PONDER THIS

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A Thought on Finding Strength in Touch Times

The late Ron Wagley retired in 2007 as President, CEO and Chairman of Transamerica Insurance, a leading financial services corporation in our country and internationally.  He was not only a most successful business guru but he was also the author of a number of helpful books for persons facing difficulties in life. Some of the books  he authored included “Finding Strength in Tough Times”, “God, Help Me: Hope and Comfort for Those in Crisis,” and “Are You Here?  Finding God During Times of Pain, Despair or Crisis.”

Here’s how Ron Wagley encouraged one to find strength in tough times.  His suggestions seem to me to be very insightful as well as helpful in living life through the times we are facing today.
First of all, he suggested the very profound thought that God is more interested in making your life holy than he is in making your life happy. Holiness, he said,  has eternal value which “happiness” does not necessarily promise.  I certainly agree with Mr. Wagley that suffering will inevitably come into every person’s life so instead of trying to avoid suffering, ask God to use it to accomplish good purposes in your life. Ask God to help you view your hardship from the perspective of how it advances God’s purposes for you.
Secondly, Mr. Wagley advises that we follow our faith and not our feelings.
Oh, my, that is sometimes difficult to do.  Choose, he said,  to believe God’s promises that God is always in control of your life, He always loves you and cares about you, and He will never leave or forsake you – no matter how you may “feel” when going through hardships. Your feelings are completely unreliable factors on which to base your decisions, since they’re constantly changing and can be flawed and even be irrational.

I particularly agree with his insight that we need to be asking “How” and not “Why” when facing a tragedy. Rather than to be asking God “why he allowed” something like the coronavirus to be happening, we need to be asking “how” can we best respond to this epidemic we are facing. 
The next step is to follow God’s will.  Knowing God’s will should not be difficult for you to discern.  God’s will is for you to always grow into a closer relationship with Him that translates into displaying Christ-like behavior regardless of your circumstances.  Decide to follow God’s will and to develop more holiness in your life during tough times.

Finally, Mr. Wagley challenges us to ask the right questions so we can make the right choices. Isn’t that good advice?  He said when you are facing decisions about what to do during a tough time, ask yourself: Is this what God would want me to do?” “Will this choice become a burden or a stumbling block in my life?”,  “Do I have peace about doing this – and why or why not?”, “Am I getting ahead of God and not trusting Him?”, “What have I learned from past experiences that I should apply to this decision?” and “What do I believe God wants me to do?”
It is interesting to me that all five of these insights in addressing tragedy and hardship in our lives necessitates that we spend time with God through prayer and the reading of the Bible. During tough times, it’s especially important to stay connected to God through prayer and the reading of His Word.  Has that been true for you?
Pour out your prayer requests to God with the confidence that God cares and is always listening, but make sure that you’re asking God to do what He knows is best for you rather than just trying to convince God to do only what you want.  Not “my will” but “Thy will” be done.  That’s quality in praying.  

D.L.B.

 

L

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