Happy New Year everyone! I know we were all happy to see 2020 come to a close and we all look to 2021 with hopefulness. Yet, only a few days in and we see that not much has changed other than the calendar. As I watched the news this morning it began to again fill me with despair. The waves caused by the storms of life toss us about and fill us with fear. With one word we know Jesus can calm the raging seas… so we wait. How long before God brings this suffering to an end? How long must we wait?
As I thought about these questions I remembered those who had asked them before me. David, who was pursued by King Saul to be murdered. The prophets, who were scorned by the very people they were sent to warn. The remaining faithful Israelites, who were in exile and captives in a foreign land. Early Christians, who faced persecution, imprisonment, and death for their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Martyrs of old and martyrs of today know what we all know, but so often forget. The suffering of this life is brief compared to eternity. We give meaning to our suffering when use it to change us and change others for the better.
I was reminded of this truth today at church. After a morning of allowing myself to feel overwhelmed and defeated, I remembered the scripture in Hebrews:
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2
We must remain steadfast during times of suffering and endure with faithfulness. God can bless us with these spiritual gifts even when we feel we have nothing of ourselves left to give. Even if our contributions seem small, they can be made immense in the hands of Jesus. We are blessed with different spiritual gifts so that we may each impact the world in our own way. With that in mind I have decided to resume my blog, whether anyone reads it or not. Each day I am going to remind myself of the spiritual gifts and promises he has given, keeping my eyes fixed on him. I will be taking a passage from Proverbs each day to reflect on God’s wisdom and how I can apply it in my daily life. Examine your own spiritual gifts and run the race with endurance.