It is interesting, I got an email from a person a few weeks ago asking why I share the bad things that happen in my life.
I started to write her an email, but I thought “HEY… this would be a great article and hopefully I can use it to encourage others.”
So why do I share all of our life’s woes?
First – like it or not, people think that when you are in the ministry all of a sudden you are put under the invisible force field and from that point on you are showered with rainbows and unicorns.
Well it ain’t so. In fact when you are in the ministry you are hit even harder, especially if you are making an impact in the arena / mission that you are called to.
We must be making a huge impact because everything is still going wrong. Just today I went to finally pick up my car that has been in the shop now for F I V E W E E K S…yeah five. I start driving it home and it is bucking and choking but worse now. Did I tell you the mechanic had I for five weeks?
Here is something to think about. We don’t seem to use the word “perseverance” very often anymore.
Maybe it’s because it’s got the word “severe” in it. Or, maybe it’s because it seems a bit old-fashioned, you know, that old fashioned King James Bible English.
We tend to lean more towards words like winning, succeeding, finishing. But here it is, the biblical mandate: persevere.
Which leads me to my second point.
Second – I share a lot of what is going on in our lives because I hope that people do see that we are persevering and that and when they see all the muck life is throwing at us, maybe people will not think their life so bad.
OR… that they see that if we can do it, they can do it to.
Just so you know, when I see a homeless vet living on the street or some of these other down trodden souls, it helps remind me that maybe I need to persevere even harder.
Third – this is probably what I think of often when we are facing trials and piss-poor mechanics. When we are at our lowest, God is at His greatest. I have been doing more praying, more leaning, more reaching out to Him, more asking for prayers than I have in a long time.
I do see Him working in my life and I have to remember that HE is the one in charge and not me.
I am reminded of a few verses in James.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Trials produce character. That is, if we persevere through the trials. If at the moment things get difficult there are times that we want to change course, divert from the goal or even turn around and run the other way.
But if we allow that to happen, then not only have we abandoned the work, but we have lost the opportunity to grow as leaders.
Folks, like it or not, we are the remnant.
We are the leaders of tomorrows church. We can’t depend on all those fancy preachers on TV with perfect aerodynamic hair and big shiny teeth.
Living our best life now and our purpose driving life ain’t working for many either and so many churches are going down the drain because they are letting in this feel good sugar coated junk thinking that is what people need.
If you have gotten this far, then it is probably you that I am talking to. You could consider yourself part of the remnant. Those of us who love God, love His Word, and strive to bring the gospel to the world.
We are living in a day where resilience is needed. Resilience helps grow our spiritual resistance to things that are false. It is that resistance which causes sparks to fly and the gears to start churning away again.
This is something that the church has been in dire need of for a long time.
People willing to stand up and plow through the muck that life hurls at us.
In the US Army it was drilled into our heads “Mission First”
One of the greatest books that I ever read that reminded me so much of all the training we did when I was in Special Ops is
No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army’s Elite Rangers – http://tinyurl.com/PZ-Ranger-Leadership
Here is a great truth that I have learned over the years being in the ministry.
The most mature believers and the best leaders know how to persevere.
Whether or not they know the duration of the effort, the struggles ahead, the distance to the finish line–or even whether there is a finish line–they keep going.
One foot in front of the other.
Progressing one inch at a time.
Each day a new opportunity to start again.
People who persevere hold to a conviction that plodding ahead pleases God, even when there is no applause and no immediate reward.
Can you relate to this?
It is interesting, thinking back to James We are called to have joy when life is tossing all the muck it can.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
You want to know what? Even though I am terribly disappointed that my car STILL DOES NOT RUN, I am not in some great depressed state or anything like that.
To be honest I have no idea what I am going todo. God is going to have to help me with a solution somehow.
So knowing that, there is a certain amount of joy and peace.
NOW we tend to undercut joy in our lives because the modern watered down sugar coated churches teach that it is the same thing as pleasure or comfort.
Folks, here is a newsflash …Joy is not the same thing as enjoyment.
Look at it this way. It is joy that keeps a parent plodding ahead during the challenging years of that teenagers rebellion years looking for the maturing. Now, the enjoyment does comes in brief spurts.
So in our spiritual walk the joy comes from a deep inner conviction knowing that the thing you doing is right in the eyes of God’s.
Do you know that I started Prophezine back in 1991 as an internet ministry?
Look how long we have persevered and stuck with it . We have had our ups and downs and so many trials we lost count a long time ago.
We have learned to plow through the muck that life hurls at us and just keep pushing forward.
Joy is able to meet trials head on because it gives hope in the face of the trials.
Like today, I am not happy, but I know that some solution will come and hopefully we will be able to get our car fixed.
Please pray for us and pray for our car. Pray that God will provide a solution and that the solution will not cost an arm and a leg.
Pray for us that we can maintain and persevere.
Pray that God will lead us to someone who will help us get our car fixed and fixed the first time.
Pray that we can get a respite from the muck that life keeps tossing our way.
Prophezine is NOT Funded…
Prophezine is not funded by the government like NPR.
Prophezine is not funded by the government like PBS.
Prophezine is not a 501c3 and taking its blessing from Caesar.
Prophezine relies on individuals like you to help us share the gospel and the blessed hope of His soon return.
Please also pray that we get more PZ Insiders.
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Thanks to all those who stand in the gap with Tracye and I. You make a difference not only in our lives, but the lives that Prophezine touches.
In His Service,
Ray & Tracye Gano