I will never forget the message a friend of ours preached at our church after our two-year-old daughter died. Everyone was affected by the loss.
Our people were struggling to understand why their pastors had been robbed so terribly. Grief was hovering and people needed help if not answers.
Our friend preached the kind of message only a pastor could minister. He exhorted us to continue doing the things we knew to do.
JUST CARRY ON
There is something about carrying on which makes you and I strong. The temptation in the midst of trauma is to give up, to stop praying, to push the Bible to one side and quit church. That is exactly what the enemy wants for every one of us.
To endure is to carry on irrespective. I was broken hearted in that season but I probably seemed strong. Why? Simply by sticking to God’s plan for my life.
To achieve almost anything in life demands determination. We must be capable of continuing when others might give up. We must be able to withstand pressure without caving in. We must be able to handle failure and be ready to obey no matter the cost. Put simply, to get the best out of life, we need to become strong.
We don’t build our muscles by reading books about weight-lifting. We increase our power by applying hefty pressure in the gym. In the same way, enduring through tough times builds great inner strength.
When we feel weak, we can be strong simply by carrying on. Being consistent when you feel like giving up creates an inner tenacity that will build you up. Continuing through thick and thin makes you resilient.
A large church in Columbia was growing so rapidly that it needed a bigger building and fast. An exciting new sanctuary that could cater for colossal crowds was erected and a dedication service was planned.
The evening before the grand opening, a section of the auditorium unexpectedly collapsed. Thank God, this accident happened during the night and not the following day when the building would have been full to capacity.
Upon inspection, it became clear that one of the pillars was not strong enough to hold up the massive structure. It had not been reinforced nor had it been tested. The pillar had collapsed and taken the entire back section down with it.
POWER OF FAILURE
The kingdom of God needs real pillars: people that will learn to carry the weight of responsibility at home, at church and in the community. It needs steely strong people who are immovable and dependable, whatever the circumstances.
Increasing numbers of successful companies are introducing new recruitment policies. They will not hire people who have not known what it is to fail. Instead, they look for those that have fallen but have demonstrated the strength to get back up again.
The best ways that you and I grow in strength are by getting back up after falling on our faces, and by learning to endure pressure and pain. When you embrace seasons of difficulty as opportunities to grow, you come out the other side with greater stature and stability. You can then look back and be thankful for the transformation.
The truth is that promotion brings new battles. We need to become strong where we are now so that we can endure where we are going. If you look back to before your latest trial began, I think you will see growth that could not have happened any other way. Every day that you endure, you are getting stronger.