Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Better or Bitter? Which One Are You?

If there is one thing that I hope 2010 will be, it is that it will be predictable. By this I mean that plans would turn out as I envisioned them or that people would act in the manner I have come to expect them to. The hope is that tomorrow will not spring any surprise on me. But it does not always work that way. We all know that the one thing we can be sure of in life, besides death and taxes, is unpredictability. We may have been working happily in the office for many years and, overnight, our future becomes uncertain because our company has been acquired or our department has been outsourced. We may have enjoyed a secure family life for some time but then sickness or retrenchment affects a family member and the dynamics and stability are affected and sometimes threatened. Life has taught me that one can never be definitely sure what tomorrow will bring.

We may never be able to control what happens to us most of the time but we can control the manner of our response to these situations. How we respond will determine if we become better people or bitter people. Just as good things happen to bad people (Matt 5:45), bad things also happen to good and God’s people. The only Christians that can claim to be impervious or resistant to pain, sorrow and suffering are dead Christians.

When we read Hebrews 11, we are encouraged to see their examples of faith. But we do so only because of the benefit of history and hindsight. Some of these heroes went through many years of trials before being delivered. Others were never delivered on this side of eternity but paid the price of faith with their lives. What made the difference for them in these adverse moments was their faith that God remained with them, even in the darkest moments.

Respond then by also walking in faith. Be reminded that God sees your destination even if you can only see the next step of your walk. He is the ultimate source of everything we have so we can trust Him to provide everything we need in a crisis. I have found that isolating oneself does not help. It is better to continue fellowshipping with God by praying and reading His Word for inspiration. This also helps us to deal with our emotions at such a difficult time. Let the trials we face be used by God to mold us into better, not bitter, people.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

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