How to Handle the Ups and Downs
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. ~1 Corinthians 15:58
A roller coaster is a ride that goes up and down. Like a roller coaster, life will have its ups and downs. Most of us prefer our life being stable and predictable. We can be going along in life with a season of success and without anything unsettling, and then unexpectedly, we encounter challenges, setbacks, and uncertainty. How can we navigate our way through these ups and downs? Paul encourages us in one verse how.
There is a familiar passion.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren....” Every now and then, we need to remind ourselves of how much the Lord and other Christians love us. Though the Corinthian believers had to be sternly corrected about many sins, errors, and faults, Paul wanted them to know that they were “beloved.” Beloved has the idea that we are the apple of God's eye. God wants us to succeed in the Christian life, and for this to happen, we should not forget the love that He has for us. We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us!
We must be firmly positioned.
“Be ye stedfast....” We must plant our feet firmly on the ground and keep our eyes on the goal. We must not allow personal adversity to deter us. We must not allow the winds of false doctrine to move us. We should not allow people’s opinions to move us. We should not allow our feelings to move us. We must “stay fastened” on the unchangeable Scriptures. We must hold fast to the principles laid down to us.
We must be forever persevering.
“Unmoveable....” By this, Paul is reinforcing the idea of being steadfast. Being unmovable implies being deeply rooted and having great resilience. We need to be able to say like Paul, “None of these things move me.” Economic change, opposition, setback, uncertainty, rejection, or change in circumstances must not move us.
We must be fervently producing.
“Always abounding....” By this, we are increasing in our spiritual maturity and in our spiritual fruit. A healthy grapevine is one that is expected to bring forth much fruit. This implies that we are deeply connected to the Vine (the Lord Jesus Christ) for our spiritual sustenance. It implies that we are focused on the inner life and the outgrowth of the fruit of the Spirit. It implies that we are purposely reaching people with the gospel, seeing people saved, and seeing disciples being made.
We are given a faithful promise.
“...Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Serving Jesus is never in vain! Whatever it is that we do for the Lord is always profitable. It is never an exercise in futility. We might feel like we are failures at times, but this promise gives us a reminder that nothing done for Jesus is ever lacking His favor and blessing.
Paul gives us a winning formula to successfully face the ups and downs in life. It is a proven strategy that helps every Christian to be a conqueror. Are you applying this formula to your daily life? If not, make it your goal do so and watch as the Lord will give you the courage, confidence, and capability to succeed.
Have an abounding God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 38-40