Like Solomon wrote, "There nothing new under the sun", with that in mind being under pressure is nothing new. James was writing to the 1st century church who was encountering great and intense pressure. Persecution dispersed the new church so do we live our faith in our heads or live it our in our lives? There was the pressure to compromise when temptation arose or shrink back in times of trial. Then there was the pressure to tank into prejudicial preference when new people came into the church. What about the pressure of controlling the tongue (gossip/rumors/etc.)? Have you ever gave in to the pressure of having your own way? How about getting even when mistreated? James encouraged the believers to allow these pressures to drive them deeper in their relationship with Jesus. Pressure can be a positive thing that leads one to experience the prescence and power of God.
Running from conflict is not the answer but learning how to deal with it in a healthy, God honoring way is the thing to do. God wants to work his will in the middle of our conflicts, so don't fret. If you allow Him to work in our lives He will show us the sources and the solutions to our conflicts.
We will be finishing up this quarter, with a special focus session, "Thank you, Lord" based in Psalm 100:1-5.
The next quarter theme is, "Experiencing New Life in Christ" Romans 1:1 - 8:27 that will be for seven weeks and the second half of the quarter promises to be thought provoking. As I stated earlier the Bible does not shrink back or shy away from difficult issues (Is every life sacred? Does God really exists? What about those who have never heard about Jesus? Is the Bible trustworthy? If God is good, why is there suffering?)
So let me encourage you to come on out to Sunday School and join us in one of the discussion groups. For further information see our webpage < http://parkhillschurch.org> or our Face Book page.