Boast In The Lord January 18th, 2023

Philippians 3:7-14
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

For several years during the Fall season, I played and still play flag football with a church group. This year the team I was put on didn’t win a single game. Some games were close and some were blow-outs. 
After the last game of the season, on my car ride home, I was talking with my son Caleb and we were reflecting on the season. The conversation evolved and I explained that some of the guys on the team didn’t have much resilience during the games and that made it tough to play well as a team. They would quit on the team, even just after one bad play then immediately begin to get down on themselves and/or others. 
What is resilience? And why is it so important for us to learn?  The dictionary defines “resilience” as, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
I don’t know about you but I sure need more “Resilience”. Things don’t go my way at work, I say something I regret, I make a bad choice, someone didn’t treat me right, I hit a hurdle or challenge and I’m defeated. There are many examples I can give.
In our faith, sometimes I believe the lie that God is keeping score; maybe I didn’t read my bible, I didn’t pray, I didn’t share my faith in a certain situation, or I lost my cool with my kids, etc.  It’s easy for me to start getting down on myself or others. As my Grandfather would always say, just “FUHGEDDABOUTDIT!”
My identity and my value is not determined by my lowest moments nor by my highest moments. My identity and value has already been determined by Jesus when He died for me on the cross.  If He had the resilience to forget what was behind Him and move forward, then I need to grow in my resilience as well.
I heard it said, “Resilience is the human heart’s ability to suffer greatly and grow from it”.  Let’s all continue to grow together.

Jesus, remind me that in my highs and in my lows I need You the same. You determine my value and You define my identity. Remind me to forget what is behind me and strain forward towards what is ahead.

John Mezzasalma

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