The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

01/15/2010

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There Will Always Be Valleys


"Five times from the Jews I received forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and day in the open sea......" (2 Cor. 11:24 & 25).

The apostle Paul had all of these things happen to him. If you read on you will find more. All of us have had illnesses and injuries, but the there is a difference. All the things that happened to him were related to his preaching the gospel. Many people didn't want him to do this and tried to stop him. The truth be told, all of us will suffer set-backs in life that will temporarily keep us from work, play or just going through our normal routines. Unless they are catastrophic, we usually "make it back."

The same kind of things can plague us in our spiritual lives. When we make the decision to follow the Lord and obey Him unto salvation, we are on a spiritual high. The problem is that we just cannot stay there forever. As we go through our daily lives, discouragements will always arise. They may come from various sources. Troubles may arise, of all places, from within our churches. Although the church designed by the Lord is perfect, people are not. Things may happen and words may be said that cause us to waver and get discouraged. It is then that we must draw closer to the Lord and not back away. It is not the fault of the church. The person who is spiritually solid will draw on the reserves of the fruit of the spirit and settle the problems that would try to pull us away.

Personal problems in our lives just happen. This is not the time for someone to withdraw from the Lord, but to get even closer. We do not warm ourselves by moving away from the fire, but by getting closer to it. Paul did not let any of the problems in his life hinder his ultimate goals. "We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed" (2 Cor. 4: 8 & 9). Paul gave this wonderful advice because he knew that his labor was not in vain. (see 4:16)...

Finally, maybe we get discouraged from a perceived lack of encouragement. It is so important to try to encourage others. Most of the time when we attempt to build one another up, we are built up ourselves. Never grow weary in being an encouragement to others! "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will receive a harvest if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9). Despite the physical,mental and emotional discouragements in his life, Paul would not give in. We should not either. One of my favorite passages is in 1 Corinthians 15:58. It says; "Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." Discouragements happen....Lets make them building block instead of road blocks...

Have a great day... Make a difference.. Love mark Phil. 4:11

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