[2020 Vision] Rest-olutions and Resolutions to Live by in 2020

Day 2 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Through Tears and Trials


Our focus in this plan is Acts 20:20, but we are actually going to start in verse 19, because every diamond needs a good setting. Paul is talking to the Ephesian elders, the leaders of the church at Ephesus. He spent three years with them—the longest period he spent with anyone among all the churches he planted. Paul loved these people, cared for them, and was saying goodbye to them. 


These verses in CSB say, “Serving the Lord with all humility, with tears, and during the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. You know that I did not avoid proclaiming to you anything that was profitable or from teaching you publicly and from house to house.” 


Here is the first resolution we can glean from this verse: “I resolve to humbly serve others.” It is not about what you do, but about who you are going to be. We want to be humble servants of Christ and humbly serve other people. Humility, though, comes through tears and trials. It is usually not our successes that bring our humility, but our hurts, losses, and mess-ups. It is when we think we’ve got it all right, and we show up and realize we got it all wrong. It is when we want to be godly and we end up having to apologize. Humility comes from being on our knees, and often that comes from what Paul says here: through trials and tears. 


That's tough news. Don't waste your trial. Don't waste your losses. Don't waste your mistakes. Let them be a place where you say, “God, I knew I needed You, but I really know I need You now. And I need You, God, to do something in my life.” 


It is our trials, not our successes, that bring us humility. Therefore, we want to learn in our losses and in our mistakes. There are times when you have to say to someone else, “I thought I was all that, but now I realize that I don’t know as much as I thought I did. I need to apologize in this moment. I've been disrespectful, and I am sorry.” If you just humbly come, others will receive you with a hug. We’ve all been there before. Every child, every adult has been wrong at some point. We’re still making mistakes. We always will. Let's journey together in humility, and let’s serve others.