May 10, 2021
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”—2 Corinthians 1:8–9
Take time with Me, even if it is just for a few minutes, to release the pressure. Take a few minutes here and there, and release the pressure by singing a song, reading a verse, praising Me, quoting a quote, or saying sweet words of praise. Those few moments when you are looking up to Me and enter into My presence will release the pressure and take the weight from your shoulders.
I have never failed you and I won’t fail you now, no matter how much you have to do, no matter how much you have to take care of and are responsible for. You are My responsibility, and I will not fail you. I am responsible to take care of you so that you are able to do what I have called you to do. I promise that as you look to Me for the help that you need, I will relieve the pressure so that you can relax and find rest in Me.
As you lean on Me and look to Me, you will feel My Spirit strengthening you. You will feel My presence surrounding you, helping and upholding you. So just rest in Me, lean on Me, and let Me uphold you. The burdens will never be too great if you give them to Me. The to-do list will never be too long, and the pressure will never overcome you as long as you come to Me when you are heavy laden and call on Me for help.
I will supply the grace and the strength and the anointing for each job or challenge you face. I will relieve the feeling of pressure and the discouragement it causes. I will replace the restlessness, worries, and concerns with My rest. My Word has the power to restore your spirit and bring peace and rest. So come to Me when you are stressed and under pressure and I will give you rest.
Gaze at Me; glance at problems—this is the secret of living victoriously. Your tendency is to gaze at problems for prolonged periods of time, glancing at Me for help. This is natural for someone with a fallen mind living in a fallen world. However, I have called you to live supernaturally, and I have empowered you to do so. The Holy Spirit, who lives in all My followers, enables you to live beyond yourself—to transcend your natural tendencies.
Ask My Spirit to help you fix your gaze on Me. Invite Him to alert you whenever you get overly focused on problems so you can redirect your attention to Me. This is hard work, because it is not only unnatural but also countercultural. … All these influences working together put massive pressure on you to pay attention to your problems—or else! So you need the assistance of My Spirit continually. Ask Him to help you deal with difficulties as needed, while reserving the bulk of your attention for Me—your constant Companion.
Relax in My peaceful presence. Do not bring performance pressures into our sacred space of communion. When you are with someone you trust completely, you feel free to be yourself. …
I know the worst about you, but I also see the best in you. I long for you to trust Me enough to be fully yourself with Me. When you are real with Me, I am able to bring out the best in you: the very gifts I have planted in your soul. Relax, and enjoy our friendship.1
There is a time and a purpose under heaven for all things: a time to work, a time to rest. A time to seek, a time to find. A time to pray, a time to relax. It is important to take time to rest when it is time to recoup and be strengthened.
It is so easy to think that it’s not possible to take a pause, as the weight is too much. There is too much to do, too much work that has accumulated, too many balls that will be dropped. But if you take the time to step back and rest, I will give you the freshness of mind and new perspective that you need.
Don’t worry about what is ahead or what is not being accomplished. As you take a pause, I can show you how to best accomplish what needs to be done. I can speak to you, and you will hear Me clearly when your mind isn’t cluttered with all there is to do, and the worries, cares, and affairs of this life.
When you take time away from your work, you will find clarity of mind, heart, and spirit. You will find clarity in your thinking and renewal of your outlook. You will see your work in a new light, and the things that seemed so heavy will be lighter, as you will face them with renewed strength.
It is not enough to rest only in spirit, you also need to rest from all your labors. Your body houses your spirit, and when it is weary and under constant strain and stress, your spirit becomes weary. Your body needs sleep and recreation, and your spirit needs to rest in prayer and with the infilling of My Word. As you take the time to rest in body and in spirit, you will be strengthened and refreshed in Me.
Pressure is something that builds up slowly and becomes greater with time. It can become so great if left unchecked, that it can cause an explosion. But it starts out slowly, and if you bring the weight and burdens to Me consistently, it can stay small and manageable. Although you may still have to carry many weights and responsibilities, if you place these in My care, I will help you to shoulder them.
It is not My will for you to be overcome by pressure and the weights of everyday life. Pressure causes you to worry and keep your eyes fixed on the load and the work, instead of on My Word and My promises to you. Even though the work and the load are still there, you can rest in knowing that I have called and chosen you, and ordained and anointed you to be able to carry it, and I will not give you more than you can bear. Even if the load seems too big and the deadlines are looming before you, and there seems to be too much to do, you don’t have to allow pressure to build up in your life.
The way to counter pressure is to continually cast all your cares on Me. Release the pressure by looking up to Me. Trust that when the load is heavier, I will give you a greater anointing. When the to-do list grows longer, I will give more grace. When the deadlines grow closer, I will give you courage and clarity of mind. All this I will give you as you continue to look to Me and cast your burdens on Me. Cast on Me every care, every worry, every question, every thought, every concern, every load.
Remember that I am always with you. I am by your side, connected to you, and My desire is to supply your needs. Come quietly and slip into My presence. Set aside the things that are on your mind and heart and look to Me, simply having faith that I am always with you, and will never leave nor forsake you.
Originally published in 1997, unless otherwise indicated. Adapted and republished May 2021. Read by Jon Marc. Music by Michael Dooley.
1 Sarah Young, Jesus Today (Thomas Nelson, 2012), and Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Thomas Nelson, 2010).
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