Staying strong for God under pressure

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As youths, we face so much pressure, both internally and externally which sometimes makes it very difficult for us to stay strong in the Lord. This pressure may come from our friends (peer pressure), our place of work, living away from home for University, the church we attend or even more common in our generation, through social media.
Some of us may even be experiencing pressure from within, due to self-doubt, a lack of self-confidence or through comparison with others, putting us under pressure to be someone we are not. But how do we stay strong for God despite these pressures? In this blog post, we are going to explore the different ways that we can overcome these pressures and stay strong in the Lord.

Different types of pressure faced by youths

Peer Pressure

Let us first look at peer pressure! Peer pressure is an issue faced by many youths however, it is very rarely dealt with. Peer pressure causes youth to adopt an identity that is not authentic, due to a desire to want to fit in and instead of being a leader, many youths become followers.
Many youths are afraid to stand out, instead, they behave, dress, and even start to think like their peers rather than being their unique self. But, I want you to know that you were not called to fit in, but to stand out. I am sure we are all aware of the question, ‘if everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?’
This can also apply to peer pressure. Just because everyone else is doing it does not mean you must do it too! So how can we stay strong for God despite being faced with peer pressure? Know who you are in Christ and be yourself.

Pressure whilst at university

Let us now look at the pressure faced whilst away at University. Personally, I know that this was a pressure which I struggled with, which made it difficult for me to stay strong in God. Although I was a part of the Christian society and attended church every Sunday, I constantly felt pressurised to live the ‘Uni lifestyle’ as I wanted to fit in. Everyone else was doing it, so why shouldn’t I?
But it was when I got to my second year that I realised how much of an impact these things were having on my spiritual life, but through the Grace of God, I overcame the pressure. This may sound familiar to you, but I really want to encourage the youth who are currently in University as it so easy to get lost in the different types of pressure faced when you are in the University environment. 

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you – Deuteronomy 31:6
Remember the home you came from, remember the God you serve. Find a church to attend, surround yourself with like-minded people and understand that it is okay to say NO! (Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you – Deuteronomy 31:6).

Pressure from social media

In society today, a major pressure faced by youth stems from social media, which can make it very difficult to stay strong in the Lord. Technology can be so useful however, I am sure that you will agree with me that social media can stand as a major distraction to us as youth.
Pressure from social media can result in comparing yourself to others, pretending to be someone you are not and spending time that you can be spending with God on Facebook or Instagram. If this is a pressure that you face, take some time out often to take a social media break and spend more time with God.

Ways to stay strong for God under pressure

So, we have identified some of the pressures that we face as youth and some of the ways we can stay strong when faced with these pressures. Let us now look at a few additional steps which we can use to assist us with staying strong in God.

  • Stay connected

The first thing that we need to make sure we do when faced with pressure is to stay connected with God. It is very common amongst the youth to turn away from church and God when faced with pressure, rather than relying on God for his help.

If the battery for your phone is dead or is running low, you will plug your phone/charger into the main plug supply to regain battery. The same way, if you are feeling weak and running low on your spiritual energy due to increased pressure, you need to reconnect with the Source, which is God.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
We need to remember that we are not strong in our own ability, but through the Grace of God. Do not stop praying, reading the Word or going to church. Rather than focus on the pressure you are facing, focus on God.

  •  Surround yourself with people that will pray for you and uplift you when you are feeling weak or under pressure

All of us need people around us when we are weak or under pressure. You may not want to speak about it but, do not be afraid to tell the people close to you of your struggles, and through prayer the Lord will strengthen you in Jesus Name.

  • Don’t give up

And very importantly, never give up! Although pressure may always seem to be a negative thing, majority of the time it is needed for us to grow. A diamond is usually described as being created under pressure. Pressure is likely to come, but the important thing is how we deal with it.

Are you patient enough to allow the pressures you face to build your character? Take a moment to dwell on this point!

Now I encourage you again, do not give up!

Bible verses to help you stay strong in faith whilst under pressure

Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Isaiah 40:29-31 – He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

1 Timothy 4:12 – Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

Do any of these pressures sound familiar to you? Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, Amen.

God bless you.

Author: Pro. Maria Tayo

Blogger and Contributor

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