By dead reckoning, the Mariana Trench is located in the Pacific Ocean at 11 degrees 22′ N. by 142 degrees 36′ E., south of Guam heading towards Yap. In 1960 the U.S. Naval bathyscaph “Trieste” guided by Lieutenant Don Walsh and Oceanographer, Jacques Piccard submerged to a record depth of 35,310 feet or 10,900 meters. The location in the trench known as “Challenger Deep” is almost 7 miles deep. You could place Mount Everest in that trench and cover it with over a mile of water above. From the Ocean’s surface, you can release a 12 pound Cannonball, which dropping at 10 feet per second, would take just over an hour to reach the ocean floor. The pressure at the floor is 18,000 pounds per square inch! That is the combined weight of 50 U.S. Sherman army tanks all stacked up and distributed over it’s footprint. Immense pressure! Yet when the bathyscaph settled on the bottom, and these men turned on the lights and peered out of it’s thick plexiglass bubble window, to their utter amazement they saw living creatures; strange fish and worm-like creatures.
How could life possibly exist in that seemingly impossible habitat without it being crushed? The answer is rather simple. There is inside of those creatures a pressure that is greater than the pressure on the outside.
It reminds me of what is written in 1 John 4:4, “And ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”.
In the world there is tremendous pressure. In society today there is immense pressure placed on everyone. Economical pressure, Political Pressure, Family pressure, Peer pressure, and each type brings stress and even distress. The Lord’s people, that is, God’s children, are not exempt from such. However, God puts into their lives something special from Himself that the world cannot give. When the Holy Spirit of God dwells within you, your perspective on life itself changes and you begin to value eternal things more than the earthly, temporal things.
Uncle Howard Mooney as an old Brother Worker used to tell us that when he was a boy, there was little crime. Illegal Drugs were never heard of. The temptations to sin were few. But at the same time, the privileges of Fellowship were few and far between. If his family was able to attend one convention every 2 or 3 years, they were fortunate. If the Workers came to see them once in a year, that was very special. Sometimes there were no Gospel meetings to go to. But nowadays, there is much crime, many drugs, much temptation, immorality in society. But, our Friends have many privileges; of Fellowship Meetings, Bible studies, Gospel Meetings, and often several Conventions in a year. Above the pressure of evil without, is the greater pressure of good within. Romans 5:20, “Where sin did abounded, grace did much more abound.”
Matthew 10:36 – Family pressure – Noah’s 3 Daughter In Laws waiting inside the door of the Ark wondering, “Where are my mother and father, brothers and sisters? Why aren’t they coming inside the Ark? Don’t they realize this is the only way of salvation? They would have felt pressure from their natural family to step outside and leave the safety of the Ark. But the pressure to remain inside was greater than the pressure to go outside.
Song of Solomon 4:16 The North and South winds are Invisible high pressure systems. The winds would have carried the fragrance of the flowers inside of the garden up and over the walls and would have been enjoyed by the neighbors. God allows His people to face pressure for the purpose of revealing to others the sweet spiritual fragrance inside their heart.
Daniel 6:7,10 Daniel was pressured to not pray to God for 30 days or else be cast into a den of lions. But the daily desire in his soul for fellowship with God was greater than the pressure to adhere to man’s favor. He felt it was safer to be in a den of Lions with God, than in a palace without God. Therefore, he still prayed every day.
Joshua Heifetz was the world’s greatest violinist. He acknowledged, “If I don’t practice my violin today, I sense the loss of quality. If I don’t practice my violin for two days, my wife can tell the loss of quality. If I don’t play for 3 days, everyone around me knows”. That seems to hold true for my prayer life as well.
Acts 12:6 The peace within Peter’s heart was greater than all the outward stress of Herod’s purpose to slay him in the morning. Thus he could peaceably sleep like a baby, though tightly guarded by 16 soldiers. How is that possible? He was tapping into the Lord’s promise. John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”.
Our God allows His children to pass through tough experiences of “pressure” so that His work can be purified and perfected within us, just as Gold is purified in the fire. We are thankful the Baptism of fire is never greater than the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, which enables you and I to be an overcomer. God allows His people to be tested and tried for the purpose of revealing our quality of character, and to increase our strength of faith, and to demonstrate its very existence. The strength of our faith is measured by how much we are willing to suffer for it. The testing of one’s faith drives believers to deeper communion and greater trust in Christ.