Yesterday, I posted THIS post about the reality that all years contain a mixture of good things and hard things. Depending on the level of “hard,” it can become difficult to maintain a heart of anticipation and joy about the future instead of dread about the trials to come. When I drove up the driveway after work on September 9 last year and water was coming down the driveway from the house, I knew whatever happened wasn’t good, and I knew the problem wasn’t going to be fixed in a day.
I bowed my head for a minute, took a deep breath, and told myself the truth I often recite. “Laurie, nothing has changed between yesterday and today. Your circumstances have changed, but not how you handle the day.”
This is one of my constant recitations. It hard to do, yet as simple as that. The principle is solid and calming for the following reasons:
First, the trial happened for the good of God’s Kingdom, or it would not have happened. If we LET trials have their way, they improve our ability to reflect God’s nature to the world.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:4, NASB 1995)
Second, a light can’t shine brightly in daylight. Suffering gives us an opportunity to shine in a way that people notice. People are watching. Let’s do well for them and the reputation of Jesus.
Third, trials test our faith. We get to say to God, “See, I really mean it when I say I trust you.”
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)
The flood was difficult.
It happened to occur the day I came home to write a talk on forgiveness to give at church the following Wednesday. The timing meant I wrote amidst the deafening roar of industrial fans placed strategically to dry out every inch of our first floor. Not fun, but I was able to trust that the struggle was necessary for me to be the vessel I needed to be for my audience.
Though the flood was difficult, neighbors on the street I live on and pray for were suddenly rallying around me to offer help and lend me advice. I know my neighbors better today than I did this time last year.
Though the flood was difficult, my furniture was delivered back four days before Christmas and my house is now prettier than it was before.
The entire physical process mirrored the spiritual process in which we all participate.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
In these truths, each of us can face 2022 – and every year – with confidence.
- How we live each day does not change; Walk with God and go to bed.
- We can relish all the good that comes our way (which some will), and we can trust the difficult things will make us better able to glorify God with our lives.
Picture Explanation: The last picture on the left was taken two days before Christmas, which means the last picture on the right was a miracle, taken one day later. Walk closely with God and have a heart and eyes to appreciate all good things. Watch Him show up for you every day. He will.
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