Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Strength Training

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world —John 16:33

God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there will be no strength. Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? He cannot, unless you are willing to accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength. 
Oswald Chambers~My Utmost for His Highest

I have a confession to make.  I am a big complainer. When I encounter tribulation, I am not of good cheer; I am of bad mood.  This is a choice I make, and continue to make every time something seems too hard or too unfair to me.  This needs to change. 

Oswald Chambers says that the strain of life is what builds our strength, but because I choose to complain about the strain, I stay weak.  I don’t want to be weak and I don’t want to complain.  Complaining shows the true state of my heart and teaches my children that when things get tough they can turn their eyes to themselves.  In reality, though, it’s especially when times get tough that we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  When I complain, I have chosen to fix my eyes of Tori instead of Jesus.  This does not bring God glory and it doesn’t flatter me, so I’m not even sure why it is appealing. 

God doesn’t want me to complain.  He wants me to be grateful for the undeserved grace I receive from Him and He wants me to keep my mouth shut when I feel my life is just too hard.  Much sin can be avoided if I choose to stay silent.  So in 2016, when I feel tempted to play the victim and feel sorry for myself, I will remember what Jesus has done for me  (He did it without complaining) and I will choose to praise instead.

And all the people said “Amen!”

LORD, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.   
Psalm 141:3

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