North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose 

    Though we all strive for prosperity, no business or career is ever without some form of difficulty. And that’s a good thing because no one is made strong by ease, comfort, and luxury. Weaklings are made that way. Strong characters can only be formed through struggle.    If any person is facing a storm of adversity, there’s no need to hang your head and complain of the injustice. Rather, do the opposite and turn the tables on your misfortune. Recognize that dark and dreary days are also blessings in disguise from God.

    It’s true that adversity means different things to different people. If a person has centered their heart on worldly things, then their chief happiness comes from what they eat, drink, clothes they wear, jewelry they attach, cars they drive, etc. So that in any change in their circumstance which gives them less money and less physical comforts is a wind of adversity which fills their life with unsupplied wants and stinging sensations of discontent.

    Never become attached to the things of this world so much that they dictate your character. Colossians 3:2 says, “Keep your minds fixed on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right hand of God.”

    If a person lives with a larger view of life, drawing their chief joy from their relationship with God, desiring to help others, and contributing positively to humanity, then adversity in any sense will mean much less to them.

    In my opinion, a person who has not out grown childish petty thoughts about living is not fitted to respond to adversity in the right way. It takes a person who has a glorious glimpse of God’s larger purpose for their life before they see the value in adversity. A selfish person does not handle hardships and difficulties well. There’s no better test for the growth of a person than in their willful determination to carry on without many things that are considered essential to them. Like an advancing army on a battlefield; you use what you have available to achieve the mission. It’s called maximizing the use of your resources and equipment. There’s no time to cry for what you don’t have. “Do your best and forget the rest!”

    The great danger in adversity is that we permit ourselves to be narrow-minded and the temptation to self-pity crouches at our doorsteps. Never let adversity defeat your spirit. Take it, bear up under it like a good Soldier of Christ (2 Timothy 2:13). A person that lives only for this world and see’s the world through their senses only, cannot help becoming embittered by the hurts of life, which with the right attitude, could actually sweeten and enlarge their joy.

    While on a military assignment in the desert of California I noted a tree that to me looked like a willow. In fact, it’s called the “desert willow”. I wanted to know more about this tree and discovered that when it first begins to grow it sends up a promising shoot, and looks as though it’s going to be strong and hardy; but like some people, it doesn’t live up to it’s promise. As soon as the twigs and branches get any length they stop growing and the sap runs out. The branches break and there’s a little spot where the branch used to be. In its most mature state it appears dwarfed and scrubby.

    There’s many a man and woman walking around that have lived in a narrow spirit and turned their thoughts in on themselves only to stunt their own personal growth when their enthusiasm or ambition died out. When this happens, disappointments, sorrows, and griefs are magnified because they have chosen not to enrich their natures with a positive search for the good in them.

    What a contrast from the desert willow to the great pine tree found in the woodlands of the southeast. The fragrant pine only grows higher because some of its lower branches are broken. When you and I can catch the inspiration of the higher air (heaven), as does the pine, it is then that we can realize that “in all things God works for good with those who love Him, those whom He has called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

    If we are mindful of this principle we will be able to get strength out of trial as did the apostle Paul and Jesus Christ. The lofty-souled pine, not the stunted desert willow is the true type of Christian we should emulate.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published another book titled “Living With Purpose Volume III” and it can be purchased on Contact him at:


Posted by on Jul 31 2016. Filed under Church News, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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