Thursday, May 9, 2013

Calm Under Pressure

They say that the ability to remain calm under pressure is a sign of a good leader. It usually means the person is someone of experience who is able to put the situation at hand in proper perspective. Unfortunately too many of us allow the present moment to become the only moment, blocking out everything else we know as a fact. This is the reason a person can go from professing faith in Jesus one moment to panic and despair in the next. We allow the moment at hand to eclipse what we know and have experienced with Jesus.

Calm under pressure is not only a quality of a good leader but it is also the measure of a mature follower of Jesus Christ. Maturity means we have gained a good grasp of the big picture so that daily moments are kept in their proper perspective. Maturity means that we trust that what God has done in the past he will also do today and tomorrow. Maturity means that we understand the true source of all good things and we have come to trust his promises. Maturity means that we never allow our response to the pressures of life to rob Jesus of his glory.

Apostle Paul was all too familiar with the pressures of life. You probably know of all the things he went through, the many times we was put in jail, the stoning, the shipwrecks  and the fact he never gave up, he never packed, he never ran away. But were you aware that in his last months in captivity much of the church in Asia Minor turned away from him? Other teachers came in and started to distort the truth of the gospel. This is what Paul was writing to Timothy when he told him to be aware that people would turn away from sound doctrine. He told Timothy that during these days he must keep his head:

They will turn from the truth and eagerly listen to senseless stories. But you must stay calm and be willing to suffer. You must work hard to tell the good news and to do your job well. (2 Timothy 4:4-5)

Interesting: stay calm and be willing to suffer. He isn't saying he must be willing to suffer disease or any such thing but willing to suffer for teaching the truth. Timothy must be willing to stand in the face of popular opposition and not turn back for the sake of popularity. It is easy to fill a church; just preach what people want to hear. But when you bring the truth of Jesus Christ there will be suffering as popularity turns its ugly head on you. Stay calm. Don't complain about the cost of preaching the truth. Just consider those who went before you, like Paul, Peter, Stephen or even Jesus who was crucified for what he taught.

Work hard and do your job well. Have you ever consider presenting Jesus to people as your job? Jesus considers it that way. Just look at the parables he told. How many were about the master and the servant and the expectations on the servant? We are that servant and we have a job to do. Jesus told us to be found faithfully doing it on his return, no matter the cost.

Stay Calm. Be willing to suffer. Work hard. Do your job. Do we measure up?

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