Ahhhh the aroma of that first cup of coffee. Getting that first cup of brown, liquid java some mornings doesn't come quick enough. There are so many ways to brew addiction... coffee, whether from a Mr. Coffee coffee pot, a Keurig or a French Press, which I currently use. 

french_press

To make a great cup, only three things are needed. Water, coffee grounds and heat. Using a press, water is heated to 212 F, coffee grounds are added to the bottom of this container, the plunger is removed first. The boiling water is poured over the grounds, replacing the plunger, I let it set for 4 minutes for the coffee to steep. The plunger is then pushed to the bottom of the pot, pressing the water through the grounds resulting in the best cup of coffee to be poured and consumed. 

Think about where a choice up of coffee begins. A green bean is roasted to perfection over heat, crushed to fine grounds, heated with scalding liquid, pressed and poured out.

And so it is with followers of Jesus who have left everything to walk in the dust of their Savior who died for us. God's goal for each disciple is to be conformed to the image of His Son(Romans 8:29). Conforming to look like Jesus will take heat and pressing. (2 Corinthians 4:8) The Greek word for press is

thlib? (thl?'-b?) defined as to press like grapes(BLB)

Pressure, yes,

but not crushed.  

Perplexed, yes

 but not in despair .

Persecuted, yes,

but not abandoned. 

Struck down, yes,

but not destroyed. We do not give up in the pressing because the treasure is the unfading glory of our Savior. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

Sometimes the more humble the container, the more glorious its precious contents appear.(HSCB note)

There is so much to be perplexed about, to feel we are abandoned at times and in despair. Even though we cannot always feel God's presence, He promises to never leave or forsake us. Jesus does know how we feel when the darkness overwhelms and there seems to be no end to the despair. On the cross Jesus cried out, 'my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?' (Matthew 27:46)

The gospel declares to us that God has made Himself close in Christ, holding us even tighter than a mother holds a newborn child. (Isaiah 49:15) When our feelings tell us that is not true, we must defy those feelings with faith in God's promise. J.D. Greear

Feeling pressed today? In despair and feeling the darkness will overwhelm? Faith my friends...God is near.