There is a computer printer company in Colorado that puts each printer through a rigorous test. First, they freeze them, then heat them to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and finally shake them violently for fifteen minutes. This testing is the final stage in a process called “ruggedization,” which prepares an ordinary printer for use by the military. With its circuit boards secured and all components enclosed in a metal case, the printer is thoroughly tested to make sure it will work on the battlefield where lives and success depend upon it.
Perhaps you’ve been experiencing a little ruggedization in your own life. God Himself arranges difficulties in our lives to develop character for the long haul. People who strive for comfort never develop this ruggedness.
James puts it like this: “Count it all joy…knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).
Tags: overcomer, trials, trouble
I’ve taken five missions trips to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. I’ve always been amazed at the tall slender pine standing atop the ridge of a mountain, silhouetted against the sky.
Caribbean pine trees regularly stand up to fierce hurricanes, long periods of drought, and even fire. But one thing they cannot tolerate is cultivation. In a well-kept yard with plenty of water and fertilizer, they often die.
Perhaps we’re a little like those pine trees. During good times, we may grow complacent and lose our effectiveness for Christ. But blasts of trial remind us of our need to depend on Him. When we feel our weakest, we can actually be the strongest.
Paul wrote, “We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance” (Romans 5:3). Hang in there.
Tags: overcomer, trials, tribulation, trouble
When I was a new Christian, there was a chorus of an old hymn we used to sing that touched my heart deeply. The chorus went like this:
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood,
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song
In the night season and all the day long.
The title is ‘God Leads Us Along’ and its a great description of His leading in our lives. Why is it that so many have an experience with God going through trials and pain? I believe its because that’s when we are receptive to His word. God does lead us if we’ll pay attention.
Tags: hardship, overcomer, trials, trouble
Inventive genius Thomas Edison lost his great New Jersey laboratories in an inferno-like fire on a December night in 1914. Yet the very next morning, walking among the still smoldering ashes of those buildings that had housed so many of his projects, Edison, then 67, said, “There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God, we can start anew.”
James 4:14 reminds us: “You do not know what will happen tomorrow.” Turn your disasters into a fresh start.
Tags: Edison, failure, overcomer, trials, trouble
A state Governor was asked to give the nomination speech for Michael S. Dukakis at the 1988 Democratic Convention. The speech went on and on. By the time it was over, the Governor knew he’d bombed. After all, the audience was chanting, “Get off, get off.”
“Had I been him,” said advisor Samuel Berger, “I would have dug the deepenst hole and buried myself in it.” Instead, the Governor marched straight into the press room to face a barrage of embarrassing questions. When Johny Carson invited him on the ‘Tonight’ Show, the Governor went, letting Carson poke fun at him. “Instead of running away from the problem,” noted Berger, “he faced it”.
How we deal with failure reveals what we’re really made of. Governor Bill Clinton faced his failure, and pressed through to his own success as President of the United States. Diffuse your own Bombs before they kill you.
Tags: Clinton, failure, overcomer, recovery, trials, trouble
Comedian Jerry Clower told a story about old Uncle Versie Ledbetter. Uncle Versie had a mule named Della. One day Della fell in a cistern that Uncle Versie thought he had covered up, but hadn’t. A cistern is a big hole for catching rainwater. Old Della stumbled and fell down in that thing about thirty feet.
That was his best mule and Uncle Versie had no way to get the mule out of there. He didn’t want her to starve to death, so he decided he would get a shovel and cover her up. It would be cruel, but it wouldn’t be as cruel and inhumane as to let Della starve to death in the bottom of that deep cistern. Uncle Versie took a shovelful of dirt and threw it down into the cistern. Every time a shovelful of dirt hit old Della’s back, she’d shake the dirt off and stomp it.
It wasn’t long before Della had shaken off enough dirt and stomped it so she was high enough to step out of the cistern.
Could it be that you could actually work your way out of the pit you’re in by shaking this dirt off and stomping it? Everybody has problems. You can either let them bury you, or, like Old Della, you can trample them under your feet until you rise above them.
Tags: humor, overcomer, trials, trouble
Here’s the story of another child that didn’t show much promise. This child was born to an alcoholic father. As a child she was sickly, bedridden, and often hospitalized. She was considered erratic and withdrawn. She bit her nails and had numerous phobias. She wore a backbrace from a spinal defect and constantly sought attention.
She was a daydreamer with no vocational goals, although she expressed a desire to help the elderly and the poor. Do you know who she was?
That sickly little girl became a champion of the oppressed – Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. She challenged a discouraged generation during the Great Depression.
What cause will you champion in your lifetime? And there are no excuses!
Tags: overcomer, Roosevelt, trials, trouble