Surprised... But Not OUT!
Surprises are interesting. To some of us, they can bring sweet, happy memories to mind. For others, surprise can be an emotional word, bringing memories of sadness, embarrassment, or even disappointment. Could it be that there was an expectation that didn’t meet up to what you thought should happen or that happened in the past?
For instance, 2020 has been a real surprise to me. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it but, this year has not gone how I thought it would go on New Year’s Eve. It has been a bad surprise. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” 1 Peter 4:12 NLT. 🤷♀️Wow!
It kind of reminds me of one of those Rocky movies. He was always in the ring with a tough opponent. He takes the first punch 🥊, the second, maybe a one-two punch. But eventually, he ends up in the corner just getting pounded, again and again. The bell rings, signaling the end of the round. He heads back into his corner. But not to quit. He goes to get pointers and encouragement from his coach. “Watch his left,” “keep moving,” “here drink, drink,” whatever... Like the movie, we also have a coach. Jesus Christ is our life coach.
2 Thess. 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil.” The bell sounds again, and Rocky goes back into the ring, having gotten strength and encouragement for another round. This Monday morning marks another round of life, the year 2020. We are not alone. “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” 2 Thess. 3:5 “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full expression of the love of God and the PATIENT ENDURANCE”... I love that! That verse is so packed with hope while not really addressing anything specifically. It just means to me that the Lord will take my submitted heart and fill it with more love. The Lord will give more patience to endure. We can trust that. Let’s determine this week to stop overthinking our lives. God doesn’t expect that. He encourages us to examine our hearts, repent, and move on. Living a life of love through Jesus Christ. Submit all to the Lord. That’s everything! And don’t take on burdens He has not given you. Pray about everything and trust your coach. He has already told you, “He has good plans that will give you hope.” “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16