have the last word, and turn every petty argument into a full-blown fight. James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Humility is simply not thinking of yourself at all, and living for others. If you will revolve your life around God and others, many of the pressures you once had will disappear.
2. Debt Produces Pressure – Eliminate Debt.
The #1 catalyst for divorce, separation, and marital strain is financial problems. We have a system in America that teaches our children to spend all their money on whatever they want. We teach them to run up credit cards and school loans. Then its time for marriage, a new house, new cars, new furniture. The bills pile up, kids come, insurance is needed, and they have no clue on how to get out of the hole they’ve dug themselves. The highest level of bankruptcy claims last year was in the 18-24 year old age bracket. This is a flawed system.
We need to teach our kids to start saving. Proverbs 11:16b says, “...strong men retain riches.” You will have so much peace if you get yourself out of debt. Begin with your smallest debts and work your way up.
Paul once said, “ For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity ...we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward..” We need to rediscover the art of relaxation and simplicity. Many families can’t even find the time to eat one meal together every day! We often become so busy doing good things we don’t have time for the best things.
Prioritize your life to home, work (or school), and church. Make family time. Build memories of your family together. Turn the television off. Will your kids remember how close your family was? If we can fix our families we will fix the nation.
4. Wrong Choices Produce Pressure – Eliminate Wrong Choices.
What are some wrong choices? Marrying wrong. Pregnancy outside of marriage (unmarried fathers will have their wages garnished for 21 years, and 97% of single moms will live in poverty. That will produce pressure!). Buying too expensive of a house, car, clothing, etc. Going to college too early, and not saving up first. Fornication.
These wrong choices can cause a lifetime of hurt, and so much unnecessary pressure.
It will give you peace if you will organize certain areas of your life. For example: budgeting your money will give you peace, knowing how much money you have and how much you have to set aside for certain areas.
Getting your home in order will also produce peace. We have this funny idea in America that children should be first. That is found no where in the Bible. We need to get back to putting our elders and parents first. Proverbs 19:13 says, “A foolish son is the calamity of his father:”
I’ve given you some areas that may be causing you unnecessary pressure. Perhaps these will help you think of some other areas in your life where you can eliminate pressure. Jesus Christ wants to help you relieve these pressures. Is He a real part of your life? See page 16 for more information on how to be saved.