Monday, April 23 , 2018, 6:23 pm | Partly Cloudy 58º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Life is Filled with Struggles!

Struggles are prevalent in this world, and no doubt you’ve experienced your share on numerous occasions in your life.

Some of you have stories you can share about a difficult childhood. Some of you have lost loved ones early in their lives. Some have faced business challenges that seemed insurmountable.

We’ve all seen others face traumatic experiences and handle the circumstances in diverse ways. It’s good to reflect on our struggles and hear the struggles of our friends.

I believe there’s much to be gained from such reflection. I also believe it’s foolish to put your past struggles on a shelf and imagine they never happened.

Remember, in John 16:33, Jesus says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (NKJV)

What’s important is how we handle them!

Personally, my wife, Janet, and I have seen our share of difficulties in our many years of marriage as a Christian couple. In 1992, I was diagnosed with double pneumonia and, according to my personal physician, was close to death, when he admitted me to the hospital.

Four days later I was released, but the seriousness of the illness affected me more than a year. It took a toll on my business, causing us to sell our home on a short sale that, unfortunately, led to filing for personal bankruptcy.

As I reflected upon our difficult circumstances, I finally realized that God was working overtime to get my attention. Pride had taken its toll and I needed to reset my priorities.

One of the early actions I took entailed sitting down and writing out my Life Purpose Statement. I highly recommend as a Christian businessman that you take on the task to develop your own Life Purpose Statement and reflect on it frequently.

My Life Purpose Statement (revised version) was refined, dated and signed on June 12, 2005. It starts out with five “Key Verses from God’s Word” that I knew the Lord spoke to me for this critical process in my future direction. I’ll include those verses under “Passages to Ponder” at the end of this discussion. My purpose statement then breaks down five paragraphs dealing with those Bible verses.

In summary, let me simply say that this process has helped me to remain focused on what is really important in life. It has nothing to do with our successes and accomplishments. It has everything to do with serving God, family and others.

We all need to learn from the daily struggles we face and apply those lessons to pleasing God and serving Him in all matters for His glory!

Passages to Ponder

» Romans 14:8

» Colossians 3:23

» James 1:2&3

» John 1:12

» Ecclesiastes 4:12

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara ​(Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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