Devotional for Thursday January 21st

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Resilience”
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 4:8-9 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t sugarcoat it”
The Apostle Paul was always brutally honest about the things he was facing in life. He didn’t stick his head in the sand and hide from his issues or situations; he didn’t pretend they didn’t exist; and he didn’t run away from them. He acknowledged situations for what they were and then he found ways to deal with them.
In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 he acknowledged that he faced terrible afflictions, but he didn’t allow them to crush him. He was sometimes confused and perplexed, but he didn’t despair over it. When he was being persecuted, he turned to God for help. And sometimes he was even struck down – knocked down, but it didn’t destroy him. Why? Because in a straightforward matter-of-fact way he acknowledged the situation for what it was, he committed it to prayer, then he got busy dealing with it. He didn’t hide from it and he didn’t sugarcoat it, he just dealt with it.   Yesterday I told you about my friend Tom. He’s like that too. No whining, no complaining, no hiding from it or sugarcoating it. It is what it is, now let’s deal with it. 
It’s important to have a clear focus about the reality of the situations we’re dealing with. It does us no good to pretend it’s something other than what it is. It is true that we do have to be careful that we don’t become consumed or overwhelmed by the details of the circumstances, and we don’t want to wallow in it and develop a sense of helplessness, hopelessness, or a victim mentality, but we do have to be brutally honest about what we’re facing.
Once we’ve done that, we must change and improve those things we can change, and we must accept those we cannot. Then we find ways to work with what we have. That’s what Tom did with respect to his stroke. He couldn’t change the fact that he had a stroke, and some of the disabilities were going to be lifelong and forever limiting. But once he came to terms with that, his attitude was, “Okay, it is what it is. Now, let’s work with what we’ve got.”
The idea of being completely honest with yourself about what you’re facing, changing and improving what you can, and then accepting what you cannot change, is more than just the stuff of a famous poem. It’s an important life-principle that has to be learned and mastered if we’re going to thrive in life. We’re all limited in different ways. We all have stuff that is problematic and which isn’t going to go away. I encourage you not to sugarcoat it. Acknowledge it, engage it, and deal with it.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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