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Two Ways of Life.mp4

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Uploaded on Dec 13, 2011

Are you struggling with personal trials and difficulties? Are you sometimes discouraged by the battles you must continually wage with yourself and with the world around you?

Welcome to the human race. Life often seems filled with fears, worries, tests and troubles. And mark this well: There may come a time in your life when all you have built will be reduced to a heap of rubble at your feet (I Peter 4:12).There will be no crowds to cheer you forward. And you will freeze in your tracks to numbly survey the wreckage of your fondest hopes and dreams

At such a time you may conclude that you are finished. You may feel like giving up altogether. Consider, for a moment, the life story of this man: Age 23: Ran for U.S. legislature and was defeated. Age 24: Failed in business. Age 26: Sweetheart died. Age 27: Suffered severe mental depression and discouragement. Age 29: Defeated for Speaker of Illinois legislature. Age 31: Again defeated for Speaker of Illinois legislature. Age 34: Lost party nomination for congressional election. Age 37: Elected to Congress. Age 46: Lost nomination for Senate election. Age 49: Defeated for Senate.

Was that much of a success story? If this man had died at the age of 49, how would history have viewed him? As a failure, probably, if history took note of him at all. However, part of the story was omitted. Here it is:

Age 51: Elected President of the United States. This man's name was Abraham Lincoln! Many Americans, understandably, regard him as the greatest President of the United States ever had. He resolutely led his nation through one of its most terrible times of turmoil, the Civil War. His examples of patience, intelligence, tact and strength are still regarded with awe and admiration.

Truly, President Lincoln had learned well, in the school of hard knocks, the value of perseverance.

Perseverance is possibly the single most important ingredient in this mix we call character. The people of God have not lived on easy street. The patriarch Joseph's story exemplifies the rigors the biblical heroes endured.

When Joseph was 17, God caused him to dream that he would someday rule his brothers (Gen. 37:5-8). When Joseph rushed to his brothers with this piece of news, they didn't receive it too favorably. Eventually Joseph's own brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt!

In servitude to one of Pharaoh's officers, Joseph rose to a position of trust (Gen. 39:1-4). He tried not to bring reproach on himself, but a scheming woman unjustly accused him and he was thrown into jail.

Undaunted, Joseph again rose to a position of trust, this time in prison (vs. 21-23). He tried to convince Pharaoh's chief butler to ask Pharaoh to release him, but the butler didn't. Humanly forgotten, Joseph continued to languish in his cell (Gen. 40). But everything turned out right in the end. It always does for those who persist in obeying the laws of God (Rom. 8:28).The one who entered Egypt as a slave rose to become supreme ruler in the land, second only to Pharaoh himself (Gen. 41:39-43).

Joseph eventually understood the reason for his trials (Gen. 45:7).But when Joseph was living chapter 37 of Genesis, and chapter 45 hadn't been written yet! He couldn't flip forward a few pages, as we have just done, to see the end of the story. He had to resolutely persevere, full of faith, through some hammer blows of life. We can do the same.

The book of Job illustrates how another servant of God was humbled in three main areas.

First, Job was blocked and frustrated in his work (Job 1:14-17).Loss of opportunity, prestige or pay can quickly knock a person to the ground.

Second, Job's family was destroyed (vs. 18-19). A serious domestic problem or the death of a family member -- physical or spiritual -- can speedily bring a person to his knees.

Third, Job himself was allowed to experience excruciating physical suffering (Job 2:7). A prolonged illness or handicap has broken many of human being's pride.

Most of our problems are probably in one or more of these three areas. Job persevered through all his trials, and God was able to work with him to develop in him godly character. With God's help we can persevere and grow, too.

The key is having the vision, the perspective to look at a situation the way God looks at it. "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he" (Prov. 29:18).

For the entire article: A Matter Of Perspective
http://www.cognwm.org/articles/screen...

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