Greetings and good morning, brothers and sisters. This is Dr. James Perry continuing with our series where we seek to explore the deeper meanings of our relationship with Jesus Christ. Over the years, the heavenly Father has shared many revelations of spiritual truth with me, and I want to share them with you. In today’’s broadcast, we explore the technique for outlasting human misery.
And now, sit back and listen to today's message.
Outlasting Human Misery
Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John, Chapter 16, Verse 33
Brothers and sisters, we know that we all suffer in one form or other the "outrageous arrows of misfortune." These misfortunes stimulate a response. Whether the response is positive or negative depends on our characters. A strong character responds in a positive way to the trials and tribulations of life. "Difficulties may challenge mediocrity and defeat the fearful, but they only stimulate the children of the Most Highs." How do we come by these strong characters?
"Is courage, strength of character desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointment." Experience shows us that in order to increase our status, we must move from where we are to where we want to go, and obstacles show up that aid us in doing so. Let’’s consider the analogy of how iron is turned into steel. In order to make steel from iron, iron is subjected to extreme temperatures, oxygen is added to remove all impurities from it, and other desirable elements are added to make it extremely strong.
Our characters are like raw iron, not able to withstand the demands made on it. Our characters must be changed into characters of steel. The impurities of procrastination, equivocation, insincerity, problem avoidance, unfairness, and ease seeking must be removed from our characters, while the qualities of courage, altruism, hope, faith, love of truth, idealism, unselfishness, and true pleasure must be acquired. And there is only one way we can do this: we must be reared in an environment that requires removal of negative qualities and the acquirement of positive ones.
Much, very much of how we respond to adversity depends on how we were reared. In today’’s ease-seeking, pleasure-pursuing society, struggle is eschewed. So a lot of times we are handicapped in our struggle of life by erroneous instructions brought on by poor insight into the real meaning of life’’s circumstances. Being human beings, we are born with certain urges. And while we cannot alter these urges, our emotional responses to them can be modified. We can use reason and understanding to modify the emotional response we would normally have when faced with some unpleasant reality.
Our first reaction to an unpleasant experience is to shrink from it; to try to avoid it at all costs. But there is a divine spirit that indwells our minds and souls which urges us to face courageously our trials and tribulations. This spirit makes available the positive qualities required to successfully traverse the experience; when we grasp them, we become more than conquerors of the situation. Although our struggling may not change the material situation that is providing the stimulus for acquiring positive character traits and eliminating negative ones, our willingness to try and overcome them turns the gears of potential traits into solvents for removing undesirable character defects.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Father delivers us from them one by one, reveals the moral and spiritual values concealed within these afflictions: "Much of what a mortal calls good luck might really be bad luck; the smile of fortune that bestows unearned leisure and undeserved wealth may be the greatest of human afflictions; the apparent cruelty of a perverse fate that heaps tribulation upon some suffering mortal may in reality be the tempering fire that is transmuting the soft iron of immature personality into the tempered steel of real character."
Recall the fable of how the frog got his powerful legs. It seems that long ago--before frogs’’ legs were strong--a frog fell into a barrel of milk. There was no way for the frog to get out, but he started to kick. As he kicked, the milk thickened. The thickening also caused the muscles in the frog’’s legs to become stronger. As he continued to kick, the milk became thicker and thicker and his muscles became stronger and stronger. Finally the milk became solid, and he was able to stand on it and with his now powerful legs jump out.
But how do we stay in the tempering fire of affliction? Jesus said that "man should always pray and not faint." When we pray, seeking the Father’’s will, we pray in actuality for all those qualities, recognized and unrecognized, we need to remain in the tempering fire of character transmutation. When we join (submit) our will to the Father’’s will, we possess ourselves of all the qualities needed for a given struggle. "Such a creature choice is not a surrender of will. It is a consecration of will, an expansion of will, a glorification of will, a perfecting will; and such choosing raises the creature will from temporal significance to that higher estate wherein the personality of the creature son communes with the personality of the spirit Father." And though the emotions may rage and our material lives may endure pain and suffering, the perfecting union of God and man cannot be defeated. Human misery is temporal; the will of man joined in union with God is eternal. The Father-son partnership cannot be bested by misery. With hope and faith, our souls cry, "No! It won’’t be this way always."
This concludes today's message on understanding how we outlast human misery. We hope you find something in this message to ponder and pray about as you go about your day.
Until next time, this is is Dr James Perry