Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lenten Reflection #28: Never Give Up

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
James 1:12 NIV

The trails of life suck.  There I said it.  It is true.

Even though James tells us to consider it pure joy when ever we face trails and hardships it still does not mean that those times are not unfair or that the don't suck.  They suck the joy and the life out of us.  They are difficult.  They are hard for us.

Just because we are following Jesus does not mean that we are immune from difficulty, tragedy, and hardships of life.  Nothing in the the bible guarantees us rainbows and roses. In fact, Jesus said in this world we will have troubles.  Any preaching or teaching otherwise is just not true.

What God does promise us is that he will be with us in the midst of the tragedy and the difficult circumstances of life. He does not abandon you and me when things get tough he surrounds us, sustains us and hurts with us.  That is what the cross reveals to us.  If we want to see where Jesus is in the pain and the tragedy of this world all we have to do is look at the cross.  He takes on our pain.  He experiences our hurt.  He is with us, bringing life into and out of our troubles and trials. When those situations and circumstances try to suck the life and joy from us they cannot.  Jesus is life and joy even in the midst of our darkness.  He shines light in our darkest times.  A light that the darkness cannot consume.

James says what we need to do and why we can consider it joy is because Jesus is with us and we just need to hang on to Jesus and not give up.  Because we will see Him even in the darkest moments.  Just hold onto Jesus and don't let go because he works in all situations for good. Even the worst and most tragic of situations.  By never giving up will will experience  God like never before.  We will experience that God really is wholly adequate to save us and sustain us.  When we persevere and don't give up on Jesus we will  know, with all that we are, that Jesus is all that we need.  We will experience the power of the resurrection.  We will experience death transformed to life, sadness to joy, darkness to light.  We experience the blessing of knowing, seeing, and living in the favor of God.

There are situation and circumstances of life that may never make sense to us.  There are moments and trails of life that will try to suck the life out of us.  Just hang on to Jesus and never give up.  He is with us and he will get us through it and we will experience God in ways we had never imagined possible without our troubles.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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