"These trials will show that your faith is genuine." --1 Peter 1:7 Some of you may recognize this story from my latest book, but in 2006, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams by sitting down for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with Sylvester Stallone. He was promoting a new product, and so my editor-in-chief -- knowing just how special the moment would be -- sent me to chat with him. The interview was scheduled just a few months before Rocky Balboa would hit theaters.
Walking into the host hotel, I remember Loretta straightening my tie before I headed up to the suite to conduct my interview. It was a moment I'd never forget. I even carried my master's thesis with me so Stallone could sign it where I had given Rocky praise nearly a decade earlier. Sitting there, just the two of us, was both surreal and motivating, to say the least. I remember wishing that I could convey just how much of an influence he had been on my life. But before I could, he said something that I repeat to myself to this day. In fact, you've likely heard it repeated in commercials or motivational videos. But to one of my questions, he said:
"Jimmy, in my next film, I wrote that the world ain't all sunshine and rainbows, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. But you gotta...take...the hits."
Faith. That fireproof, battle-tested, unquenchable reservoir. It's why we take the hits, amen? It's how we move forward. It's not only the means we need to get back to our feet, it's the reason we try. Faith in Jesus. He's the reward of trust.
For Discussion: What hits are you taking this week? What can I and the community help pray with you about? List it here and I promise we will lift your name and need in prayer. If you'd rather not be specific, simply say "Unspoken" and we promise to raise you up.
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