I find that when I’m at a low point, the high points are easier to spot. They might be harder to grab onto, but I recognize when they’re there. Being challenged is such an encouragement. I think it cracks me out of my me-ness and gets me thinking more outwardly, more positively, and ultimately more hopefully.
"God, uh … Please rescue us from distractions, from stress, worry, tension… give us open hearts and fresh minds to listen for what you want to say today… now, we take a moment to stop, to slow down, to breathe a little more deeply. Uh, we are going to wrestle with the deeper, uh, truths. We are going to swim in a deep stream. And, uh, please give us the strength to resist the superficial shallow forces in our culture that would want to keep us numb, that want to keep us busy so that we don’t think about what really matters. So now as we reflect on the risen Christ… please give us tremendous wisdom and insight and most importantly hope. In the name of Christ, everybody said, Amen."
– Rob Bell, praying before sermon, "progress and joy"
My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.
– Paul, Philippians 1:23-26