Updated: Aug 23, 2021
Seems to be a thought that runs through my mind on many occasions but as I struggled through a few rough days recently I once again was reminded that growth comes during the trials and tribulations. Learning to embrace every season of your life may very well be the lesson that is the hardest to comprehend but the one that truly deserves the time and dedication to capture not only in your mind but to take root in your soul. The realization that you are never truly alone is the foundational building block to enabling this concept of maintaining joy and peace regardless of the surrounding circumstances in your life.
Exactly what kind of testimony am I to the world if I only am joyful and content when things are going well and all is running smoothly. Anyone can be content during the good times but it takes spiritual maturing and deep-rooted faith in God to maintain the contentment when things are going sideways at a rapid speed.
Where does your mind go when life starts booting in your front door? Do you start looking around and becoming angry and offended because you notice someone you think of as unworthy seems to be receiving blessings while you are struggling? Stop that mindset as it only leads to despair and dark places. But you don’t need to beat yourself up over it either. Even Peter asked “what about” another disciple in John 21:20-22, and if you read it you will see that Jesus politely told Peter, “what is that to you? You follow me.” A polite way of telling him/me/you to mind our own business and just keep your eye on Jesus. His timing for our lives and our blessings is perfect even if we may think this is taking way too long.
If we ask the sincere question of “God, what do you want me to do?” instead of the desperate cry when we have exhausted ourselves trying to empower our own life and asking the same question out of sheer desperation, your pathy may become easier to follow and better lit. The "poor me’s" have no place in my life. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I am trying to help somebody else. But recently I have begun to ask myself exactly what am I doing to make anyone else’s life a bit better. I truly believe that the number one calling in my life is simply to love people. Simply, well it certainly isn’t a simple act, as opening up and truly loving people comes with a cost. Loving people is expensive in many ways. Love cost Jesus his life.
I/we have to remember to be truly happy for others who are being blessed even if we aren’t. In this dark world, we need to step out and turn on the lights and that takes work, not words. Words are indeed cheap. Forgiveness walks hand in hand with loving people. If we/I truly want to be obedient to what God asks us to do, he has asked us to forgive.
A few things I try to remember and to do are:
· Remember that hurting people hurt people
· To continue to love those who may not deserve love
· Stop talking to others about what others have done to me
· Forgive quickly
· Pray for them
You can always do what God asks you to do, he provides the ability.
Unfortunately, many are so used to the feelings of anger and being offended that they can’t break the stronghold until they get real and truly take a good look within. How do I know this? I used to be this, but no longer. That isn’t to say that I never get or feel angry or offended, but I shake it off much quicker than ever before. God’s grace is amazing. I know that I never have to face anything alone. The difference it has made in my life is astounding.
We/I have caused hurt and been hurt; we/I have all caused offense or been offended; we/I all have good times and hard times; however, how we respond to the situations is the true test of character and faith in God. If we can show the world that our faith, peace, hope, joy, and belief in God never waivers regardless of the circumstances then I truly believe that others will notice and will want a piece of whatever it is we have.
Shine on everyone, we never know who may be watching us for inspiration.