In times of societal upheaval, many become uneasy. This uneasiness often awakens a deeper need for some kind of assurance for stability. Outward pressures have a wearying effect on the emotions. What is it that gives the heart this stability?
The ancient Greeks figured something out. Heraclitus, in particular, taught that there was a governing principle that held everything else together. He called it logos. He knew IT held everything together but he wasn’t sure what IT was. John, the Beloved, later identified what the logos was that holds everything together. He opened the Gospel of John with this understanding. John 1:1-4 says, “In the beginning was the word (logos), and the word (logos) was with God, and the word (logos) was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
So, we see that the logos is not merely a governing principle, but a living person.
Paul, the Apostle, wrote about this in Colossians 1:17 saying, “And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” What is holding your life together? This stability our hearts crave when facing pressures of all kinds is found in the One who holds all thing together.
Now that is another word used in the Greek language that means oppression, stress, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing and distress. You get the picture.
Jesus mentions this word. He knew pressures would come to you and me. Have you felt stressed? Do you see the culture facing adversity? Do you know people who are going through some tough things? Are you? Where do you go, what do you do, how do you respond, when you feel personally pressured? When the squeeze is on, many rely on outward aids instead of inward support. Outward aids can be vices, which when given over to, result in a negative impact upon our lives. Something that even starts innocently enough can grow up and ruin someone’s entire life. Things like loneliness and feelings of rejection can serve as pressures that push people to do what can end up hurting them.
This word pressure was translated as the word tribulation in John 16:33 — “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
You may have figured out that this is Jesus talking here. He was not referring to some kind of religion. He was referring to himself.
Jesus faced immense pressure. He went through a brutal whipping and a merciless crucifixion. So, if anyone can relate to pressure, it would be him. He overcame it. He rose again. That’s why he can make outrageous promises to us. If you seek him, He will hold everything together in your life while it’s under pressure. He is the stability in the upheaval and He is waiting to talk with you.