1 Peter 1:6-7 (New International Version)
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I have recently read the book by Jim Collins, "Good to Great", In it he interviewed Admiral Jim Stockdale, the highest-ranking officer in the Hanoi Hilton prisoner of war camp during the height of the Vietnam War. Admiral Stockdale was shot down in September 1965 and endured seven and half years of horrific imprisonment and torture. Regarding the prisoner of war camp, Collins asked Stockdale, "Who didn't make it out?"
"Oh, that's easy," answered Stockdale. "The optimists."
"The optimists? I don't understand," responded Collins.
"The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart. This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end-which you can never afford to lose-with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
During the most difficult of times, optimism will be crushed. But our faith and trust in Christ is one that has overcome all that the world.
Dear Lord we pray that we would hang on to You in all things. Help us remember that You are there leading and guiding us in all the things that come our way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.