1 Peter 1: 6-7 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith– of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire– may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” NIV James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” NIV
These passages are ones that I, like many of you, have clung to time and time again in our life here on earth. My question is how many times do we truly look at perseverance through our hardships with a positive perspective??? When a storm comes, our first reaction is not typically, “Oh joy!” But even after the clouds have cleared do we see the positive? Be honest now. I am recovering from an achilles and bone spur surgery repair. To say it has been painful is an understatement. I face six weeks of no weight bearing on that foot, gradual weight bearing progression after that, and then months of therapy to get all function restored. I wish I could say this was my first experience with surgery, and medical setbacks but I also have multiple sclerosis and have had many relapse recoveries with that. In fact, I have relearned to walk twice. (Well three times if you count when I was a baby, LOL) And medical issues are just one category of the valley experiences we face in today’s broken world.
My grandson faced a bullying situation this week at school. How fair is that injustice? He was punched in the eye in gym class for defending the basket. Life is cruel and being affected by these injustices starts at a very young age. With the world needing less of Jesus and relying more on human knowledge and “freedom of choice” in gender identities, moral decisions, and if a baby lives or dies, I fear the battles we will have to persevere through will only grow more abundant instead of less. In the last few months I have a friend who tragically lost her husband, a family lost their dad in his 50’s, cancer diagnosis for a few I can think of, and co-worker struggling with infertility. So how is it possible to be positive with all the negative that I just shared with you? The answer is in the scriptures I started with. Pursue positivity as you persevere.
Our reaction and perseverance through the storm not only tests our faith, it strengthens it and gives us hope. The example of our joy amidst the trials challenges others to increase their faith as well. There is much that God wants us to learn but more importantly to share with those who do not know Jesus. Our home is not here my friends. Thank God, we have a heavenly home that awaits us where there will be no more tears, surgery, bullies or challenges like we face on earth. We are promised a pain free eternal existence with our Lord. So for now, praise God through the storm, for the storm and when the sun comes out. Because Jesus Christ deserves our praise, glory, and honor, now and forevermore! Choose Joy! Choose positivity as you persevere! Choose Christ to carry you through it all my friend! Blessings!