How do we respond when life knocks us down? As the fictional boxer, Rocky Balboa once said, “it’s not how hard you hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward that counts“. Sounds good, but admittedly, there are those times, we simply don’t feel like we can move forward. For it seems like we can’t catch a break as troubles surround us, and we feel consumed by them. However, as we know, these are the unfortunate realities of a fallen world, but we never are without hope. For God promises, that even though we will have trouble in this world, we don’t have to worry because He already overcame them all. We simply need to trust and rely on His promise to turn our troubles into treasures for His glory and our good as we pursue three primary roles in faith:
To Lead: No matter what roles we have in life, as disciples of Christ we are all equipped to help point and lead others to Christ. Many times, it’s how we respond to the troubles in our life that serve as this gateway. People see how we respond, how we handle them and see Christ work in and through us. Then of course, we get to share the good news driving our reasons for hope. Thus, serving as the Godly leaders He calls us to be (Matthew 5:16).
To Love: Without Godly love, both trials and triumphs are empty. Yet when His love propels our motives, we are able to look past our personal biases and preferences in order to share Christ’s love with all, even those who persecute us (John 13:34). For many of us, this kind of love is difficult because it requires a level of sacrifice and vulnerability on our part. For we may get hurt and even rejected – and none of us like that. However, when we trust God and allow ourselves to love as He calls us too, even the hardest of hearts can be transformed, including our own. For sharing love with others does something to us, it changes us as it impacts others – expanding our capacities and our abilities beyond anything we ever imagined possible.
To Lift: As we serve as Christian leaders in our homes, communities and workplaces, we begin to seize more of the opportunities God sends our way to love others in ways only God can empower us to. As a result, we find that a lifting occurs -a lifting of Spirit whose Holy hands reach out through ours to encourage and bless lives with the Lord our hearts boldly raise and praise (Ephesians 4:29).
Application: “Fruits Of Forward Focus” – Philippians 3:13-21
I am thankful for my loving parents and step-parents. Yet, I still recall the impact divorce had on me as a young child. It created barriers in my heart I didn’t even realize were there until God began peeling them away. I was afraid to love others. I doubted love and questioned what true love was. However, God began breaking these chains that surrounded my heart as He revealed His love to me and began empowering me to love others – despite my feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and mistrust. Over the years, I now see how far He has moved me and has moved others because I was willing to trust the Creator of love. I still have much to learn, but today, I am eager and trust in where it leads. Thus, may we always submit to allow God to dictate the way we lead, love and lift others.