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  • Neil Stokes

When the going gets tough




When the going gets tough, the tough get going. So sings Billy Ocean.


We have heard some encouraging, funny and helpful blogs since we started. One thing that comes across is the sense that when we lean into God, when we persevere, when our focus is on Jesus we know, above all things, we're going to be okay.


Do you believe it enough though?


When things or circumstances are out of my control, I do what most people do, try to get them under my control. Why? Because I'm human. We love control. Whether we like to admit it or not, we want to be at the helm of our life.


The fact we have free will does give us control upon our life, where we want to go and what we desire. Yet when we allow God to have a say, to allow Jesus as Lord and be guided by Holy Spirit, life and priorities and thoughts and actions and outcome become so much more interesting.


When we find ourselves isolated and quarantined, doing life in ways we couldn't imagine, when the world has all but come to a stop and we face uncertainty not just for us but for future generations, how do we ‘rest' and be hopeful and, dare I say it, be joyful?


Jeremiah 29: 11 -13 is a verse we often use that, when put into context, is actually about a nation who are about to endure 70 years of hardship, not for here and now physical prosperity and blessing. It is more about living within hard times and enduring while at the same time giving our all and everything to God.



Blessing, hope and future are the spiritual kind, renewal in seeing of God in and through tough times as well as good times.


I have been in places spiritually where I thought God was having a laugh. “Really God, this, now?” But I have learnt to trust the words of Jesus (whether they sound good or not) and lean into and on them in all situations. The true hope and future lies with our treasure in heaven.


Remember that Jesus said He would build His church and let me say that this is the time for His church to show how great and glorious and utterly dependable He is. God is good. Believe it.


The world will be vastly different when this is all over (if it ever will be), 2020 is a year of change. Now, whatever you are facing in the physical, bring your prayers and worship to God in the spiritual. We have been given all the armour and spiritual weapons needed for this short time on earth. The going is tough, but the bible is full of God's people who endured yet kept on going. His church should be tough, hardened, spiritual warriors ready with whatever comes their way, not 'snowflakes' who crumble at the first sign of trouble.




Look at what the prophets and disciples endured to ensure the glory of God was seen and heard.

Look at what Jesus experienced for our sake!


Those people were tough cookies.


Let the church endure and persevere so that hope is seen and more people get the chance to know who God is.


So Mr. Ocean, the tough do indeed get going.


Neil

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