Thursday, August 18, 2011

Success in Our Setbacks

Perseverance: “What we hope to do with ease we must first do with diligence” Samuel Johnson. This is a quote that hangs on my bathroom wall. I joke with Chris’s dad on why it’s in the bathroom. He and I don’t share each other’s style of humor but we do both find it funny on how I selected this room for this quote.

If you have read Tuesday and Wednesday's blog, you will know that we have all decided that sharing each of our stories would be beneficial to explaining the “why now” questions we have been asked. Or better said the why us questions of who among us has insight to dealing with struggles. At first this made complete sense to me. Of course those that we are trying to reach are going to want to know how they could relate to one or a few of us “Wing” people as some have coined the group. But then as I thought about it more, I also look at it from a different angle. Doesn’t everyone have a story? Who can honestly say that throughout their lives they have never struggled with something along the way?

I find myself being very adamant (a word I find myself using a lot lately) that we, the group, us “wing people” are not meant to be an assembly of countable members. I’m striving for everyone that has ever reached out to help another person to see their own wings. To be aware that it is due to us all having a story, a past, and have struggled ourselves, that we have that human nature to comfort others around us.

When I first hung that quote on my bathroom wall, over ten years ago now… I used that saying to push me to achieve at work and to be successful in business. Today I read this quote on perseverance and discover a new meaning for myself. I uncovered within myself that I have overcome many things by pushing through, learning from and applying. To do my very best at being diligent to not repeat any actions that was harmful to me or the people around me. But most importantly I find within myself the divine grace that with God I can persevere from anything life hands me.

Biblical prescriptions for a better life w/ Pastor Paul

Today’s Focus:
Trials in life are common. They happen to all of us. But not all of us know how to handle them well. Today we examine three important principles about problems that will help us respond properly when they enter our lives.

Scripture: James 1:2‑5
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

Main Points:
Things we need to expect. Problems are unavoidable. “... whenever you face ...” (James 1:2). If we don’t have problems, we’d better check our pulse!
Problems are unpredictable. “... whenever you face ...” (James 1:2). Like falling on the ice, it’s not something we can plan.

There’s a story that fits well here about a man riding a subway and getting motion sickness. He was standing by the door and when the train lurched to a stop the doors opened. He lost his “lunch” then and there on a man who was waiting to board the train. He just froze, the doors closed, and the train moved on. Now that’s something that’s unpredictable!

Problems are unique. “... trials of many kinds ...” (James 1:2). Trials come in all sizes, from the front door and from the back door, directly and indirectly, intentional and unintentional, from above and from below, etc.

The purpose of problems. Things we need to know. Problems purify or faith. Like the heat in fire purifies silver and gold. “You know that the testing of your faith ...” (James 1:3).
Problems fortify our patience. “The testing ... develops perseverance ” (James 1:3). Perseverance is staying put under pressure.

Problems sanctify our character. They can make us more like our Heavenly Father. "...So that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything ” (James 1:4). God’s number one purpose for our lives is to mature spiritually like Jesus Christ.

The power for problems. Things you need to do. Rejoice: “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials ...” (James 1:1). To “consider” here means to make up our minds in advance. Request: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). A better idea than asking “why” is to ask “what” is it I’m to learn in the midst of all this? Relax: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt...” (James 1:.6).

Our Final Thoughts:
The Evil One wants to use problems to defeat us!
God wants to use problems to develop us!
James 1:12 shares the reward of our patience and obedience: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
Wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective.

Our prayer for this week is that we expect God in the midst of the unexpected. ~Amen

Sara Lester
(My story is yet to come)

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