Verkeer jy vandag onder druk?

2021-03-31
Jakobus 1:3 DB

Dit neem ‘n lang tyd en ontsettend baie druk om ‘n waardelose stuk koolstof in ‘n waardevolle diamant te omskep. Dis hoekom Jakobus skryf: ‘My liewe mede-Christene, wees opgewonde as julle geloof by elke geleentheid getoets word… Die slegte dinge wat met julle gebeur, toets of julle werklik die Here vertrou. As dit met julle sleg gaan, leer julle juis om nader aan die Here te leef. Julle moet die Here toelaat om julle deur hierdie dinge te leer wat dit beteken om altyd net op Hom te vertrou… So sal julle geestelike grootmense word wat weet hoe om in elke situasie reg op te tree’ (verse 2-4 DB).

Sodra jy hierdie Skriftuurlike waarheid begryp, sal jy God se hand in jou hele lewe sien. Die waarheid is dat jy jouself óf tans in ‘n toets bevind, óf pas uit ‘n toets uit kom, óf op pad is na die volgende een toe. Hierdie toetse kom in elke moontlike gedaante. Soos die briewe wat jy in die posbus kry, is sommige van hulle net aan: ‘Die Inwoner,’ geaddresseer.

Will Rogers het een keer ‘n koerantopskrif gelees wat gelui het: ‘Onskuldige omstander in New York geskiet.’ Hy het geskerts: ‘Wat daarvan? Al wat jy moet doen om in New York geskiet te word is om onskuldig te wees en rond te staan!’ Dis hoe dit ook met die lewe se toetse gaan. Staan net rond – en jy sal getref word.

Die feit bly egter staan dat dit teenspoed neem om geestelike volwassenheid te produseer. Jesus het gesê: ‘…In die wêreld sal julle swaarkry beleef, maar skep moed: Ek het die wêreld reeds oorwin’ (Johannes 16:33 NLV). Jesus was ‘n oorwinnaar en omdat Hy vandag in jou leef, kan jy ook ‘n oorwinnaar wees.

Sielskos: 2 Tess 1-3; Matt 26:30-46; Ps 6; Spr 8:32-33

Are you under pressure today?


James 1:2 MSG

It takes a long time and an incredible amount of pressure to turn a worthless piece of carbon into a valuable diamond. That’s why James writes: “Consider it a sheer gift…when tests and challenges come at you from all sides…under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (vv. 2-4 MSG).

Once you grasp that scriptural truth, whenever your life is interrupted by problems or circumstances you didn’t anticipate, you’ll begin to see God’s hand at work in all of it. The truth is that you’re either in a trial right now, just coming out of one, or heading toward the next one. James talks about “various trials” (v. 2 NAS); they come in every conceivable variety. Like the letters you get in your mailbox, some are addressed simply to “The Occupant.”

Will Rogers once read a newspaper headline that said, “Innocent Bystander Shot in New York.” He quipped, “How about that? All you have to do to get shot in New York is be innocent and stand by!” That’s how it is with life’s trials. Just stand by – and you’ll get hit. But the fact remains that it takes adversity to produce spiritual maturity. It can’t come any other way. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). Jesus was an overcomer, and because He lives in you today, you can be an overcomer too.

Soul food: 2 Thes 1-3; Matt 26:30-46; Ps 6; Prov 8:32-33

True colours


James 1:2 MSG

The Message version of the Bible paraphrases what James writes like this: ‘Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way’ (James 1:2-4 MSG).

The truth is, we all go through trials. One of Jesus’ less popular promises is in John 16:33. He says ‘In this world you will have trouble’ (NIV). We’ve all gone through trouble. Chances are we’ll encounter more pressure in the future, too.

Our following God’s plan can sometimes clash with the ‘fallen’ nature of this world, and that creates tension. The upside, though, is that God can highlight the positive in anything. He uses all pressure to refine us. When Paul says that our ‘faith-life is forced into the open’ when we’re under pressure, that means that our strengths, weakness, and flaws become more apparent through our response to difficulty. It’s a chance for self-reflection, and for God to draw our attention to things that He wants us to work on, to allow Him to change.

The second half of Jesus’ guarantee of trouble in John 16:33 sees Him say ‘take heart! I have overcome the world’ (NIV). No matter how much pressure we find ourselves under, and how many flaws we see in our own response to that, God can change us because He’s already won the battle over all difficulties. Thanks to His victory, we’re on a journey to reflect Him more and more every day.

2 Thes 1-3; Matt 26:30-46; Ps 6; Prov 8:32-33

Jy het genade vir hierdie toets ontvang

2021-03-30
Job 23:10 NLV

Job het sy familie en sy fortuin in ‘n enkele dag verloor. Tog, toe hy terugkyk daarop, het hy geskryf: ‘…Wanneer Hy my toets soos goud in ‘n vuur, sal Hy my onskuldig verklaar.’ Dit verg baie meer vuur om goud te produseer as wat nodig is om tin te produseer. Watter een van die twee sal jy eerder wil wees?

Om die seën wat God vir jou in gedagte het te geniet, moet jy die lewe se toetse slaag. In die vroeë dae van televisie, is skedules gereeld deur ‘n dertig-sekonde toets van ‘Die Nooduitsending Sisteem,’ onderbreek. Daardie toetse is baie soos die toetse waarvoor ons in die lewe te staan kom – ongeskeduleerd, onwelkom en gewoonlik op die slegste moontlike tyd. In teenstelling met die televisie toetspatrone, duur die lewe se toetse nie net dertig sekondes en gaan dan weg nie. Nee, hulle kan vir weke, jare en in sommige gevalle, vir ‘n leeftyd duur.

Die rede daarvoor mag ook nie altyd vir jou duidelik wees nie. Daar is egter ‘n aspek van die toets wat jy kan beheer – hoe jy daarop reageer. Die waarheid is dat toetse ‘n onskatbare, integrale en onontbeerlike deel van jou geestelike groei is. Sonder hulle sal jy nooit soveel groei en volwasse word soos wat jy moet nie. Hoe jy jou ‘toetse’ hanteer, bepaal ook jou ‘getuienis.’

Paulys skryf: ‘Al hierdie dinge wat met ons gebeur, help vir julle. So kan God genadig wees vir meer mense. Dan kan meer mense dankie sê vir God. En so kry God al die eer, God wat die Koning is. Daarom word ons nie moedeloos nie. Ons liggame is besig om te sterf, maar God maak ons geestelike lewe elke dag nuut’ (2 Korintiërs 4:15-16 ABA). Jy het genade vir hierdie toets ontvang.

Sielskos: Est 5-10; Matt 26:1-17; Ps 18:1-29; Spr 26:24-27

Tests


Job 23:10 NIV

Job lost his family and his fortune in a single day. But looking back he wrote, ‘When he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.’ It takes much more heat to refine gold than it does to refine a lot of less valuable metals. Which would you prefer to be? To enjoy the blessing God has in mind for us, we have to face life’s tests.

In some buildings and workplaces, a routine fire alarm test happens. For a minute or so, the place is interrupted by the noisy alarm. And those tests are like the ones that come into our lives – unwelcome, uncomfortable, disruptive – and they always seem to come at the worst possible time.

But unlike a fire alarm test, life’s tests don’t last for a very short time and then go away. They can last for weeks, years, and in some cases, for a lifetime. And the reason why may never become completely clear. However, there’s an aspect of life’s tests that we can control – how we respond to it. The truth is, tests are an invaluable, integral, and indispensable part of our spiritual growth. Without them we’ll never grow and mature as much as we need to. And it’s how we handle our ‘tests’ that decides our ‘testimony’.

Paul wrote: ‘Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace…more and more praise! So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside…not a day goes by without his unfolding grace’ (2 Corinthians 4:15-16 MSG).

Whenever we face tests, God will give us the grace and strength to handle them.

Est 5-10; Matt 26:1-17; Ps 18:1-29; Prov 26:24-27