About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) (Matthew 27:46)
For the director of music. To the tune of “The Doe of the Morning.” A psalm of David. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” (Psalm 22:1)
1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And this man was blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters, 3 and he owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man of all the people of the East.
4 Job’s sons would take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.
5 And when the days of feasting were over, Job would send for his children to purify them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all of them. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.
Satan’s First Attack
6 One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satana also came with them.
7 “Where have you come from?” said the LORD to Satan.
“From roaming through the earth,” he replied, “and walking back and forth in it.”
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one on earth like him, a man who is blameless and upright, who fears God and shuns evil.”
9 Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10Have You not placed a hedge on every side around him and his household and all that he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11But stretch out Your hand and strike all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.”
12 “Very well,” said the LORD to Satan. “Everything he has is in your hands, but you must not lay a hand on the man himself.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Job Loses His Children and Possessions
13 One day, while Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came and reported to Job: “While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, 15 the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
16 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: “The fire of God fell from heaven. It burned and consumed the sheep and the servants, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
17 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels, and took them away. They put the servants to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!”
18 While he was still speaking, another messenger came and reported: “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you!” (Job, chapter 1).
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” ( Acts 7:59).
Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead (Acts 14:19).
Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea (2 Corinthians 11:25).
They were stoned, they were sawed in two,f they were put to death by the sword. They went around in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, oppressed, and mistreated. 38 The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and hid in caves and holes in the ground.
39 These were all commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. 40 God had planned something better for us, so that together with us they would be made perfect (Hebrews 11 whole chapter generally, verses 37-40 specifically).
submitted by Celie∞Hilbert/CRH, January 31, 2022
4 thoughts on “Pressure”
It is ‘love that is really life,’ where it is said, James Joyce.
It takes more pressure forced onto a knife on the flat edge to cut an apple than the amount of pressure to cut the same apple with the narrow, skinny, sharp blade. My father told me to ask the Holy Spirit to make cuts fast, sharp, thorough, and then over so I can heal, when I do not listen to subtle warnings. Like a surgeon with a precise scalpel.
I have never seen Hong Kong under such pressures in any of my visits across 30 years. It’s not just Carrie Lam pleasing Beijing that fomented massive protests. A new national security law silenced citizens already imprisoned in restrictive pandemic policies. The 1.2 million Christians in Hong Kong are over 16% of the population, and both Protestants and Catholics are wondering aloud whether submission to the Chinese will result in more Chinese regulations on faith as already exist across the rest of China. The Christian minority seems less powerful than the city’s powerful businesses to push back against Chinese domination. The omicron outbreak resulted in 1 million new cases and over 8,000 deaths in the past couple of months and has devastated public services that oil the economy, beyond overtaxing hospitals and nursing homes. Some businesses increasingly see Beijing as the new savior due to new promises by Beijing to back the Hong Kong economy.
We go to church to avoid Pressure and not to get more of it. I am thankful that the Shombolo River mission team returned with only minor injuries, many people blessed, and no complaints.