“My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be put to the test. You know that when that happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. The strength to keep going must be allowed to finish its work. Then, you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.”
James 1:2-4 NIRV
In 1943, Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic track star, survived a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean during WW2 that killed all but 3 people onboard. Over the next 47 days, he and his fellow survivors drifted with barely any food or drinkable water. One would perish, leaving Louis and another. When they were finally found starving and dying, they were not found by friends. Instead, they were found by the enemy becoming Japanese prisoners of war for almost 3 years; suffering unspeakable acts against their humanity and spirit. Louis’ story is a great story of perseverance and forgiveness.
As I read Louis’ biography, I asked myself, “How much can he take?” He asked himself that very question countless times. In life, we all have asked or will ask ourselves this same question at some point or another in some regard. We may also ask ourselves, “How can I keep going?” The answer for Louis was found in his relationship with Christ.
There were many times Louis wanted to give up, i.e. while stranded at sea or as he was abused as a prisoner. However, Louis never did. Why? Because Louis trusted in His Savior more than he trusted himself. He knew that everything was happening to grow and strengthen him. He knew there were lessons behind every trial. All he had to do was face each day and let God do the rest. What are you facing that has caused you to ask questions like Louis? Regardless of what it is, please know that you are being perfected and you’re not alone. Every trial you face is growing you and strengthening your faith even if it doesn’t feel like it. So even when all looks lost, don’t give up, keep going, and don’t ever quit. Face tomorrow and trust God to handle the rest.
I would be remiss on this Good Friday if I also didn’t point out that once, it also looked as if all was lost on a hill called Calvary. The sky darkened, horrific torture had taken place, and Jesus’ beaten, bruised but unbroken body of Jesus hung on a cross. If ever there was a moment in history that all seemed lost, it was then. To His mother and His followers, everything hoped for was now gone. But yet, God had a plan. A redemptive plan that showed all was not lost with His resurrection. The real story had just begun.
As we remember Christ this day and reflect on Luis’ story, keep this in mind. For those that love and know Christ, there is always a to be continued.
Walk with Him,