Saturday, May 26 , 2018, 9:39 am | A Few Clouds 64º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: When the Going Gets Tough

The phrase “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” has been around for nearly a century. As a young man in business I know that, subliminally, those words helped me get through some lows in my life.

It’s important to not give up — to remain strong — to keep your head high and focus on what lies ahead.

Whether the phrase was first coined by College Football Hall of Fame coach Knute Rockne or Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. is irrelevant. What is important is simply this — in life we will have circumstances that require us to pull ourselves out of the quagmire, clean ourselves up for whatever lies ahead and get back in the game of life.

Don’t get me wrong. When we go through difficult times, we should not think that it’s easy to immediately get going. There needs to be a time of grieving and coming to grips with numerous difficult circumstances that we may well face in life.

Let me share that my life has not been easier since I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord, but it has removed the fog of life’s circumstances and I continue to draw strength from my personal relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Our whole community in the greater Santa Barbara area is currently facing immensely challenging times with the recent ravages of fire followed by mud flows (much greater than anticipated) that have affected all of us to some extent. These coming weeks and perhaps months will require courage to bounce back from these tragic events.

Even if we did not know any of those persons who lost their lives, we still must deal with the impact caused by business slowdowns, the possible loss of jobs and transportation woes with the closure of our freeway cutting us off from our neighbors to the south.

In times of great distress some will call upon God for answers and find strength in Him. Sadly, others will curse Him and fall further away.

My Dad took the second course of action some years after his parents were simultaneously killed by lightning in Missouri when he was only 8. As a young boy, I know He was solaced by His godly grandmother and surmise from my Dad’s account that his grandfather must have considered the death of his daughter and son-in-law to be retribution for some great sin they had committed.

Two other tragic events later haunted my Dad as his closest friend, my Uncle Jimmy, a gifted athlete, was killed in a freak accident attempting to break up a fight when he was only 19. This event was followed by My Dad’s closest cousin, Pat Patton, being declared missing in action when his plane went down in France in 1944. His remains along with his plane were uncovered 60 years later.

The Bible contains many stories of those who have dealt with difficult events. Yet no one stands out more than the righteous man Job in the problems he suffered in losing all his possessions along with all seven of his sons and his three daughters. Job’s response to these tragedies has always amazed me.

In Job 1:20-22 we’re told, “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”

If you haven’t, I suggest you read all 42 chapters to gain insight into Job’s righteousness in the face of adversity and learn of God’s blessings that were bestowed for his faithfulness.

During personal trials 25 years ago, I turned to the Book of Job for answers and found solace in chapters 38 through 41 in which our Lord carries on a powerful conversation with Job. I took that conversation to heart and to this day consider those words to be some of the most meaningful in scripture to me personally.

Most of the book is dedicated to a dialogue between Job and three friends (chapters 3 through 31) who judgmentally condemn Job of sinning against God. In the last chapter, Job is miraculously restored once his heart has been renewed.

I recommend you read it thoroughly and be encouraged during the trials that will surely lie ahead.

Passages to Ponder

» Job 1:1-4

» Job 2:9-10

» Hebrews 10:36-39

» James 5:11

» 1 Peter 5:10-11

» Jude 20-21

— 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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