Friday, October 19, 2018

Standing Up to the Test


James 1:12
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
James 4:5-6;10
Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?  But he gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says, "God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Down here in the South, we're crazy about our college football.  Georgia is no exception, and though there are faithful fans of Georgia Tech, my husband, Danny's, alma mater, overwhelmingly, our population roots for the University of Georgia Bulldogs.  They affectionately refer to themselves as the "Dawg Nation."  And with this season's first six football games being won by huge margins, fans are, well, fanatic about winning!  Visions of a championship for Georgia are most definitely dancing in their heads in light of this powerhouse team.

It's no wonder, then, that last Saturday, hopes are running high as the Dawgs take on LSU at Tiger Stadium.  Surely, Georgia will stomp the Tigers just as easily as they've conquered their previous opponents.

But the Tigers are having none of it.  Putting the Dawgs to the test, the team comes out roaring and clawing, and when the smoke finally clears, it is anything but good news for Georgia.  David has whooped Goliath 36-16.

Mega-ouch!!!

I'm sure the Georgia players are still wondering what hit them.  And humble pie has probably been on the menu this entire week as they pick themselves up, brush themselves off, and prepare to meet their arch rival, the Florida Gators, in tomorrow's game at Jacksonville.

Losing never feels good nor right.  Yet, perhaps, the Dawgs had become a bit puffed up with pride at their record wins.  Maybe having been taken down a notch will turn out to be a good thing in the long run for them.  If they persevere through this trial, taking a long, hard look at their attitudes and abilities, changing in ways that help the entire team work better together, it can only bring blessings upon them.

And as much as I hate to admit it, it's been in times of adversity and loss, when I have humbled myself before the Lord, and asked for the help only He can give, that I've learned the most about who I am as His child.  I'm sure you, too, can cite many examples in your own lives that reflect this very same experience.

Standing up to the test . . .

Is it pleasant?  No.  Is it easy?  No.

But it is necessary.  Because it is in the hard and difficult moments that God's grace can brim to overflowing, filling our hearts and minds with conviction that we can overcome, and be made better versions of the persons He created us to be.

So we will see tomorrow if the Dawgs have humbled themselves before the Lord, so that He might lift them up.

Amen, and Go, Dawgs!

13 comments:

  1. It is at the most difficult times in our lives that we need to turn to the Lord and genuinely ask for His help. It's at times like these that our Faith is strengthened. Because when we are down, and we continue to pray, it shows that we believe there is Someone there listening, and ready to help.

    God bless.

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    1. Amen, Victor! God is with us always, through thick and thin, and we must turn to Him in both our good times and our bad - always!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. We don't follow college football so much, but we do live in Gator country. If I cheer on any of them, it would have to be The Ohio State Buckeyes! I will have to pay attention to tomorrow's game between your Dawgs and the Gators!! Good analogy, Martha Jane.

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    1. I hear you, Terri. My MIL doesn't care for college football, but loves the professional teams. Danny and I are just the opposite. Glad you liked the analogy!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. great analogy and lesson too. We are Buckeye fans here and too close calls this year makes you humble too. I have to leave the room - can't watch it all the time. Of course if these were the worst trials we had to withstand - we be pretty blessed. Hey was are blessed win or lose, aren' t we?

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    1. Jean, we are blessed, win or lose, no doubt about it! Leaving the room has been an option for me, too, but when we look at these moments in time through the lens of eternity, it doesn't matter in the long run, does it? God has already made each and every one of us a winner.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. GREAT Analogy! I'm not a big football fan, but must tell you there was plenty of crowing going on here in Louisiana last weekend.
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. I'll bet there was LOTS of crowing down your way last week, Lulu, and the LSU fans had every right to be proud of their team. Glad you liked the analogy!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Well said Martha. Suffering is never easy to accept but a wise person will see it from the hand of God and use it to grow. (Yeah. I need to learn that). The Buckeyes ate humble pie this past weekend against Purdue. Undefeated. Playing an unranked team. They got their behinds spanked good. My son-in-law and grandson were fit to be tied I suspect.

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    1. Oh, wow, Bill, tales of another unexpected thrashing! I'll bet your son-in-law and grandson were none too thrilled. But if we are wise, as you say, we can learn so much from the difficult times we find ourselves in. That is, if we hand our hurts over to God and let Him show us the way in which we should go.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Martha, you've given a great analogy here. We really do learn more from adversity than through easy times. Hmm...thinking that adversity shows who has grit and who doesn't. God does use those loses, the hard times as tools to refine His children.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, indeed He does. You know more about pushing through the tough challenges more than most, but continue to walk humbly with God, trusting He has all your cares and troubles in His hands. I'm so gratified you enjoyed this analogy, too!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. It's hard to come by educated people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you're talking about! Thanks
    คาสิโน

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