Perhaps you can relate to what I call our seasons of discontent. You see life is not all a bed of roses. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have times when we wish our lives were less stressful and more comfortable.
We all have seasons of discontent. Many go around acting as if everything is just fine when their circumstances are anything but fine.
They put on a front and don’t let even those closest to them know the extent of their problems and concerns. It’s as if they feel hiding all their troubles will make them all vanish into thin air.
Can you relate to this?
I’ve been fortunate to have close friends in whom I can confide whatever life throws my way. Many of my business dealings these days create stress and it’s good to have a few close Christian businessmen I can count on to listen and offer sage advice.
My involvement in CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection) has been a wonderful resource over these past 33 years. It’s good to be around others who can relate to your trials and challenges in life. Being around like-minded men has given me the strength to not succumb to the enemy and persevere through the fiery trials of entrepreneurship.
One of my life verses is Ecclesiastes 4:12, which reads “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Life is best played as a team sport! I’ve been involved in team sports most of my life. When a team plays together without concern for individual performance, there’s a synergistic phenomenon that often takes place. There’s a certain sweetness associated with team victories, and even losses in sports and in life.
Teamwork in business can have a similar effect. And, in our Christian walk we can experience an even sweeter victory as we walk with others who follow Jesus.
I’m reminded of the two disciples walking and talking with Jesus (after His death, burial and resurrection) on the Road to Emmaus not knowing it was their Master. At the end of this scene, found in Luke 24:13-32, we hear these words spoken by the disciples after Jesus breaks bread with them and suddenly disappears:
“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:31-32)
With the Holy Spirit living inside all who follow Christ, we can have that burning in our hearts and our minds as we walk through the trials of life here on earth. The Apostle Paul certainly experienced his share of seasons of discontent following his conversion on the Road to Damascus. Throughout his letters he presents his life to the churches in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae and Thessalonica sharing the struggles he faced for the cause of Christ.
Through it all he remained strong and focused on His immense love and devotion for his Lord and Savior. I can only imagine there were many times when Paul was despondent and found comfort in close brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage him in the great work assigned to him by our Lord.
As followers of Christ we all have the opportunity to go through seasons of suffering and challenges as we gradually learn to place Christ first in all things. These are sobering words that we all need to hear from the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
Passages to Ponder
— 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. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.