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The Imperfect Family: Week 4

The Balance of Pressure

The Imperfect Family: The Balance of Pressure

2 Corinthians 4:8

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

press in

Mark 5:21-34

21And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” 24And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32And he looked around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”


The Breaking Point of External Pressure


2 Corinthians 1:7-9

Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. 8For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 


The Decision Point


Acts 1:8

But you will receive power  when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be  my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


The Action Point

Press on

Psalm 44: 5

Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us.


Romans 12: 9-21

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 10Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 11Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 13Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We put pressure back on the enemy by extending God’s goodness and living out the gospel.

Psalm 55:3

because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.


Micah 3:8

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.

press up

Deuteronomy 28

1“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

7“The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you. They shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways. 8The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you undertake. And he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9The Lord will establish you as a people holy to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10And all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, within the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them, 14and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

15“But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. 16Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. 17Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 19Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

20“The Lord will send on you curses, confusion, and frustration in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. 21The Lord will make the pestilence stick to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 22The Lord will strike you with wasting disease and with fever, inflammation and fiery heat, and with drought and with blight and with mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. 23And the heavens over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you shall be iron. 24The Lord will make the rain of your land powder. From heaven dust shall come down on you until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them. And you shall be a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26And your dead body shall be food for all birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away. 27The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, and with tumors and scabs and itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28The Lord will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind, 29and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind grope in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. And you shall be only oppressed and robbed continually, and there shall be no one to help you. 30You shall betroth a wife, but another man shall ravish her. You shall build a house, but you shall not dwell in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but you shall not enjoy its fruit. 31Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you shall not eat any of it. Your donkey shall be seized before your face, but shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, but there shall be no one to help you. 32Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and fail with longing for them all day long, but you shall be helpless. 33A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors, and you shall be only oppressed and crushed continually, 34so that you are driven mad by the sights that your eyes see. 35The Lord will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.

36“The Lord will bring you and your king whom you set over you to a nation that neither you nor your fathers have known. And there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone. 37And you shall become a horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you away. 38You shall carry much seed into the field and shall gather in little, for the locust shall consume it. 39You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. 40You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. 41You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours, for they shall go into captivity. 42The cricket shall possess all your trees and the fruit of your ground. 43The sojourner who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. 44He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him. He shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.

45 “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you. 46They shall be a sign and a wonder against you and your offspring forever. 47Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, 48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything. And he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the end of the earth, swooping down like the eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, 50a hard-faced nation who shall not respect the old or show mercy to the young. 51It shall eat the offspring of your cattle and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed; it also shall not leave you grain, wine, or oil, the increase of your herds or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish.

52“They shall besiege you in all your towns, until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout all your land. And they shall besiege you in all your towns throughout all your land, which the Lord your God has given you. 53And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. 54The man who is the most tender and refined among you will begrudge food to his brother, to the wife he embraces, and to the last of the children whom he has left, 55so that he will not give to any of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because he has nothing else left, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your towns. 56The most tender and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because she is so delicate and tender, will begrudge to the husband she embraces, to her son and to her daughter, 57her afterbirth that comes out from between her feet and her children whom she bears, because lacking everything she will eat them secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your towns.

58“If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting. 60And he will bring upon you again all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. 61Every sickness also and every affliction that is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring upon you, until you are destroyed. 62Whereas you were as numerous as the stars of heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God. 63And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and multiplying you, so the Lord will take delight in bringing ruin upon you and destroying you. And you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

64“And the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you shall serve other gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65And among these nations you shall find no respite, and there shall be no resting place for the sole of your foot, but the Lord will give you there a trembling heart and failing eyes and a languishing soul. 66Your life shall hang in doubt before you. Night and day you shall be in dread and have no assurance of your life. 67In the morning you shall say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and at evening you shall say, ‘If only it were morning!’ because of the dread that your heart shall feel, and the sights that your eyes shall see. 68And the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.”

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