So often, the things of this world take us by surprise.
In troubled times, it is so easy to get discouraged and downhearted. There are many adjectives to describe this emotional reaction to difficulty. One word that sums most of them up is stress. The dictionary has a plethora of definitions for stress such as,
“a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part”,
“a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.”
However, the definition I want to focus on here is,
“a state resulting from a stress–especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium” (Merriam-Webster, 2020).
We know that these stressors and the many emotional implications they incite will emphatically force their way into our lives. At times they are more profound than others, but they are always present in one fashion or the other.
It is how we react to those things that determines the impact they will have on us.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; (KJV, James 1:2)
This verse speaks to us of the many afflictions that may beset us in a fallen world. It speaks not only of those things that tempt us to evil, but also those trials in our lives that tempt or test our faith.
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh Patience. (KJV, James 1:3)
The fruit of these many temptations, if properly reacted to, will be patience.
Because He had told us this, we can trust in Him. Thus keeping our focus on Jesus.
When Peter stepped out of the boat (security) to join our Savior in the storm (spiritual warfare), he was keeping his focus on the Lord.
But, as soon as he took his eyes off of the Master what happened?
He began to focus on the waves and the raging storm encompassing him. Then, just as we in times of despair, he began to fall away from the LORD.
When we focus on the circumstances in life or the sin that we continually give in to, we give power where power is not supposed to be.
And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV, Matt. 28:18-20)
We must focus on the mission God has given us, rightly giving Jesus Christ the power over our lives.
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace