Sometimes Things Don’t Change

Usually when we think about our struggles in this life we want things to change; and for the better. But as all of us who have lived more than a few years know; sometimes they don’t. In fact there are times when things get worse.

A marriage in trouble will sometimes end in divorce. Often it’s a divorce that one of the people wants and the other doesn’t. Or a new job that we desperately want is given to someone else. A young person in love for the first time finds that the love of his/her life doesn’t feel about them the way he/she feel about them, and never will.

All of these things cause us pain and when we are in pain we want the pain to go away, and quickly. We cry out to God and ask Him to make it all better, but often He doesn’t. And we ask; “I thought God loved me?”

In my years on earth I’ve learned that there are times when the only thing we can do with pain is endure it, but that doesn’t mean that we are to remain “static” in these situations. No, there is something that we can, and should do.

Paul, in his letter to the church in Phillipi, gives us a formula to rise above “static existence” in the storms of life. We find in the 4th chapter of his letter.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It begins with rejoicing in the thing that matters most in this life and the next; Jesus. Paul thinks this so important that he says it again; rejoice. He reminds us that running around kicking and screaming because life isn’t fair, (we all know that life isn’t fair because our parents told us that early in life) isn’t the way to go through the storms of life. Rather seek to have a gentle attitude and posture in life. Remember, Jesus is always near.

Then, let go of your anxiety. You say that it is difficult, and I agree, so do what Paul says; pray, let God know what you desire, but always pray with thanksgiving because the most important thing, your relationship with Jesus, is intact and your final destination is assured.

Then comes the great promise; God’s peace, not the peace of this world, which is beyond our ability to understand it or dissect it, will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I don’t know how this works so I can’t explain it to you (remember it’s beyond our ability to understand), but I can tell you that it works and it’s true.

With this very real promise we can go through the storms of life and not just endure, but grow. With this promise at work in our lives we can find peace. With this promise we can be sources of strength to others even when our storms life seem that they should be overwhelming us.

Sometimes when bad things happen to us, they don’t change but that doesn’t mean that we can’t be transformed in those times. Transformed to be more like Jesus.

And if we don’t learn this important lesson, and each time a storm hits us we become more and more disillusioned by life. And we become a little my angry and cynical, then we will become, in old age, one of those grouchy and grumpy old people that no one wants to be around. But if the storms of life make us more like Jesus and we have His peace, then everyone will want us to be a part of their lives.

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