Our theme for this month: “Character and Integrity”
Our Bible verse for today: “We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair, we are persecuted but not abandoned, we are struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “You can handle this.”
In yesterday’s devotional I made the statement that oftentimes a measure of our character is revealed in how we handle adversity. I cited the Apostle Paul’s example of how he had to deal with a lifelong affliction but he chose to overcome it and live a full and rewarding life anyway. In today’s verse we find him making another very firm and positive statement along those same lines. Paul was a strong man of character and he refused to let trials and adversity get the better of him. His is an inspiring example, and one the rest of us can learn from.
I’ve had the privilege and good fortune to know many other Christians who handled their difficulties and limitations just like Paul handled his. In a previous devotional in this series I told you about my friend of mine who is battling terminal lung cancer, and he’s handling it like a champ! He has an upbeat and sunny personality, he speaks in ways that are positive and encouraging, and he lives every day fully and to the best of his ability to the extent his circumstances allow.
I have another friend who spent thirty years in a difficult, physically demanding profession. As the years passed the demands of the job took a toll on his body. He had bad knees, a bad back, sore feet, and more. But he is a tough guy, a strong man, and his job involved an important public service that our community needed. So, he sucked it up, dealt with the daily pain, and continued to perform his job until the day he was eligible to retire. He never gave-in and he never gave-up.
My wife models that same kind of tenacity and perseverance. Almost thirteen years ago Linda had a major stroke that left her disabled. But rather than letting her disabilities defeat or define her she decided to overcome them and get on with life. She got herself a little black walker on wheels, put Harley Davidson stickers and flames on it, and moved off into the next season of life with vigor and determination. She’s like the Energizer Bunny and she never gives-up.
We do not have to be defined or defeated by our circumstances. Christian men and women of strong character deal with life as it comes. We do the best we can under the circumstances as they are, honoring the Lord and blessing others along the way. I pray that will be true of you, and of me.