God is good, all the time.

And all the time…God is good! We’ve all heard that saying.  But, its more than just a saying.  It’s also an absolute truth that we need to remember.

When everything in our life is going great-God is good. James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

When we are in trouble-God is good.  Nahum 1:7 The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

When we have need of forgiveness-God is good.  Psalm 86:5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

When we are downhearted-God is good.  Psalm 27:13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.

When we feel we don’t measure up-God is good.  Philippians 1:6:  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

I think you get the gist of what I’m saying.  No matter what circumstance we are in in our lives, whether good or bad, there is never a time when God is not good.

Its easy to recognize His goodness when things are going our way.  When our prayers are answered, we are feeling great, our needs are met, our kids are perfect, we got to work on time, got a new job etc, etc.  How easy it is in those times to praise God and thank Him for His goodness and mercy.  It’s no problem in those times to agree with the Psalmist who said in Psalm 106:1: Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His loving kindness is everlasting.

It’s those other times when we have to remind ourselves of God’s goodness.  When we didn’t get the job, the month is longer than the money, the kids are running wild, we have health issues.  Real life is happening.  Do we readily remember during those times the goodness of God?  Those are the times when we need to remember the most.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul tells us:  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  That is not an easy thing to do when all around you is in upheaval.Rejoice?  Give thanks?  Really Lord? How?

It is possible.  Paul did it.  He prayed, and sang, and rejoiced when he was in chains and in prison. His situation didn’t change his testimony.  He didn’t stop preaching or teaching because he was in a hard place. He didn’t quit.  He kept his focus on Jesus and just kept doing what he had been called to do.  

When we praise God in our trials; while thanking Him for who He is, we send a clear message to our enemy as to who we put our trust in.

The Lord knows the trials we may be going through, but He promises to be with us through everything we face.  Joshua 1:9  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Jesus Himself tells us in the book of John that we will have trials and tribulations. John 16:33 :These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” One part that is great about that verse is  the part that says: in Me you may have peace.  That is where we find what we need to get through those times.  As we are promised in Philippians 4:7: and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  

And don’t we know how much our hearts and minds need to be guarded when we are in those hard places.  Without that peace that guards us, our heart can easily become bitter and hardened.  And our mind will take us places we don’t want to go.  

 We are commanded not to worry or be in fear all through the Bible. Those commands are in there for a reason.  When we are worried or in fear how can we focus on God and His promises and His goodness?  It makes it very hard.  

 

We may not be able to change the circumstances we are facing.  But we know the one that can.  Our part is to pray, ask the Lord what, if  anything we need to do,  then, give the problem to Him and trust that He will work things out for our best.  cast

He’s a good Father.  All the time.  Of that you can be sure.

 

 

 

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Hope Deferred Or, How Do You Handle Disappointments?

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.  Proverbs 13:12.

Have you ever had times when you were really hoping and believing that something was going to come to pass…and it didn’t?  Maybe it’s something you’ve been believing for, for a long time.  And yet, you look down the road and still, no sign of the desired blessing or answer to prayer.  So, what now?

We’ve all had those times.  Times when we were hanging on to a promise with all we had.  It’s what kept us going.  Then maybe a deadline comes and goes, or another year goes by without the desired result. We have so many questions.  We think, did I miss it Lord?  Did I not do my part?  Maybe I didn’t do enough to cause it to happen.  You know how that goes.

What do we do when our hopes are dashed and it looks as though what we had hoped for will not come to pass?

Sometimes the things we were hoping for that we haven’t seen are disappointing but not life changing; so we can move on without getting upset.  Other times you may be feel like you are in a very dark place.  I’m just speaking for myself.  I would like to say I look at everything cheerily and never have these times but that would be a lie.

Sometimes maybe we did miss it.  Maybe the promise we were holding onto wasn’t from God for us. I’m not talking about a promise from the Word.  God’s Word is His will, so if its in the Bible you can believe it.  Maybe we took a word from someone else and that is what we were believing for.  We read something and we want so desperately for our situation to change that we think OK I am believing for that.  Or maybe you really did get a promise from God but it just hasn’t manifested.

One thing I have learned.  My timing is not the same as God’s timing.  He has a plan for all of our lives.  He knows that sometimes if we get what we are believing for too soon we won’t be ready for it.  Perhaps we haven’t learned the things we need to learn before we receive it.  Perhaps there are still things in our soul that He wants  to work out before we move on to something else.

Here’s the big question.  Will you still trust Him?  Will you still love Him even if what you have been desiring never comes to pass?  These are the questions we need to ask ourselves and settle in our hearts.

One thing we can know.  We are not the first nor  will we be the last to have these times.  The Psalmist in Psalm 42:11 gives us some great advice when we are going through some of those times.  He says:  Why am I discouraged?  Why is my heart so sad?  I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

When I have those times I have found the only way to move past it is to get God’s Word settled in my heart.  To trust in Him with all my heart and to believe that He does have a plan, and its good.  I have learned through the years that I can’t make these things come to pass in my own strength.  And I know for sure I don’t want to have an Ishmael while waiting for Isaac.  I want God’s plan for my life.  Not my own.

Find scriptures that remind you of God’s faithfulness.  Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy telling you that you will never have what God promises.  Put your hope in the Lord and Him only.

Psalm 121:1: I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Lastly  Isaiah 40:31

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Interesting when you look in different translations of this verse.  Some say those who wait, some say those who trust, some say those who hope.  That kind of ties it all together doesn’t it?  We have to trust while we are hoping and waiting.

isaiah-40-31-those-who-trust-in-the-lord-will-soar-on-eagles-wings-gray

Praise God, He doesn’t give up on us.  When we get back up and go forward, even and especially when we don’t know where we are going or how we are going to get there, when our trust and hope is in the Lord, that is when we will find new strength.  Trust and believe that’s our part.  Trust and believe.

And we can’t forget that second part of Proverbs 13:12: but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.  When we have trusted and hoped and believed and it does come to pass, it is all the sweeter.  Then we don’t remember so much all the trials and struggles we may have gone through on the way.  Because we are too busy praising God for His faithfulness!

Embrace Your Own Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:14-19 For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

We all have different gifts.  Spiritual gifts and natural gifts.  God made us this way on purpose.  As it says in the above passage if we were all one member where would the body be?  We need each other and we need each others gifts.  Natural and spiritual.

In the natural there are multitudes of things people can be gifted with.  Things to do with their jobs, natural talents or abilities or the gift of bringing people together.  More gifts than we could think of.  In our circles of influence and families we see many different gifts at work.

You may be a planner.  Someone who loves details, lists and planning ahead.  I have a few of those in my circle.  I’m not one of them!  I am more a spontaneous person.  But I truly appreciate and admire their gift.  Often times the things that I don’t think of, they do. Or vice versa.  Other people have vision.  They can look at a situation from all different sides and be able to tell what will work.  Some  may be gifted, like certain ones I know, to handle angry and demanding customers; while the rest of us might be inclined to give them a piece of our mind or a punch in their nose.

That’s why we may have said or had someone say to us, I could never do what you do.  And they would be right. If God calls us to do something he gives us the gifts we need to do it.  If that is not what God has called us to do, then we would not necessarily be equipped or have any desire to do what they are doing.

We need to be able to appreciate each others gifts without feeling like we are lacking somehow if we don’t have the same gift.  We can fall into the trap of comparing ourselves and our gifts to others.  There are a couple ways that can work.  Either we look at others and think wow, I could never do that.  I’m not as good as them, or as spiritual as them. Or, we look at ourselves and the things we are gifted to do and wonder what on earth is wrong with these people that they can’t do what we do or see what we see.  Both ways are wrong.

If you fall into either of those categories, as I occasionally do, can I be honest?  Who on earth do we think we are?  God gives us His gifts so that He would be glorified.  Its not about us.  As it says in 1 Peter 4:10-11  As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

God should get all the glory from our using whatever gifts He has given to us.

What is important is that we recognize our gifts are from God, and; that we use them.  They are not anything we got all on our own.  Sure, in the natural, if you are a star athlete or musician you may have put in countless hours of practice but your talent was still a gift from God.  He expects us to use the gifts that we are given.  Not to hide our light under a bushel.

Your gift is not better than mine nor is mine better than yours.  The Lord knows the end from the beginning.  He knows the things He has for you to do and He has gifted you accordingly.

I have a friend who feels that she does not do great exploits for the Lord. She doesn’t get out of the house much and spends much time alone.  But I tell you what.  She is an intercessor, and an exhorter and an encourager.  I’m sure there are a lot of people out there today, many she has never even met, that are able to do their part for the Lord because of the part she has played in praying for them.  She has an important part in the body.

We don’t always know what part we may play in someones life. You may have the gift to be an encourager.  That smile that you gave someone today or that hug or encouraging word may have been an answer to their hearts prayer. Or the time you spent just listening to them pour their heart out.  It might have been the thing that encouraged them to keep going for another day.  The ripples in the pond of eternity from a simple act of kindness might be something that could change someone’s life forever.  Wouldn’t that be just as important to the Lord as someone feeding the poor or preaching a great sermon?  We all have a part to play in the Body of Christ.

Romans 12:4-8 :For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,  so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.  Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;  or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;  he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

We will always need each other and each others gifts. Maybe you have a desire to do more for the Lord.  Just because you have only been using certain gifts doesn’t mean that you will never have any new gifts to use from the Lord.  In 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 we are told to desire spiritual gifts.  If we couldn’t have them the Lord wouldn’t ask us to desire them.  If we are faithful and obedient to use the gifts that we know He has given us, then He will give us more.  In the gospels in the parable of the talents Jesus teaches, that to those who have been faithful in the little things they will be rulers over much.

When we are all in the place we are supposed to be, then, the gifts He gives us and the way He uses each of us, will look different from person to person.  That’s a good thing.  That’s when the body will be fit together as one.  Ephesians 4:16  He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.  As we each do our part it helps others to grow and do their part.

If you are unsure of what gifts the Lord has placed in you, ask Him to show you.  Then thank Him for your gifts and be diligent to use them. Appreciate the gifts of others and your own as well.  You are unlike anyone who has ever come before. The Lord has plans to use you and your gifts if you are willing to do your part!

What Will Our Kids Learn From Us?

And The Things That I Learned From My Parents

So, I was sitting here thinking this morning.  As I’m fixin to enter a new year (age wise) of my life I figured it would be a good time to ponder things I’m grateful for  in my life.  So I started at the beginning of my life.  I was thinking of my parents.  I’m grateful for my parents who had me, raised me,loved me, provided for me and taught and showed me many things I’m thankful for today.

There is a saying out there, or many but I can’t recollect the one I’m thinking about at the moment.  My paraphrase is You’re always speaking even when your mouth isn’t moving.  Most of these things that I will share,that I learned from my parents, were things I learned while they were just living their life.  We were not big on having long talks about things in my family.  These were just inward traits that they modeled.  Probably without even thinking of it.

children

My blog last night was on faithfulness.  I started thinking about that in regards to my parents.  They were good examples of faithfulness.  Hard working, both of them.  My Dad faithfully went to his blue collar job everyday to provide for his family.  I never heard him complain.  He had health issues at times but still he went to work.  Standing on his feet working in a factory, even when he had leg ulcers and was in constant pain.  Faithful.

My mom was the same way.  Faithfully taking care of her family.  Both of them working hard to be sure we never missed a meal.  We had five kids in my family and I marvel sometimes at how they were able to do that.  We may not have been wealthy or had everything we wanted but we always had a home and never went hungry.  After my Dad died my mom worked two jobs for many years to be sure she wasn’t a burden to her family.

They taught me hospitality. Our door was always open.  People felt free to drop by if they needed to talk or just to say hi.  We always had people at our home for holidays. With five kids in the family we didn’t get invited out to often.  We always had an assortment of relatives around the holiday table or friends or sometimes those with no place else to go on that day.

They taught me about respect.  Respect for my parents, my elders, those in authority.  They were of the generation that worked for whatever they got.  They did not want or expect the government (which really means your fellow citizens) to take care of them.  If they couldn’t afford it they didn’t buy it.  I remember one time my Dad was out of work for an extended period I believe for a back issue.  We kids had to go on the free lunch program at school.  I’m sure that was hard for my parents.  You can bet as soon as he went back to work we went back to bringing our lunch.

I could go on with more.  Honesty, integrity.  Standing up for those you love.  But, lets bring it back to the present.  We can ask ourselves the question someday when our kids; either young or already grown think about us, what will they remember that they learned from us?  Maybe you don’t have children but you work with kids.  Or you have nieces or nephews or children of friends.  One thing you can know about kids.  They are observant.  Always watching what’s going on even when you think they aren’t.

train-up

What examples are we giving them to remember? Let’s face it we all make mistakes and none of us is perfect.  Do we strive to model good behavior for our children?   Are we giving them more good examples than bad? Will they remember that they saw you treating others the way that you wanted to be treated?  Or will they think that what they want or what they think is more important than others?   Will they remember if you taught them to trust God with their lives?  Did they see you trusting God and walking by faith? Or did they learn not to trust anyone?

Some of you may be thinking my kids are all grown its too late for me.  It’s true you can’t go back and undo the past and undo any mistakes you might have made.  But you can move forward. It is never too late to change.  Let your family see who you are now.  Ask forgiveness for things you did or didn’t do.  When the Lord shows you an area you need to change don’t be afraid to change and to share what you learn with your kids.  Grown or not.  Young children need to know their parents aren’t perfect.

I wonder if my parents were alive and I was able to ask them what they thought they had passed on to me; if they would even know the tremendous amount of good they passed along.  In the end isn’t that what is most important?  Be thankful for the good, forgive what needs to be forgiven and walk on.

forgetting-whats-behind-600x400.

 

 

Faithfulness

Not a word we hear too much about these days.  In fact, if you were to believe everything you see, or read in the news you would think that there is more unfaithfulness than faithfulness around.  I will agree there is a lot of unfaithfulness around.  Spouses who are unfaithful, friends or employers-or employees who would turn away in a minute if it would benefit them.  Public servants who are unfaithful and do anything but serve the public.  And the list goes on.

Seems bleak when you think of it.  Who can be trusted?  People weren’t like this in the “old days” right?  Except, they were. Even in the really old long ago days.  In the Book of Proverbs there are a couple of prime examples.  Proverbs was likely  written  at least 2000 years ago.  Proverbs 14:5: A faithful witness does not lie,
But a false witness will utter lies.  So, there were liars back then too.  Or Proverbs 20:6:Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, But who can find a faithful man?  Hmm. Sounds a bit like today we might think.  

You would think the prophet Micah had  been watching the news too much when he wrote in Micah 7:2: The faithful man has perished from the earth,And there is no one upright among men.They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.  When you read the rest of that chapter it doesn’t speak well of the people at that time.  Were there really none faithful during that time?

I can’t speak for Micah’s time and all the people he came in contact with, I wasn’t there.  I do know throughout the Bible there are many stories and sayings of those who were faithful.  Faithful to friends,to their families, faithful to a cause, faithful to God.

I think people weren’t any different then from the way they are now. There were faithful as well as unfaithful.  Today we just don’t see many tales of the faithful ones.  It doesn’t sell papers as they say.  Far better to have headlines of lies and scandals.  Give the people what they want, they say. Personally I would like to see some stories of faithfulness in our times.  Wouldn’t you?

What about if we could see the tales of the spouse who is faithful even in hard times, or perhaps with temptation; or their faithfulness even when the spouse is deployed, or away for long periods of time.  Or stories of the employee who faithfully performs his/her job to the best of their ability, with never a thought of stealing or doing wrong to their employer. What about stories of the single parent faithfully taking care of their children; putting the children’s needs before their own.  Or stories of the parent or grandparent who faithfully prays for their family every day; even giving up sleep when they know extra prayer is needed.  How about some stories of that one who stands faithfully by their friend and believes the best of them in good times or in bad.

friend-faith

Oh, they are out there, the faithful ones.  You might know some of them.  You might be one of them.  Or trying to be one to the best of your ability.  Why do they do it, you might ask.

Many of those faithful ones are like that because they follow the One who is always faithful. They want nothing less than to strive to be like Him. If you were to ask them they might tell you how grateful they are to the Lord for His faithfulness.  Maybe share some stories of the times He was faithful to them. Maybe even times when He was faithful when everyone else had turned away.

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassion’s fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

People are human. Sometimes even with the best of intentions they will let you down.

There is only one we can turn to who will never let us down. That is God.  Faithfulness is not something the Lord does. Its who He is. Its part of His nature. He is always the same. He can’t lie. He will always love you.  He will always come to look for you when you are lost.  He is faithful and that will never change.

faithfulness

The next time you are feeling down, or thinking on how bad things are just remember, no matter what, God is always faithful.  Always.

 

 

Taking A Stand

Have you had to take a stand recently?  Or maybe you know someone who has?  If you haven’t recently, rest assured, if you are a follower of Jesus you will have to take a stand at some point in time. And often it might not be an easy thing to do.

We see in the news these days a lot of people who are taking a stand  for morality, for what they know to be right, according to God’s Word.  Some are paying a high price for it.  In some countries some are even dying for it.

What do we do when we find ourselves on the opposite side of those we work with or perhaps those in our own families?  Do we keep our mouths shut and pretend to agree?  Or, do we get into arguments about who is right?  It can be a difficult situation.

But first,  we need to know what we believe.  Then we need to know if what we believe lines up with what the Word says.  If you don’t know what it says in the Word it can be very easy to be deceived.  You hear all these good arguments about why something is good and why its right to pass this law or do this or that.  Its easy to get carried along with the crowd.  After all if we take a stand, people might not like us.  They might treat us different or make fun of us.  We might think what’s the big deal?

If you are a follower of Jesus you are called to be different.  Set apart.  We might not always fit in in this world.  That’s because its not this world that we should desire to fit into.  Romans 12:2 tells us: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The world needs our light right now.  It can be a very dark place.  If we are all blindly following along with what we know to be evil who will be the light to show up the darkness?

We are called to be warriors for God. BUT we are still called to walk in love.  To treat others as we wish to be treated.  That’s the part that makes it harder to stand sometimes.  In Luke 6:27-28 Jesus tells us: “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. And in 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all you do be done with love.

In and of ourselves love would not be the way we would want to respond.  I wouldn’t anyway!  Thankfully, we aren’t in it on our own. We have the helper-Holy Spirit living in us.  In Luke 12:12 it tells us that Holy Spirit will give us the words we need when we need them.  And as it tells us in Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  We are on the winning side even when it doesn’t always seem like it.

Its not the people we disagree with that we are fighting against. In Ephesians 6:12 it says: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

When we are tempted to act nasty to someone who may be coming against us, we need to remember who our real enemy is.    That does not mean that we have to change our opinion or agree with them.  We can stand firm in our beliefs while we remember we are Ambassador’s for Jesus.  How would He handle our situation?  When He was being afflicted and oppressed Isaiah says He opened not His mouth.

That doesn’t necessarily mean we are called to be silent.  We may be the ones called to speak out against something or to take action.  But we can rest in Him knowing that we have the Holy Spirit who will tell us what to say; and as it says in Philippians 4:13 we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

Does that mean it will be easy? Or that we are eager to do it?  No.  Might not be like that at all.

When I stand before the Lord one day I want my confession to be; I did what I was called to do.  Not that I followed the way of the world or took the easy path.  How about you?

 

 

Perseverance

That word was  on my mind all day one day last week.  I wasn’t sure why! I looked up scriptures on perseverance. I looked it up in the dictionary. The definition was: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Hmm.  Not exactly what we like to hear right?  Not the persevering part so much, but the difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.  We think, wouldn’t things be much easier if we didn’t have to have those things? There are times we don’t.  Sometimes our lives are chugging away just like we planned with nary a bump in sight. Not often.  But sometimes!  Don’t we enjoy those times?  And that’s OK. The Lord wants us to have life more abundantly, and to enjoy it. 

However, when you read the Word there are so many scriptures on perseverance, diligence, patience, endurance etc that we know life is not always going to be easy.

Maybe those easy times are a time of rest.  To get our bearings.  See where we have been and where we want to go.  

 If we didn’t have opportunities to exercise our faith we would be stagnant.  Not have any reason to change.  I’m not saying that the Lord is the one causing all the above issues.  The Lord does not give us discouragement for example.  In fact there are at least 17 scriptures in the Bible with the phrase Be strong and of good courage.  We can’t be of good courage and be discouraged at the same time! Nowhere in the Bible does He tell us to be discouraged.

One scripture I particularly like is Psalm 27:14: Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!  

I would say waiting is a big part of perseverance. In that scripture as we are waiting on the Lord its not a passive state. We are not just sitting there saying OK Lord, here I am waiting for this or that to come to pass. While we’re waiting for things to work out; at the same time we are keeping ourselves from being discouraged. Keeping our mind fixed on the Lord.  Carrying on.  Persevering.   

We are growing while we are persevering.  2 Pet 1:5-9 tells us we are growing in our faith: But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,  to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.  For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

So, as we are adding those qualities to our faith we are becoming fruitful.  Check out verse 9.  Wow.  Not good to be lacking in those things.  So then, it stands to reason that perseverance is good for us.  It helps us develop character. We won’t be unfruitful.

I have to confess there have been many times in my life that I did not persevere.  If it was too hard, or I didn’t like it, I quit.  Not some of my finer moments.  I think back on some of them every now and again and wonder what I missed.  Maybe the Lord had me in some of those situations because He had something for me to do there.  And I missed it by quitting.

 Needless to say I don’t want to do that anymore.  I want to persevere.  I want to know what the Lord wants me to do in any given situation.  And to not do it unless and until I know that’s what He wants me to do.  And once I know He’s called me to do something, I want to see it through to the end. When I get to the end of my life I want to be able to say like Paul did in 2 Tim 4:7  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Even with those intentions do I still miss it sometimes?  Yep.  You bet.  But not as often.  If I do its usually because I was too busy and didn’t take the time to listen. Or too impatient to wait for the Lord’s timing. 

In the end, as with anything the Lord asks us to do, we are blessed when we obey. Such as what James tells us in 1:12: Blessed [happy, spiritually prosperous, favored by God] is the man who is steadfast under trial and perseveres when tempted; for when he has passed the test and been approved, he will receive the [victor’s] crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

 

That’s the kind of blessings I want.  Check out some scriptures yourself on the blessings of perseverance. Exercise your faith today and persevere!

perseverance