Thursday, October 19, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017
2 Thessalonians 1
Is it me or is life getting really hard? Hurricanes, earthquakes, North Korea, fires in California, attacks against Christians, health issues, family issues, church issues, and the Giants not winning a game yet!!! The last one is a joke. But life is really tough these days. So how about a story from one of the most brilliant and perceptive theologians of our time, Rocky Balboa? It comes from the final film in the series (we hope) and the aging Rocky is inspired to fight his last match against the undefeated heavyweight champion. Many people, including his son, believe Rocky will be humiliated. Rocky sits down with his son but their conversation quickly deteriorates into an argument. Rocky knowing that his son doesn't understand the heart of a winner tries to teach him.
Rocky tells his son, "But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward—how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! You gotta be willing to take the hits and not point fingers, saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody! Cowards do that, and that's not you!"
Life isn't easy. Even Rocky knows this. The question isn't whether life is going to hit you hard. The question is, when life hits you, will you be a winner or a whiner? Winners take the hits and move forward, whiners blame other people for their problems.
The people in the city of Thessalonica were going through some terrible life storms. The year was 51 A.D. and Timothy had been sent to the city to see how things were going. Upon his return Paul was overjoyed that although they had been hit by persecution and injustice, they were standing steadfast and they were proving themselves to be winners, "we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring."
Every person reading this knows how difficult life can be. But if we are going to become winners we must continue to grow our faith even when everything screams for us to abandon God. Winners persevere and endure trials. Winners also focus on the promises of God and not the problems. God will pay back unjust people. There is a judgment day coming for all troublemakers. Winners realize that even when we are knocked down on the canvas we can appropriate God's power and stand up again. And when we beat the 10 count, this brings glory and honor to the name of Jesus Christ.
If you are knocked down today, get up and strengthen your faith. It's time to get back in the arena.