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But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.
Two words impress upon me this morning as I read this: Trust and Thorough.
I'm captivated by the phrase "accept the hard times along with the good". I've vented a lot here over the last few months about my disappointment, frustration, anger, and just plain irritation with events at my job this past year. I've investigated what the Word has to say about hardships in life, and realize more and more how hard times are just a part of the whole picture; even really hard times.
In his devotional Silent Strength, Lloyd Olgilvie shares his take on it this way: "we back away from the cost of discipleship when the going gets tough because we don't trust Christ to bring good out of difficulties". I can't help but think of Romans 8:28 when I read that. Can't help but as myself that same old question that I come back to so often - am I gonna trust God or not?
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