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Life Under Pressure - The Crosswalk Devotional - January 29

The Crosswalk Devotional

Life Under Pressure
By Meg Bucher

“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.” Psalm 34:1 NLT

Crisis puts a pinch on our conscience. Things we may not normally consider appropriate reactions come streaming out of our pores. Pressure is to force (someone) toward a particular end; influence. We feel pressure at every age and stage of life. Sometimes it's self-inflicted; other times a by-product of a world in constant comparison. Pressure from others to achieve and be something they have pictured for us can stir a fear of failure and anxiety, which can freeze forward progress. 

Psalm 34 was written by King David. “Fleeing from Saul, David sought refuge with the Philistine king of Gath,” New Bible Commentary explains, “Soon, however, safety changed to detention for they recognized David and realized what a valuable hostage they had. By pretending madness, David secured his release and escaped.” David was fleeing from a crazy king who wanted to kill him! Under pressure, he acted insane to escape! Eventually, he gave all the glory to God for getting him out of that situation, and much of Psalm 34 captures David’s appreciation for the Lord’s hand on and in his life.  He wrote: 

“Then I will rejoice in the LORD.
I will be glad because he rescues me.
With every bone in my body I will praise him:
‘LORD, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?’” - Psalm 34:9-10 NLT

The pressure David had been put under wasn’t just or fair. God rescued Him out of His love for Him. Much of the Psalm speaks of the unfairness David endured and tracks his process of handing justice over to God and forgiving his enemies. All of the glory went to God for David’s rescue. It’s a silly story, really, of the way David acted to escape trouble. But it shows us God’s ways are not our ways. When we think the solution is complicated, it may, if fact, be simple. Under pressure, we learn from this psalm to stand expectantly before our mighty God, knowing He is faithful to rescue us. 

Intersecting Faith and Life:

“O LORD, you know all about this. Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord. Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord. Declare me not guilty, O LORD my God, for you give justice.
Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles. Don’t let them say, ‘Look, we got what we wanted!
Now we will eat him alive!’” Psalm 34:22-25 NLT

This portion of David’s psalm sounds a lot like us. Life is full of pressure. Yet, God is bigger than all of it. We can come to God just like David did here and cry out to Him about the truth of what’s going on in our lives and how it’s making us feel. Pressure loses its power when we say it out loud and allow God’s truth to reign over it.

Pressure is necessary, to a certain degree, to force us to a particular end, as the definition of the word states. We are all put on earth for a specific purpose by God, who uniquely equipped us for His will for our lives. But the difference between godly pressure and worldly pressure of sin is the compassion through which God guides. He encourages and disciplines us with compassion, mercy, and love. He wants the best for us.

Jesus reassures us, His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Following Jesus isn’t light and easy, but He is able to carry us through it all. Under pressure, we are to come to the foot of the cross and unload what is weighing us down. Whether it be thoughts spinning in a repetitive loop, the fear of failing, or the anxious weight and wonder of if we have what it takes to walk out what God is leading us to do. He is there to walk through it all with us. Life under pressure leads us to the foot of the cross, where Jesus carries us and our burdens and worries. David concludes his psalm:

“Then I will proclaim your justice, and I will praise you all day long.”

Further Reading: 
Psalm 34, in its entirety.

Additional Resources: 
New Bible Commentary. Copyright Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship, Leicester, England, 1953, 1954, 1970, 1994↵All rights reserved.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Sergio Yoneda/p>

Meg Bucher 2022 headshotMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team. Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls. 

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