Alright, all you techno-wizards. I’m to a point in my experience (and it’s not the first time) when computer operating instructions seem to be in a different language. I know the words are English, but somehow I’ve woken up in a parallel universe and the dictionary has changed. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this Mac Keynote program to upload a presentation to YouTube. Not just slides, but time-lapse clips and music. Looks great on Keynote, but it rejects the upload when pushing the button marked “YouTube”. (And, no, QuickTime cuts it off also….and iMovie is, well—that’s another story.)
I refuse to be an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. I’m totally fine with the old dog part (especially considering the alternative), it’s the refusal to learn new tricks that’s rubbish. These presentations mean a lot to me, so I dig my teeth in like an old pit bull and keep at it. (Thankfully, Bob has also been locked in combat with his latest creation, doing much better than his wife I might add.)
Then, this morning I read this:
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment…”
This is more than mere problem-solving and trial-overcoming. (And certainly much more than wrestling with a computer program that doesn’t do what it promises to do!) It’s about producing a quality of personhood within me that will stand regardless of discouragements, diversions, and changes of direction. And more importantly, it’s about a goal that is eternal, i.e., my intimate, ever-increasing relationship with God through Jesus Christ His Son.
I was a bit amazed when, in my (very) limited study of church history, how many leaders of our faith went through periods of doubting their salvation, such as John Bunyan, Martin Luther, and John Wesley. The important thing is that they persevered, pushing through questions and mental combat to pursue God’s promises and expose Satan’s lies. I’ve come to the conclusion that the main agenda of the enemy is to drive a wedge of any kind between me and my Lord, to attack any confidence in the relationship. (Took me a while to figure that one out. Duh.)
Paul here says that it is through these struggles that our “confident hope” in salvation is hard wired into our souls. This makes sense, because our spirits are already secured in Christ; it’s my soul (mind, thinking) that gets bogged down. That’s still a mystery to me, but I’m becoming more and more comfortable with mystery when it comes to God’s way of doing things.
Much more comfortable than with the mystery of Keynote and YouTube, for sure
Romans 5:3-5 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.