the world is too perilous, and the gospel too glorious, for us to be content with past achievements

Emily Trokis
4 min readSep 23, 2017

My inspiration for this piece came from Amanda Cook’s song ‘Heroes.’ She sings a beautiful phrase ‘You taught my feet to dance upon disappointment’ which made me ponder the way I respond when life smacks me in the face. I want to move away from the selfish type of faith that focuses so much on my own hangups and frustrations with life and, instead, focus on the one who helps me to conquer and live my life in His power. If you believe this power is truly accessible (and it’s not supposed to sound like a line of a Marvel film) then wouldn’t you want to live your life in this glorious, graciously-given power?

Instead of basing this piece of writing on my own wavering thoughts and feelings, I want to respond to a passage from the Bible that can encourage us to conquer disappointments and take our faith deeper.

If you’re reading this then you’ve got access to the internet. I suggest you Google (other search engines are available) the book of Philippians and go to chapter 3. I normally use the ESV translation but filter it to find The Message version. It’s wonderfully poetic :)

Or just click on this link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians%203

Paul, the author of this book, wanted to encourage the Philippians in their faith. He was imprisoned and wanted to encourage the church of Philippi to press on in their walk with God. I know that if I was in that situation, facing potential execution and social abandonment, I’d probably be much more egocentric and sit and wallow in my own misery. I’m not sure I’d have the strength of character to desire to encourage others. It’s something to aspire to though, right?!

Beyond simple encouragement, Paul’s deeper desire was for the church to make progress in their faith. They can’t relax and rest because ‘the world is too perilous, and the gospel too glorious, for them to be content with past achievements.’ (I’ve only gone and lost my reference!) It’d be far too easy to focus on the past and present difficulties but he encourages the Philippians — and us — to grab hold of the painful disappointments and use them as fuel to grow in our faith and keep the goal at the forefront of our spirit.

Pressing on and growing more mature doesn’t involve special mystical, exclusive insights, but it is a life patiently devoted to loving God and serving Him and the church. This challenges me. When I think of ‘dancing upon disappointment’ I think of something overly dramatic, emotional and something inconsistent. I can’t visualise dancing on a Monday morning when it’s cold and I don’t want to get out of bed. If you think back to times of disappointment, I’m sure you couldn’t imagine dancing either.

Instead of taking drastic measures that won’t last, dancing upon disappointment looks much less glamorous or Instagram worthy, but I think it’s something much more sustainable. The trouble is that, to me, those moments of diligence — of quiet focus, prayer and meditation — seem far too insignificant to actually make a difference. I realise how ridiculous that sounds because it is actually those moments that fuel us for action. It’s the quietly confident prayers we whisper when our job feels too tough that allow us to keep going. It’s the Holy Spirit in us that motivates us to love people (in word and deed) in a seemingly impossible way. Dancing, in this instance, looks like wild and reckless love for others. It looks like full confidence in our Father. Keeping our eyes on Him is what enables us to maintain and, more importantly, make progress in our faith. As I said, these actions are not necessarily Instagram worthy but they are building blocks that will secure really firm foundations for our faith.

Verses 7–9 say: ‘Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant — dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ — God’s righteousness.’

This massively encourages me that our faith journey can be much more simple than we try to make it. I want to recognise that all my wealth is in the Cross. The only ‘thing’ I have is the prize of eternity and a relationship with Him. I choose to press on. I choose to stop being so hard on myself and instead, live in the grace that has been freely given. I choose to share my experience of Him with the hurting and walk alongside others as we open up the book that contains all the wisdom!

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Emily Trokis

A 27 year old Christian, wife, mother, ex-teacher and butterfly brain. I believe in hope, absolute truth and the beauty of the written word.