Title: Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress
Author: Shelby Abbott
Publisher: New Growth Press
Publication Date: April 22nd 2019
As a fresh graduate, entering what one call’s “the real world”, how are we supposed to live with all these new found freedoms from a Christian perspective? In Shelby Abbott’s Pressure Points: A Guide to Navigating Student Stress he addresses what life throws at you as you enter into the transition to adulthood. Throughout Abbott’s book he touches on a wide variety of “pressure points” that can be a huge factor for stress and anxiety and supplements these points with biblical wisdom he has given and used himself through the years of being a college student and engaging with college students on a daily basis.
I love that Abbott’s book is focused on the culture we live in at hand. Rather than shaming the millennial generation, he builds them up as leaders of the next generation. In Pressure Points Abbott talks about purity, technology and people pleasing, and purpose. He covers a huge variety of topics seamlessly. Pressure Points is a great tool not only for high school graduates, college students, but anyone who is known as the “millennial generation”.
Shelby Abbott has written a wonderful guide that is extremely quotable and easily applicable. While Pressure Points did take me a while to read in comparison to other novels I have been able to read, it was due to the heaviness of the text. When you pick up Pressure Points, expect to mediate of godly counsel and the Word of God. Pressure Points by Shelby Abbott is a 5 out 5 stars. This guide is one of a kind, jam packed full of godly wisdom for the millennial generation, and applicable to the culture we live in today.
A big thank you to Net Galley for supplying this book as well as the Publishers New Growth Press for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderful book! I also want to thank you Shelby Abbott for speaking into the millennial generation and talking on a wide range of topics that are usually brushed under the rug. I will be sharing this guide to many.
Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. Acts 16:25-26 TPT
There are three things I briefly want to touch on in these 2 verses.
One being, there were people surrounding Paul & Silas who were listening to their prayers and praises to God.
The second thing is that even in the midst of being “chained down” and imprisoned, they still praised God for how good he is.
The third being, because of the power of their praise and prayer, it set other people who were bound down free. Their praise shook the very foundation where they were held captive and bound down.
In conclusion, the very words we speak to the father and the praises that come put of our mouth are powerful and yes, people are listening. They may not say they are, but people’s true desire in their heart is the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstance, even if we feel bound, we should be inclined to have communion with Abba and praise him. He never changes and his love endures. Therefore, our praise should be endless too. Our praise can be the very thing that not only sets us free but shakes the foundations of hell (prison one is entrapped in) and sets other people free around us too.
At first glance, you see that Paul and Silas prayer & praise set them free. Yet, in reality, it shook the foundation that kept them and others captive. Their prayer and praise broke the chains that bound them down and set them free into what God had called them to do.
My encouragment to you this morning is, in every circumstance pray and praise. God hears every word you speak and your praise to the father loosens things that have tried to keep you bound! Not only that, but people are watching. Do not be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. My prayer is that our prayer and praise is so contagious is free’s others just as Paul and Silas.
The words you speak, the prayers you give unto the father, and the praise you bring are all contagious and have the power to shake the foundations of hell. God has given you to the power to praise and pray in every circumstance. Even when you are not sure what to say, the spirit will speak for you. When you feel weary, he will give you strength. When you feel bound, he sets you free. When you feel like you are just surviving, he brings you to a place of living abundantly!
There is nothing he won’t do for us.
In every circumstance pray and praise. You never know what new freedom is awaiting you or the freedom it may bring to who you are surrounded by. There is nothing God won’t do. Hell cannot stand a chance. The victory is already won. For the power, the glory, are yours Lord forever and ever. Amen!
Scripture for Meditation & Application
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalms 34:1 NKJV
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalms 47:1 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
Hey everyone! As you guys know, we talk alot about Jeus and alot about mental health. I am actually in college right now conducting a research project on Cyberbullying. If you could take this anonymous short survery I would appreicate it so much!
Thanks for always supporting what God has called us to do on Speak Life-A Blog (Spreading Christ’s Love No Matter Where You Go)
I began to toss and turn at 3:30am, trying to make myself calm down enough so there was a chance I may get some rest before I left for Houston in the morning for a marriage retreat. I knew I needed rest. Not only was my body completely and utterly drained, but my mind was racing. Racing in a way it hadn’t raced in 2 years since I have been healed of mental illness. I knew this worry wasn’t from God.
Yes, I had 4 chapters to read, 3 assignments to complete, a 3 hour drive to Houston, and a marriage retreat to complete. Right then at that very moment, I had a restless mind thinking about the things I had to do later on in the week. *Breathe Tanja, breathe*
I casted all my worries of not being able to finish my homework by the deadlines and was STILL tossing and turning. I looked at my phone, now 4:30am.
I need to de-stress myself. My best way of doing this is a candle-lit hot bath accompanied by a lavender bath bomb. I laid in the tub…at 4:30 in the morning and just closed my eyes, completely vulnerable in the midst of Abba’s presence and spoke, “Okay God, I know that I either need to pray for someone or I need to listen.”
*I intently listened to what God had to say*
God: You need to do this more often…take care of yourself. You know that this anxiety and stress you have been feeling isn’t from me. You keep trying to rest in your own way. But the rest that your body and soul needs is found in me. Only me.
Me: But how am I supposed to get through right now? Am I supposed to stop doing all these things? I thought you called me to do them?
God: You know the saying you always say, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?”
Me: *sighs* Yes…
God: I would rather you take one class and give more to the women and youth you are leading. I will give you the strength till next semester. But rest in me, find your strength in me, and know that I am so proud of you.
All my anxiety seemed to dissipate into the heavenly realm as I soaked in God’s presence. I sat in the candle-lit bath surrounded with peace and plans to prosper.
God spoke a couple things to me:
Stop trying to do thing in my own strength
He can make even anxiety at 3:30am turn into something beautiful. (Literally Soaking in his presence)
I need to have more of an ear to listen
Take one class next semester
I can only find true rest, in him
He will give me strength to get through these next couple weeks
He is proud of the seeds I’ve been planting
Trust in him and his plan
I have not dealt with anxiety like that in 2 years. It was not from God, but he did turn it out for the good and used it for intimate time in his presence. We need to lay everything at his feet and trust in him and his plan. Even if it doesn’t line up with our “graduation date”, his plan is perfect. We can sleep 12 hours and still not be restored because the rest we need is found in him. During quiet time, sometimes we actually need to be quiet. God wants to speak into us. Even if we are struggling to get by, if we ask God for strength, he will give it to us. Last but not least, let us not grow weary in doing good. We will reap what we sow.
Even though I did not get much sleep before the marriage retreat, I wouldn’t of traded that time with God for sleep. I literally soaked in his presence & a supernatural peace came over me as I listened to what he had to say. I casted my cares upon him through prayer and he heard me and spoke.
Is there something you need to lay at his feet today? Or maybe you just need to listen and find rest in him. Either way, he is waiting to hear from you.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”-Galatians 6:9 NLT
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”-1 Peter 5:7 NLT
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”-Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT