Pressures come from various sources. Self-induced pressure causes us to seek perfection because of our expectations. Peer pressure influences us to live up to a certain image, to look and act like others. External pressures to fit into the things of the world. Evil pressure from our adversary battles us through oppression, obstacles, and opposition. How do we handle pressure?
Pressure means crushing. It is the same Greek word for tribulation, also meaning affliction, and adversity. It attempts to squeeze out our joy, peace, and rest in the Lord. In an oil press, olives were crushed and broken to produce oil. In the Bible, oil is one symbol of the Holy Spirit. Before the Holy Spirit could be given, a crushing needed to occur. That was done on the cross by Jesus Christ. He was crushed for us, for our transgressions. He carried our sorrows and pains.
When we are pressured from every side, we rest in the finished work of the Lord. Like Paul, we discover we may be hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed. On the contrary, the crushing causes an abundance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit to flow in and through our lives, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 4:7-8 “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”