Ah, spring is here! Lord knows there are many who are looking for better days. The economy has plagued many. Others have fallen prey to the recent struggles. Foreclosures are as common as the winter flu. Unemployment is at an all time high with no relief in sight. Businesses are finding it hard to remain solvent and keep their doors open. While larger companies are folding faster than your common folding chair. If that’s not enough many who predict the future are saying that it will get worse before it gets better.
Wow, if this is true, this year, spring does not bring with it the usual optimism. Unless of course you see things differently than others. Differently? Yes, differently! Let’s consider the following scripture, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we cannot see will last forever.” II Corinthians 4:17-18
Our present troubles, as real as they are should not diminish our faith in God. Often times we put faith in stuff or things that are seen rather than God. There are times when we put faith is in government or the leaders of government rather than the eternal God. However, faith in God will lead us through this present suffering and He will also make sense of this troubled time if we don’t look at what is seen.
Please understand me here; I don’t believe that all trouble is beneficial. Trouble is inevitable and unavoidable; therefore, we should choose to make the best of it. Should you choose to make the best of a bad situation there are some valuable lessons to be learned from troubled times. 1.) That Christ suffering for us. Christ paid it all. He suffered so we could live. Troubles remind us what Christ did for us. 2.) It keeps us from pride. Troubled times let us know we are not above or immune to suffering. We are not as wonderful as we think. We are all ordinary people with real problems. 3.) It causes us to look beyond this brief life. If this is all there is to life, we are as most men miserable. Troubles cause us to think more seriously about eternity. 4.) It proves our faith to others. When troubles come, we have an opportunity to show others where we stand and what we believe. Troubles prove we trust in God. Anyone can say they trust God when things are well. Those who trust God when things are bad are living proof that God is faithful and will see you through. 5.) It gives God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. When trouble comes God is at his best. You are guaranteed that when God shows up he will show out! His power will be displayed for all to see.
So this spring what will you look at? Will you be overwhelmed by the trouble or will you receive the lessons taught by tough times and see the unseen. Remember, our present troubles are small and will last a short time but will produce in us a glory that will outlast every trouble. This spring may you see the unseen and have the best spring ever!
Contribution Writer, Bishop Sherwood Carthen of BOSS-Bayside of South Sacramento