Be still and know...

      A prolonged trial, in itself, is not the heart of the struggle that always accompanies.   Adjusting to the new strains and stresses isn’t the greatest test of our mettle.  The greatest challenge is in not allowing ourselves to become bitter about our situation.

      How easy it is to fall into the trap of negative thinking and see only the cloud and never the silver lining.  How quick to curse our plight and luck and forget Who is in control and Who allowed this trial to meet us on the road to success, detouring us from our goal. 

      “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:  But rejoice… that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” 1 Peter 4:12

      How hard it is to be outwardly focused when the situation demands our immediate attention, diverting us from seeing the needs of others.  How much easier it is to abandon the struggle and instead succumb to that voice that tells us we are undeserving of this “punishment.”  Such weakness creates in us a discontentment with our lot, resulting in a wounded and heavy heart… and a bitter spirit.  

      Never having to endure hardship shouldn't be our life-goal.  But enduring it with patience, long-suffering, and yes, even acceptance is the journey’s achievement, and the end result- even if not victorious in the way we would prefer- can be reached with the knowledge that we took what was given to us, and made the best of it.

   “The game of life is not so much in holding a good hand as playing a poor hand well.” –H. T. Leslie

      I believe you are what you think.  If we meditate on the negative, we will become depressed and see only the negative.  On the contrary, if we think about the good –that elusive silver lining - we will begin to see more good and positive results in our lives.  We open the door to what captivates our thoughts and influences our actions.  For every effect there is a cause, a cause with every effect, and a reaction for every action, whether it’s done in deed, spoken, written, or thought.

   “…whatsoever things are true… honest… just… pure… lovely… of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

      As hard as it may be at times to remain cheerful and have a good attitude in all sincerity, coming from a contented heart, I, myself, have much to be thankful for, and if I think on those things, I can be content.  I have God, family and friends.  I have loving parents who sacrifice themselves for me.  I have blessings that surround me with their warmth… and the knowledge that God is in control.

       No matter who abandons me in search of greener pastures.  No matter that I may have lost much of what I formerly considered important.  No matter what others may say about me.  If I keep my focus on God and not man, I will see the truth. 

     “The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.  I said, LORD, be merciful unto me: heal my soul… mine enemies speak evil of me, ‘when shall he die, and his name perish?’  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.  All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.  ‘An evil disease,’ say they, ‘cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.’  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.  But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.  By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemy doth not triumph over me.” Psalms 41:3-13

   “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you…” 1 Peter 5:10

   “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”  Psalms 27:13-14

h. rae

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