Praise Him Anyway

There is a man who is doing the concrete work for the garage I am building.  It seems like he has a dark cloud following him around every day. Every day another piece of his equipment breaks and he has to stop what he is doing and fix it.  When I talk to him about it, he seems to let it just roll off him and doesn’t get upset. He just stops what he is doing, fixes the problem, then continues with the work. It’s hard for him to find helpers, so he does most of the work himself.  I have had to have a lot of patience with him because it takes him longer, with the equipment failures, and his working alone.  The man is a walking trial.  Last night I was thinking about him and the way he handles issues.  I have always lived such a fast-paced life, always making sure that things got done, and every contingency prepared for. I am not used to living each day with no plans for the “what if’s of life.” When those things happen, even though I can deal with them, they stress me out, because they have fallen outside of my plan for the day.  He and I  have had the opportunity to talk about the Lord a lot since he has started, and he is a believer. I wondered why the Lord allowed him to have so many trials, and what I could do to help him. Last night I realized that instead of helping him, he is helping me. You see, when my own plans don’t work out, or I do something that causes me delays, because of a mistake I made, I don’t take it like that.  I get angry with myself, and it ruins my day. Watching this man, makes me realize that we really have the opportunity to make the faith we have, genuine in the presence of the world. We can either fall apart when trials hit us, or we can use them to reveal the grace of God in every circumstance.  Peter would write: “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more  valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter1:3-7 So Scripture tells me that these trials are for the genuineness of our faith and results in praise, glory and honor to Jesus.  I wonder if struggles in my life result in praise, honor and glory to God, for the sake of Christ?  What about you? Do deviations from your plans cause you strife and anxiety, or do they give you opportunity for revealing a faith that is genuine?  I wonder how many unbelievers have viewed me as a poor example of what Christians are supposed to be, or have they viewed me as a good example? You too, have the opportunity to be an example of Christ in a world falling apart with divisions and trials.  We are not to get caught up in the controversies of life, but rather, our hope and trust in Jesus, should make us stand out, not like the world stands out, but totally different from what the world does. That is the example of a believer.  I think this young man, has been sent to me from the Lord, to help me understand that things I have lived with for so long, behaviors I thought were Christ-like, aren’t necessarily glorifying God. I want to change that.  So I share this with you, because you might also have issues that although may make you think you are revealing Christ, especially during times of crisis, they do not bring glory to God. Let’s change that, by bringing our lives into the example of Christ, instead of trying to change the example of Christ into our image. Pastor Andy

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