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We live in troubled times. Over the past few years, the news has been filled with stories that have the potential to fill us with fear and despair for the future. But when we keep our eyes fixed on God, who says, ‘Don't worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God,’ we can get through.
Admiral James Stockdale spent eight gruelling years in a Vietnam prisoner-of-war camp, but his faith sustained him throughout the ordeal. He said: ‘I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade.’ When asked, ‘Who didn’t make it out?’ Stockdale replied: ‘Oh, that’s easy…they were the ones who said, “We’re going to be out by Christmas.” And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, “We’re going to be out by Easter.” And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.’
We don’t always have an end date for the difficulties and challenging situations that we go through, but even when we can’t see the finish line, Jesus can. So, ‘let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the same as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him’ (Hebrews 12:2 NCV). The God who gave us our start can steer us to a glorious finish.
Pray for anyone going through a difficult time right now, especially those who can’t see an end to the challenge they’re facing. Pray that they wouldn’t be disheartened, and that they’d know (or come to realise) that God is walking with them through it all.
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