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Tag Archives: Fortitude

When You Are Unable to Make the Best of a Difficult Situation

Whenever people pray for patience, God tends to have a sense of humor placing individuals into extreme circumstances.  These scenarios put patience to the test, seeing whether you will pass or fail.  Well, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog about making the best of difficult situations at work.  Apparently, the Lord has given my faith a pop quiz to see if I am practicing what I have preached about recently.

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope, Romans 15:4.

The apostle Paul points to endurance as a key element to get you through troubling times in life.  Endurance includes acceptance, bearing with, fortitude, persistence and tenacity to withstand curve balls that interrupt your life.  According to the passage above, Christians undergoing trials should seek guidance from the Bible.  As you receive encouragement from God’s promises, it is possible to make the best of a difficult situation.

But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts], Galatians 5:16.

However, there is an invisible force that you must be cautious of to avoid acting out impulsively without any regard for God and his precepts.  When push comes to shove, childish ways inside of me are about to erupt, wanting to throw a tantrum like the days of my youth.  Unless you habitually keep in step with the Holy Spirit, ungodly words will come out of your mouth.  Thus, until I get this area of my life under control, I won’t be able to make the best of a difficult situation.

by Jay Mankus

The Crucial Role of Patience

Composure, endurance and fortitude are words synonymous with patience.  Of all the requests offered up to God in the form of prayers, patience is often skipped.  Those who have prayed for patience are immediately thrown into situations that require patience.  Unless you are ready to be challenged spiritually, you may want to focus on other areas of your life that need attention.

The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, but as they go on their way they are suffocated with the anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life, and they bring no fruit to maturity, Luke 8:14.

Following the parable of the sower, Jesus’ disciples took him aside, yearning to grasp and understand the spiritual meaning of this analogy.  Three of the four seeds sown fell upon soil with different limitations.  One was too compacted, another shallow and the third was surrounded by aggressive growing weeds.  In the passage above, those individuals who reside within these environments struggle to develop maturity.  When faith fails to become grounded, rooted in Christ, patience is just a word, rarely practiced or seen in public.

But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience, Luke 8:15.

However, for diligent caretakers, fertilizing, maintaining and weeding regularly, good soil is attainable.  According to Jesus, this is achieved spiritually by receiving God’s Word with a good and noble heart.  Yet, it doesn’t stop here.  The spiritually mature hold on to the promises of the Bible through trials and tribulations.  Those who stand firm through the storms of life, bear fruit with patience as a demonstration of the Holy Spirit.  May this blog help you realize the crucial role of patience, a trait that allows spiritual fruit to blossom.

by Jay Mankus

The Patience of Jesus

The capacity to accept or tolerate behavior, circumstances and people encapsulates the word patience.  Coaches, parents and teachers understand what it means to endure these trying situations.  True patience abstains from anger, emotional outbursts or becoming upset.  The key to patience is practicing restraint whatever suffering that you may encounter.  From a historical perspective, no one demonstrated patience than Jesus of Nazareth.

He replied, “O unbelieving (faithless) generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” – Mark 9:19

After sending his disciples out in pairs of two, Jesus began to receive some feedback.  In the context of the passage above, one father was disappointed as the disciples were unable to heal his son.  Based upon Jesus’ comment, this wasn’t an isolated incident as it appears that several of his pupils were slow learners.  Thus, Jesus was forced to clean up they public relations mess his disciples made, diagnosing the problem before casting out an unclean spirit.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience, Romans 8:25.

Jesus waited 12 years prior to be able to teach publicly.  Another 18 passed before God the Father wanted Jesus to begin his earthly ministry.  Perhaps, knowing his fate 3 years later enabled Jesus to wait patiently, preparing himself for what was to come.  Despite the failures of his disciples, Jesus remained calm, composed and displayed fortitude until completing God’s will.  While Jesus did express holy anger on a couple of occasions, he did not sin.  May we all learn from this godly example.

by Jay Mankus


Is It Strange that I Feel This Way?

The new normal in the 21st century is foreign to many who hold to Judeo-Christian values.  While talking to a friend this past week, our conversation turned toward college, the temptations we faced and the culture that currently exists.  When my friend’s daughter came home last week for the first time, just starting her freshman year, she felt uneasy.  One of the things she is wrestling with is the disconnect she has with friends who have embraced the party atmosphere at school.  Not sure how to respond, she asked her father, “is it strange that I feel this way?”

Once of Jesus’ disciples used the term alien to describe how he felt living in and among the world, 1 Peter 2:11-12.  Strange is relative depending upon your normal surroundings, but it is clear when you choose to go against the flow, its not easy, requiring courage, fortitude and faith.  However, Peter expounds upon what believers should expect, a spiritual war, urging you to comply with the sinful nature.  This attack on the human soul begins with the commercialism of alcohol.  The message has become so prevalent on television that beer, liquor and mixed drinks are trying to convince consumers that if you buy this, drink that or are seen holding a certain beverage, you will be the life of the party.  This hyper-reality overlooks the pain hangovers produce, deaths related to drunk driving and the destruction alcoholism can create within families.

During my first semester at the University of Delaware, my floor had the lowest Grade Point Average on campus according to my Resident Assistant.  While not quite as low as the Delta’s in the movie Animal House, I felt like I wasted an entire semester.  Those students who earned a 0.0 GPA did not return, leaving a much quieter dorm.  Even friends I knew who lived in Fraternity homes, either matured or grew tired of partying.  Therefore, for anyone out there, who thinks they aren’t normal for abstaining from drinking, you are not alone.  Like the Old Testament suggests, God always keeps a remnant, a group of followers who overcome temptation by holding true to the Bible.  Hold fast to the promise of Galatians 6:9-10!

by Jay Mankus

The Conservative Conscience

Conservative refers to holding firmly to traditional values.  From an American perspective, this means adhering to the biblical principles which the United States of America was founded upon.  Meanwhile, a conscience is an inner feeling or voice in your mind, serving to guide one’s behavior in the right direction.  Thus, the conservative conscience was designed by God, implanted within each soul, to impart prudence, temperance and fortitude to individuals.

An example of the conservative conscience is found in Genesis 42:21-23.  Reuben, the oldest of Joseph’s 11 brothers is steered away from blaming God for his trial.  Instead, Reuben’s conscience convicts him of throwing Joseph into an empty well, faking his death and lying to his father, by placing goat’s blood all over the special rob Jacob made for Joseph.  As long as a spirit of compromise does not enter your body, this conservative conscience is available to all human beings.

Unfortunately, the conscience has been under attack for more than 50 years in America.  Atheists convinced educators that God did not belong in public schools during the 1960’s.  Abortion made killing a children inside a mother’s womb legal in the early 70’s.  The Home Box Office brought nationwide cable television into homes by the 80’s.  Little by little, compromise by compromise, lie by lie, the conservative nature of the conscience has been lost.  Without many Reuben like role models, society has forgotten why the conscience exists.  May God has mercy on us, turn us back toward the Holy Spirit and rejuvenate the conservative conscience!

by Jay Mankus

Lost in Time

In the 1995 mini-series Langoliers, written by Stephen King, an airplane experiences a bizarre event, something out of Bermuda Triangle documentary.  Those who were sleeping when their plane enters a time gap, a place lost in time, survived only to encounter the langoliers.  Like an episode of Macgyver, the core cast of survivors return to the air, searching for this hole in the universe, relying on their instincts to escape calamity.

Joseph, the son of Jacob, lives out a similar nightmare beginning in Genesis 37:12, continuing until Genesis 40:23.  His brother’s faked his death, he was sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape and forgotten by the king’s cupbearer while in prison.  Despite these unfortunate and untimely events, Joseph demonstrates a perseverance mentioned in James 1:2-4.  Lost in time, Joseph displays an unswerving faith until God rescues him from the chains of prison, Genesis 41:14.

While I can’t speak for everyone, I feel as if I’ve seen this movie before except this time I am the one lost, forgotten, waiting for someone to remember, Genesis 40:23.  Though Joseph’s commentary is not contained in Genesis, if he kept a journal during his ordeals, I am sure he was scratching his head, trying to figure out what God was doing.  Fortitude was a key ingredient, giving Joseph the courage to press on regardless of what trial flew his way.  Thus, if you are feeling like road kill, left for dead and forgotten, bear down and lift up your situation to the God of the Living so that redemption will occur soon.  Keep the faith!

by Jay Mankus

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