Lyndon Baines Johnson, like three other vice-presidents in United States history, became chief executive upon the assassination of the nation's leader. He became president on November 22, 1963, following the fatal shooting of President John F. Kennedy in a street in Dallas, Texas. A stunned nation rallied behind the energetic and ambitious new president, a product of the Texas hill country. Reflecting on those tragic events surrounding the assassination, Johnson said on this weekend in 1965, "A nation is molded by the tests that its people meet and master."

    What is true of a nation is also true of an individual. Each of us are molded by encounters, relationships, and events that shape our lives. Some of these interactions are good, and some are bad, but each one plays a role in making us the unique individuals we are. The true test of a person can be summed up in how one reacts to adverse circumstances. The apostle Peter recognized the need of Christians to understand that what we go through in life serves an ultimate purpose in life. In God's Word, Peter writes, "So then, those who suffer according to God's Will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good." (1 Peter 4:19 emphasis added).

    As God's children, we should never be mastered by our experiences. Instead, we are to lean upon God to help us master what we can't overcome on our own. Today, remember that God never promised we wouldn't go through troubles in life, but He did promise that He would always, yes always, be there through them.


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