Earth Shaking, Doors Opening, & Breaking Free! Acts16:26


 Getting to the victory and receiving your reward… A story about my trip to Chicago. Looking at it Spiritually...


A friend of mine invited me to go with her and her daughter to Chicago. I’m always up for a time of traveling and quality time with my good friends. So, I was ready to go. She came and picked me up and we traveled two hours to get there. It was very busy. Hard to find a parking place so we just drove around taking pictures of places in that area. We got a hotel to stay in that night and planned on going to the Shedd Aquarium the next day. We would get up early and have a whole fun day in the aquarium. It started to snow this night and we were hoping by the time we woke up that it would be a little warmer.


Well, we woke up and it didn’t look too bad outside. After we got ready we were all trying to figure out if we should wear our coats or not. We were not sure. We got in the car and started to drive there. The sun was out. It looked very nice. We got to the aquarium and sat in the car for a second trying to figure out if we were going to wear our coats. We were now by Lake Michigan and it was very windy. We step out of the car and realized we had to take our coats. We had to walk a good half-mile just to get to the front door. It was so windy and cold out that I had to place my hand over my ear because it was starting to hurt.


As we got closer to the door we saw this line. By the time we got to see the whole thing we saw this line that was so long there had to of been about 200 people standing outside waiting to go in. First thought was; do we want to wait? Sure, why not, we thought to ourselves. We came all this way, already spent $16 for parking, and walked this far. We were determined not to go back and give up. As we stood there the line did not move very fast. We saw people come to get in the line and then decided to not stay and leave. They probably thought that it was not worth to stand outside in the freezing cold. The wind was probably blowing 30-50mph. It was hard just standing there. So as I stood there with one hand over my ear to keep it from hurting the other hand was down holding onto my camera bag. It took a good 30-45min in that line until we were in this white tent that led to the front doors. I was shaking from the cold. At times I felt like lying on the ground and going to sleep. By the time we got to the white tent I looked at my hand covering my ear and it was bright white and then I lifted up my other hand that was holding my camera bag and saw one finger was purple and I could not feel it. So I was able to place my hands in my pockets of my jean skirt and I started to get feeling back in them.


Many thoughts came to my mind as I stood there out in this cold weather. The perseverance we had to get through it. The determination we had to not give up and take the struggles of being cold. Not just being cold but freezing. The pain I felt through my body as I stood there. Going through all that for what reason? To see fish, and as we stood there we saw a sign saying that the dolphins, whales, and penguins areas were closed. So, we come to find out the three main things we came to see are closed. Did we question each other if we should just give up and go? Oh, you bet we sure did. Do you want to stay here we asked each other? Is it worth it when they have things closed down? Seeing others after staying in line for 5 minutes give up and leave. I could understand. Many were not dressed for this kind of weather but neither were we.


So three things came to my mind that I want to talk about: Worth, Perseverance, and Determination.


What is Worth?

Worth is the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held.


What is Perseverance?

Perseverance is the action or condition or an instance of persevering; steadfastness. To persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement


What is Determination?

Determination is the act of deciding definitely and firmly also the result of such an act of decision,b firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end


Was it all worth the pain I felt through my body standing there? I stayed because I had perseverance and determination to make it through to see the end of it all. I was determined to see what the end was. I had perseverance to go through it even though I was feeling discouraged. I felt it was going to be worth it all in the end. Even though they had the three main big events closed.


It makes me think, do we feel its worth persevering to be determined and see the end of this life. The question many pastors or people ask, “Is it worth it all in the end”? Some people take their eyes off the reward that is at the end of a trial. The question can be asked, “Are you determined to make it through this trial?” “Are you going to persevere through anything that comes your way that discourages you?” “Will it be worth it all in the end?”


Many people can answer those questions in many ways. Each person has a different level of what is worth to him or her. The determination and perseverance each of us has is what will get us to the end.


Paul is telling us in Ephesians chapter 6 to put on the whole armor of God so that we may be able to stand against the tricks of the devil. He explains to us what we need to do to persevere through times when the devil throws wicked darts at us to take us down.


The question could be is, “Is it worth persevering through what the devil those at us?” Going through any pain or struggles that may come your way to be victorious in the end of it all. Doing it all in spite of being discouraged. Praying even when you feel discouraged. Keeping the faith even when you don’t understand how it will turn out. Hoping that you will get to the end. You may not see or know when the end of your trouble will be but if you hold tight to the victory that comes after it, you will have the perseverance and determination to make it through it all.


God wants us to go through test and trials to produce spiritual maturity within us. God himself puts us through things to teach us. Many times when going through test and trials instead of us growing spiritually we become bitter. He is telling us in James 1:2-3 to count it all joy when you fall into various trials and testings. These “negative” experiences are to be accepted with great joy, not for the sake of the trial itself but because of the positive work God can accomplish through the testing. Having the determination to get the victory over the trial is what will bring spiritual growth and maturity in that person’s life.


So I got all of this by standing outside in that freezing cold weather. I believed it was worth freezing or I at least was hoping it was worth it. I had the perseverance to stand there and go through it even through I was feeling discouraged. I was determined with the choice I made and stuck through it until the end. What was my victory in the end: a nice warm building with lots of cool fish to see…Ha Ha Ha…. It was worth it.


This experience is something I am very thankful for. I’m always thinking and thoughts like this come in my head all the time. Looking at things the way God sees them. Comparing what I go through in life and applying it spiritually. Everything I go through I look at it in a spiritual way. Brother Jeffers says, “You can not separate the natural life from the spiritual life or you will be dead”. I try to apply God’s word to every situation that I am in. The storms that have came my way I am more thankful now for them than when I was going through them. There is a time for everything and a purpose for everything. I can say, “if you are going through a storm, don’t focus on the storm or it will consume you and you will be taken down”. It’s the victory we need to keep our eyes on: the reward. Through the trial you have a choice to grow and learn something great from the experience even if it’s a “negative” situation. Or you can allow bitterness to come in and you wont see or have the victory in the end. Winning little battles add up to winning big battles. Whatever you are fighting or going through keep the determination to get to the end. Take it with joy knowing there is a great victory in the end for you