July 16, 2016

Hanging in There

Romans 5:1-5

We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

—  Romans 5:3-4

Our wedding anniversary is in July. My wife and I have been married for nearly forty years, but we have a long way to go if we want to catch up with Eddie and Jessie Macon of Stockton, California, who just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Eddie was the first African American player of the Chicago Bears, my city’s football team.

Unlike many celebrities, Eddie and Jessie have remained together through a host of ­changes. They survived the Great De­pression, racial segregation, the loss of a child, and physical ailments. When asked about their secret to a long-lasting marriage, Eddie said, “It is because of the bad times, not despite them, that we have stayed together for so long.”

Nowadays people are too eager to give up in the face of ­changes or hardships. People give up on their education, career, marriage, and friends all too easily when things do not go their way. Sadly, people treat spiritual matters similarly. People leave their church over a minor disagreement. Others give up on their faith because of peer pressure or feeling that God does not answer their prayers.

Let us not lose heart. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

Lord Jesus, help us to follow your example of endurance as you walked ­toward the cross. Fill us with courage to face changes head-on. Amen.

About the author — Jimmy Tai-On Lin

Rev. Jimmy Lin is the Chinese ministry leader of The Back to God Hour. With his staff in Palos Heights and Hong Kong, Rev. Lin has ministered to over 1.3 billion Chinese-speaking people around the world for 16 years through radio, literature, CD/DVD, Internet, and text message. His wife, Doris, is one of the translators of Today into the Chinese language, which now has a circulation of more than 45,000 copies.

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