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Survival Tip #6: Bend, Don’t Break

In the world you have tribulation.
–John 16:33

When I was six years old, I took a trip with my dad on an airplane. He worked for the airlines, so we got to fly free to a lot of different places. But I will never forget this particular trip. We were on one of those old Boeing 707 jetliners, and I was seated next to the window. During the flight, we went through a thunderstorm. Naturally I looked out the window to see what was going on, and I saw the wing of that jetliner flopping up and down. I remember grabbing my father, alarmed, saying, “Dad, the wing’s about to break off!” He laughed and said, “No, son. It’s not going to break off.” I said, “Then why is it going up and down?” He told me, “It was made that way. If it were completely rigid, it would break off in a storm. It has to have some bend in it. But if it bent too much, if it became like a limp washcloth, it wouldn’t keep the plane in the air. It has to be just elastic enough to fly through the storm.”

Part of the price of living in this world is facing storms. Jesus said in John 16:33, “In the world you have tribulation.” The storms we face may be the result of a broken relationship, an illness, our job, or our financial situation. But there is a particular kind of storm that we are talking about this week, and that is persecution for our faith.

We are living in a world that is increasingly hostile to Christianity. I could point to all kinds of cultural examples of people being persecuted for their faith, but you do not have to look at the culture to find opposition–just look in your own life. If you are standing for Christ, you are going to suffer persecution, perhaps from your employer, from the government, or even from your own family members.

Jesus promised opposition in John 15:18-20. He said, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. . . . If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”

As this world becomes increasingly hostile to the things of God, we have to know how to handle that opposition. For the last several weeks, we have been looking at ten survival tips that allow us to thrive in this hostile environment. Survival tip #6 is this: bend, don’t break. Like the wing of that Boeing 707, you have to have elasticity in order to make it through the storm of persecution. Whenever you face opposition because of your faith, you have to learn to bend without breaking.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Survival Tip #6: Bend, Don’t Break” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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