Updated: Apr 20, 2022
What happens when everything doesn’t go your way? What happens when the world is falling out of the sky? What happens when you try going one way and it’s a dead end? Then you go the other way and it’s the same. What happens when you’ve had bad day, after bad day, after bad day. What is one supposed to do?
I have had streaks in my life that are exactly like this. Everything and everyone doesn’t seem to go to plan. All the remedies of what people tell you fall short. No one says or does the right things. You start nit picking at the small things because of the frustration of life. And you end your days hoping and praying that tomorrow will be better. I am not sure if you have been there, but I have. It feels terrible, horrible, even devastating. You have all these people around you and yet you feel lonely. That loneliness leads to depression, depression leads to despair. That despair has taken me down paths I regret to this day.
I then begin to ask myself, where is God during all of this? Why can’t I feel him? Why is this happening to me? Just a few of the questions that have encircled me in my darkest of moments as a christian. Jesus felt it even more while He cried out, “My God my God why have you forsaken me.”
When we look at the plan of salvation God the Father never left Him, in fact, the Father was feeling the same pain and experience that the Son was.
In my minds eye I get to heaven and I ask Jesus, “Hey when I was going through that mess in my life, where were you?” I already know the answer, He will say, “I was right there.” I then picture me asking, “Then why didn’t you do anything about it?” What will Jesus say? What wise answer will He give me. If He can stop a storm from happening or move a mountain or even stop time. Why doesn’t He fix what I am going through right here and now? The answer is because Jesus cares more about my character than my circumstance.
Jesus is more concerned with my reflection of Him in trying times than of the trying times themselves. The circumstance can change in an instant. Jesus can change our situation by just the thought of it. But the Lord wants us to be like Him, refined in the fire of this world. Ready and set to go on the day of His coming. The circumstances matter far less than our characters. What is the goal of our character? What is the end game? “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” The last one is self-control.
Why you ask? Because self-control is the key to unlocking the rest of the characteristics that make one a true follower of God, a christlike follower, a christian in fact. Without it what can we do? In the times of despair, self-control enables our love for God, our joy with Him, our peace in Him, our patience within circumstance, our kindness, goodness and gentleness with ourselves and others, and our faithfulness to Him. Self-control is where all the temptation and blessing lie. It is the key to our lives here on earth. Join us this week as I will be unpacking self-control, and how to obtain.
Connected to the Vine,
Pastor Victor Reina