Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, we have gathered today to speak about overcoming adversity and coping with the storms of life. This is very deep theme, and I am sure that anyone has many stories based on the challenges and their overcoming. But today we will concentrate on the issue of overcoming. In this light, it is important to emphasize the postulate that all challenges are timely, and they are not accidental. God tests us in such way. You cannot realize the real value of your life if you have not compared it to something. God sends us trials so that we could understand the deepness of His goodwill and love. No one is alone until he has his faith. The Bible has such words: “God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart” (Chronicles 32:31 NKJ). So, you see that even in His withdrawal, God is always with us. Sending us trials and challenges, He wants to demonstrate us the real power we have inside, the real power he gave us. Often we fail to use it properly, because we don’t know how strong we are. In order to help us see our values He assigned us to, He sends us trials. There is no sense in crying over the trouble – “the best way out is always through”, as Robert Frost claimed. So, you should not concentrate on your problems, but rather on the way how to solve them. Look forward, because life is beautiful, and God created it for us. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” – these words of the famous philosopher demonstrate that we are the instruments in the hands of God. Remember, how many times you thought that this was the hardest thing you’ve ever done. Then you experience something even harder, and you understand that you became stronger. Now you can endure even more. This is the eternal process of human development. I have met a lot of people who overcame the storms of life with dignity and faith. they all admit, that these challenges made their lives brighter. They understood the real value of life – it is invaluable. And there is no sense in suffering – accept it and overcome. This is life. It does not consist of dreams and happy days, but of alternation of days and nights – both happy and miserable. Thus, another sense of adversity comes to the foreground – it makes us closer to our destiny. Japanese proverb says, “Fall seven times, stand up eight” – and this eighth may be lucky chance which will bring you to your happiness. May be not, but then you’ll have to believe, fight and stand up as much as it will be needed. Storms of life are transient, no matter how hard they are – some day you will definitely reach your desired peaceful shore.

Just listen to the words written in the Holy Bible: “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (JAMES 1:12-13, 16-17 NKJ). Temptation to yield – overcome it! Temptation to blame God, fate and everybody around you in all your troubles – overcome it! All your life is the sequence of choices. When a person makes his choice in favor of faith – he wins! Overcoming adversities and demonstrating strong will and belief, a human will obtain the “crown” – for he has shown his love to God, by accepting all challenges as needed and coping with them with the name of God on the lips. And God loves us, helps us and support us, and this is the main truth a person should remember when fighting with difficulties in life. Don’t be alone in your struggle, accept it and entrust to your God. For, as He told, “…When you pass through the waters I will be with you; when you pass through rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I Am the Lord…your Savior.” (Isaiah 43:2, NIV). All our mundane difficulties may seem crucial and catastrophic to us, but in fact they are only the episodes in the history of the humanity. Each life is saint and important in the eyes of God, so don’t thin your faith and sacrifice are inessential. They mean a lot, especially when they are heartfelt and sincere.

God bless you all!