Smile! What? You don’t want to? Why not?

Smile. Now. No?

Has anyone ever told you to smile? They may have said it to try and cheer you up and get you to respond to their cheeriness but how did that make you feel? If you are like me you probably wanted to ram something heavy through their face…more than once (just being honest here!).

As human beings our natural inclination is to tell other people how to do things but in the same instance react terribly when someone gives us the same advice. We don’t like to be told what to do so as I write this know this…this next scripture verse might be a hard one for us both…

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

James‬ ‭1‬:‭2‬-‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The King James Version says, “count it all joy…”, in other words, “SMILE!” Of course, there is a little more to it than just smiling but you get my point. 

Life is on going. Pressure comes, sometime relentlessly. Walls stand between us and our success. People hurt and people attack. There is an enemy to our souls. If Jesus came to give us life the enemy came to destroy our lives. 

Know this, when the pressure that forms around us comes, it is simply trying to get us to react. It it testing to see something. It wants to know how we will react. If it can get us to react outside of God and His Word, it knows that through increased pressure it can eventually shift us away from our calling. Away from our success, our families and anything good that God has declared over our lives. A slight degree off course removes us from the end destination. 

We know that faith pleases God but operating in our old sin filled and fleshy nature takes us out of faith and gets us going down the path of the natural setting us up for a world of hurt.  

The life that we lead as believers requires us to face pressure. Pressure can come in many forms but it is our reaction to it that determines if we will produce results that are productive and glorious for God’s Kingdom. 

Testing, trials and pressure are nothing more than natural and spiritual events that try and take our eyes off of Jesus. They try and remove our capacity to focus our faith and thoughts on the realities of heaven. 

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.”

‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3‬:‭1‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Setting our sights on things above allows us to count it all joy. Our eyes focussed on the Word of God and our hearts sensitive to the voice of the Spirit. 

When we count it all joy we can praise God in any situation. When we count it all joy we can tithe no matter what financial pressure comes. When we count it all joy we can give cheerfully and we can expect a return. When we count it all joy we can treat others as we want to be treated. When we count it all joy we are laughing with the one who laughs in the heavens. 

“But the one who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them.”

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Psalms‬ ‭2‬:‭4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

If God can scoff at your enemies so can you! You can count every trial and pressure as an opportunity to produce endurance and patience. When that motion is set into place you are on course for receiving everything that you desire. You will be perfect, complete and entire wanting nothing. The shepherd of your soul is leading you unto green pastures. The eternal one is residing inside of you and He is greater than any enemy or form of pressure that comes against your life. 

Pressure is nothing more than a symptom of an enemy running out of ideas to stall your assignment. Keep up the pressure on him. Stand. Speak. Praise. The battle may be the Lord’s but the victory is most certainly yours!! 

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