Good cooks, which does not describe me, know a pressure cooker can be a useful tool. It can turn the toughest cut of meat into a tender dish. The heat and pressure help cook the dish perfectly. You need just the right amount of pressure though, or you end up with ketchup on your kitchen ceiling. Pressure cookers are useful as they reduce cooking time, and a well-versed chef can use the tool to create delicious food.
Life can be described as a pressure cooker. Each day is filled with stresses which cause our anxiety levels to rise. The decisions we are forced to make can be overwhelming. We have more bills than income, deciding how to keep our families safe amid a pandemic, and juggling our home being the center for work, school, and everything else. The pressures of life can certainly come from all directions.
The pressures of life may cause us anxiety, but we are not alone. Others have had the same experience including the writer of Psalm 119. In verse 139, the writer states he is overwhelmed with indignation. He feels insignificant. Perhaps nothing is working out in the way he planned. Pressure is increasing, yet the Lord is still there.
Psalm 119:143-144 says, as pressure and stress bear down on me, I find joy in your commands. Your laws are always right. Help me to understand them so I may live.”
Though he was in the pressure cooker of life, the Psalmist kept his focus on the Lord. The challenge for us is to follow the Psalmist’s pattern.
Amid stress and anxiety, remember…
The Lord is with us.
The Lord is trustworthy.
Jesus asks us to trust him. He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14:1).
The Lord sees the big picture and is a master chef at using life’s pressure cooker. He knows when to release the pressure so the ketchup doesn’t end up on the ceiling.
Christ has promised he will come and take us where he is.
Psalm 119:89-176 offers many benefits of following God’s Word.
Following God’s word offers many benefits, and Psalm 119 lists many of them for us.
God’s Word is eternal.
Verse 89 reminds us God’s Word stands firm in Heaven. When everything else is gone and nothing else can be considered secure, we can count on the words and promises of the Lord.
God’s Word provides wisdom.
In Psalm 119, the Psalmist states the word of the Lord gives him wisdom. We find guidance for every part of life in the Scriptures.
God’s Word offers guidance.
Verse 105 says, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” As we walk through life, God’s Word can guide us. We should think of it like a flashlight at night. A flashlight guides our path and lights up what is right in front of us. If we turn it off, there is a chance we will run into something. If we do not allow God’s Word to guide us, there is a chance we will run into a pitfall in life.
God’s Word is a treasure for us.
Psalm 119:111 says, “Your laws are my treasure, they are my heart’s delight.” God’s Word is the most valuable thing we can possess. It is more valuable than gold or silver.
Verse 162 says, “I rejoice in your word like one who has found a great treasure.”
God’s Word can bring justice.
The Psalmist reminds us following God’s Word brings justice to all.
The writer of Psalm 119 expressed a genuine desire to continually follow God’s Word. May we echo his desire and work daily to apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. Doing so will be beneficial to us and our neighbors.
There are many benefits to God’s Word. Here are a few listed in Psalm 119:1-88.
God’s Word gives us wise advice.
Psalm 119:24 says, “Your laws please me; they give me wise advice.” There’s advice on every topic.
God’s Word encourages us.
When we are in need of encouragement, it seems the Bible has just the right words for the moment.
Psalm 119:50 says, “Your promise revives me. It comforts me in all my troubles.”
God’s Word gives us hope.
Psalm 119:43 says, “Do not snatch your word of truth from me, for your regulations are my only hope.”
Psalm 119:49 says, “Remember your promise to me. It is my only hope.”
God’s Word is trustworthy.
Psalm 119:86 says, “All your commands are trustworthy.”
The promises we find in God’s Word can be trusted. The shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth can serve as an example for us. According to Luke 2, the shepherds trusted the angel’s word and went to find Jesus. They found the baby, his mother, and everything just as the angel had said it would be. God’s Word is trustworthy.
Hiding God’s Word in our hearts has many benefits. May we echo the desire of the Psalmist in always keeping God’s Word close to us using it as the compass to guide our lives.
In 1914, Ernest Shackleton and a team of explorers set out from England to do something no one before had accomplished, cross Antarctica from one side to the other across the South Pole. Disaster struck when the team’s ship became entrapped in ice and the hull was eventually crushed. The ship sank, and the team was marooned on nearby Elephant Island. There seemed little hope for their survival.
In a desperate attempt to get help, Ernest and 5 others set out in a 20-foot lifeboat across some of the most dangerous and storm filled waters in the world. It was an 800-mile journey to South Georgia Island where help could be found. For 15 days, the men battled the treacherous seas and massive storms with waves up to 100-feet using only a compass and a sextant. Frank Worsley, who had captained the Endurance, navigated their course until they safely reached land and found help.
The group found another ship and returned to rescue all of the team. Shackleton became a national hero in England for his courage and persistence.
All of us will go through stormy times in life. The uncertainties of tomorrow are many. The level of misinformation we see on a daily basis is extremely high. In these moments, Psalm 119:11 suggests we store up God’s Word to guide us.
The Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” In other words, the Psalmist says, “I have stored up God’s Word so I know the difference between right and wrong and true and false.”
The only way to ensure that we do not go astray is to have an objective source of truth that will guide us just as a compass can guide sailors through dark and uncharted waters. God’s Word can guide us through uncertain and difficult circumstances. We need to trust God’s Word over everything else. Our feelings and emotions can lead us astray, but Scripture can guide us.