WHEN LIFE HITS HARD
For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
Rocky Balboa — the Italian Stallion — is a fictional character created by Sylvester Stallone who has inspired men for many years. In Rocky Balboa, the 2006 film starring Stallone, Rocky shares something with his son that is true both inside and outside the boxing ring: “It ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
In James 1:3, we are told that trials and the testing of our faith produce perseverance. The Greek word used for perseverance (hupomone) means to stay under, to endure. It carries with it the idea of standing up under pressure and choosing to not run away.
Rocky is an inspiration to us. The ultimate example of endurance, however, didn’t come from a boxer in a ring but from a man in a garden whose sweat was like drops of blood — a man who chose to hold fast and not run from the suffering he knew was coming, a man who said to the Father, “Not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Are you under pressure today? Maybe you’ve been knocked down again and again. Christ, through his Spirit, can give you the strength to stand up and get back in the fight. Persevere! “That’s how winning is done!” ♦
I can’t do this in my own strength, Lord …