Pressing Ahead in 2008

joel2008 is before us. Many people make resolutions for the new year.

Of course the most important goal/resolution in the Christian life is to glorify God. Paul the apostle made two clear goal statements:

Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

2 Corinthians 5:9: “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”FACT

Besides knowing Jesus and pleasing Him, the Lord has been showing me that I need to remember that trials and tribulations are a way of life in the Christian life. In the last month, I’ve had days in which I’ve been downright discouraged. No positive feelings. I’ve felt an oppression come over me. I realized what was happening, and I tried positively quoting Scripture, believing in God’s sovereignty, rebuking the devil, etc. Yet, nothing seemed to work.

God began to show me that trials and tribulations are part and parcel of the Christian life. We’re not alwasy going to “feel great.” The positive feelings will come and go. I’ve been reminded of the famous train illustration: FACT is the engine. FAITH is the middle car. FEELINGS are the caboose (end car). The Lord has been showing me to rejoice in the trials while keeping my eyes on the FACT of Jesus Christ and the FACT that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). The Lord has been reminding me to press ahead in spite of the obstacles and trials. Those wonderful feelings WILL break through and I will feel high. But not always!

My encouragement to all of you reading this blog is to press ahead in 2008 in spite of the obstacles and the trials. Whether you’re leading a cell, transitioning to cell church, planting a cell church, or just considering your options, you will face trials and tribulations. Press on. Jesus has a great plan for each one of us in 2008!

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Joel

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