by Lesley Cartwright
“Why are you discouraged, my soul? Why are you so restless? Put your hope in God, because I will still praise him. He is my savior and my God”. –Psalm 42:11
Everyone encounters setbacks at some time or other. What makes the difference is how we respond to it. We can turn it into an opportunity or let it become a crisis, sapping our energy. Proverbs 13:12 says that “hope deferred makes the Heart sick but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” When we are continually knocked down, our focus can shift and cause us to become depressed. Severe discouragement essentially gives us a misdirected focus.
A hydrostatic test is used to test pressure vessels such as pipelines, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers and fuel tanks for strength and leaks. The test involves filling the vessel or pipe system with a liquid, usually water, which may be dyed to aid in visual leak detection, and pressurization of the vessel to the specified test pressure. Using this test helps maintain safety standards and durability of a vessel over time and it is important because such containers can explode if they fail under pressure.
Pressure never creates the cracks, it merely reveals them. It’s an opportunity to work on your character so that you too can become leak free. We too are “hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Cor 4:8-9. There are many accounts in the bible where men and women of God endured stress tests, yet they were never overcome by them. Even King David became discouraged, but he encouraged himself in the Lord. He would talk himself back into hope. Return to the stronghold of hope, turn your thinking back to Jesus your hope of Glory (Zech 9:12, Col 1:27).
Take action: Find refuge in God today, draw from His wisdom and strength, when you do, you will know how to respond in trying times (Prov 27:12). The outcome of a crisis will always reveal who you trust in. It will work out in the end, if it hasn’t worked out yet, it isn’t the end!
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