September 11, 2019 by Joe Rodriguez
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Most likely you have heard or said one of these popular quotes:
- There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.
- The best is yet to come.
- A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor.
- Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
Encouragement is never too far from those who are blessed with family and friends. And even though technology has downplayed the face-to-face relationships that were once crucial to our emotional health, one can still easily find inspirational quotes and uplifting articles online. Plus, electronic mail and private messages have also made it possible to instantaneously receive words of comfort in times of elevated anxiety. Unfortunately, because we live in a world where there is no objective standard for fairness, there will always be recurring stresses caused by disappointments, apprehensions, and fears. Add to these the insidious ills of life such as tragedies, diseases, and the inevitable consequences of aging and you are faced with a seemingly never-ending cycle of despair. And don’t even think for a moment that those who appear to be living “the good life” don’t experience any of the above, because the fact is that as long as you live in this world, you will have trouble. (John 16:33).
But wouldn’t it be divine to find a source of strength and hope that is just as constant as the inexorable challenges of life? In other words, a place/person/thing that we could depend on daily to provide a defensive block against the effects of earthly trials and afflictions. Well, there is! Not only is it truly divine in nature because it comes from heaven, but it is also immovable, unmatchable, and most of all everlasting! It is none other than the power of godly faith operating in the life of those who have accepted Jesus, the resurrected Christ, as their Lord and Savior. This faith produces an experiential peace that surpasses all human understanding, an inexplicable hope that uplifts the heaviest of hearts, and an anchored assurance that keeps the promise of eternal life in perspective.
Are you living in the power of that faith? Keep in mind that such faith is not to be confused with wishful or positive thinking. There are many who can cope with life’s struggles by simply exercising “mind over matter.” Self-control and the will power to overcome physical/emotional problems are real concepts that can be experienced by most simply because they are an integral part of the human psyche (soul) —They are one of the results of being created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26). But neither self-control nor will power possess the supernatural qualities of the incomparable and ever-increasing Christian faith. For its power is derived from the One who rose from the dead to be the victor over sin and death. It is the only thing that can truly prepare you for, sustain you in, and guide you through the many storms of life (temporary disturbances) which God allows so that we can learn to depend on Him.
No matter how successfully you handle stress in your life if it’s not with goldy faith, then all glory goes to you. And unless you consider yourself all-powerful, self-sufficient and self-absorbed (a narcissist), you will acknowledge that there are trials that are impossible to overcome without divine help. So, whenever you find yourself navigating through rough seas and dark skies, lift up your eyes to the heavens and call upon the One whom the winds obey. Your faith in Him and His word will allow you to see His light break through as He dispels the temporary clouds.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, through you all things were created. You set the stars in their place. You cause the sun to shine and the moon to reflect its glory. You command the winds and calm the raging seas. Help me to keep my eyes focused on You so that when the storms of life darken my days I may be reminded of your great power, mercy, and grace. May they lead me through the clouds and into the light of your eternal glory. Amen!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Then God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…’” – Genesis 1:26
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – 1 Peter 5:10
Waiting for the mist to rise – A beautiful poem by fellow blogger, Dwight L. Roth