Monday, May 24, 2021

For Our Graduates

By Adam Faughn

    It is that time of year to recognize and honor our graduating high school seniors for reaching this milestone in life.
    Over the coming weeks, I am sure these graduates will get all sorts of  "life advice." They will have parents, grandparents, older people, teachers, classmates, and many others offering wisdom from their experience to try to help them as they transition to the next phase of their life, whatever that may be.
    Instead of adding my own thoughts to the many they will be receiving over the coming days and weeks, let me share with them--and all of us--one verse of Scripture that provides three commands that also serve as powerful reminders of how to go through times of transition.
    It is Romans 12:12, where Paul wrote, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Notice those three short commands in turn.
    1. Rejoice in Hope. If you are a Christian, you have hope! That hope is one of the things that helps Christians stay peaceful and level-headed no matter their circumstances. Graduates, you already know that there are some serious ups and downs in life. Hope is one way to stay strong and faithful no matter if you are "up" or "down." But  notice the command is to "rejoice" in that hope! Christians are to be people who exude joy no matter their external circumstances. The world is not a joyful place, and the reason is simple: the world does not know that hope!
    2. Be Patient in Tribulation. The word "tribulation" comes from a Greek term that literally means "pressure" or "pressing." In context, Paul is speaking of times that are pressure-packed due to our faith. Christians are pressed out by the culture and pressured toward being more like the world, but we must never give in. Instead, we must be patient (literally, bear under) through those times. Whether you go to college, enter the workforce, or are going to the military, there are going to be pressures to compromise your Biblical morals in various ways. Be patient! Bear up under those times in faith, knowing that your faith being tested produces good fruit (cf. James 1:2-4).
    3. Be Constant in Prayer. Prayer is a life-line for the faithful. It is no wonder Paul would tell us not to be sporadic in prayer; but to be constant in it. You simply can-not pray too often or too fervently. Pray during times of victory and  defeat. Pray when things are normal and when the storms of life are raging. Pray when you know what to do and when you have no idea what step to take next. As you make this transition, you are going to be busy. You may think you do not have time to pray, but the fact is: you do not have time not to pray!
    These three things are not the only things one needs to live a faithful life, but they certainly are a fantastic start. Additionally, knowing they are all in one simple verse of the Bible makes it a great page to mark in your Bible, so you can always turn and be reminded of three commands of  God  that will help you in any time of your life.
    We are proud of you and grateful for you. We pray for you as you complete your high school years and as you begin this time of transition. It is an exciting time, so cherish it! It is a nervous time, so stay faithful through it!

P.S.: No matter where you go next, be certain to find a faithful congregation of the Lord's Church immediately and get involved! If you need help finding a congregation, don't hesitate to ask us for help.
- Adam Faughn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: Visit the Faughn Family blog, A Legacy of Faith.

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