Are you willing to persevere?

April 23, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
(James 1:2-4 (NIV))

I was made aware of something tonight. Something that I have struggled with for quite some time. Something that I have worried about and prayed about.

Many of you know that my seventeen year old son has Aspergers Syndrome. It has limited him to some extent and I have often prayed about his life as an adult. At the same time, it has probably been a blessing in disguise. If it were not for this diagnoses, he would not have discovered what he truly loves. He would not have been put into the situations in which he has discovered his driving passion. He would not have been given the flexibility to pursue that passion. His perseverance has opened my eyes and I no longer feel the anxiety that I used to feel. But, he is a teenager, so I will still continue to pray for him.

In short, his trials have been my trials. My trials have also been my trials. I felt that I had to help him bear the burden, but now I see that God has countered that burden with a wonderful gift. Perhaps God planned the so-called burden so that the gift would come to life. My son’s perseverance is making him mature. It is making him complete, just as God planned and it is pure joy to see.

Beauty and maturity come out of trials and perseverance. Listening to a 17 year old play jazz improvisation on the saxophone and then receive a round of applause for his efforts is wonderful. When it is your son who is making the audience take note of what is going on, it is the greatest feeling in the world. It makes me wonder how much pride God feels when we do something good in His eyes.

God is maturing each of us into what He wants us to become. Don’t fixate on what is the current state of affairs, after all, God loves us too much to leave us as we are. I long for the growth and the maturity in my life, even though it will come through trials.

Are you willing to persevere and mature into the person that God desires you to be?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us

January 29, 2010

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
(Hebrews 12:1 (NIV))

How do you see your life?

Is it a series of one mishap after another? Do you find yourself never finishing what you have started? Do you always find excuses for the things that you let distract you?

Don’t be discouraged, for that is human nature and we all have faced this at one time or another. The key is to allow the Holy Spirit to work within us to bring to fruition the plans that God has for us.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
(Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV))

God wants to bless us just as He blessed Jabez. God has plans for us. Plans that embrace us being a blessing to those whom we meet. If we don’t embrace those plans for ourselves, then we cannot finish the race that God has laid out before us. We will not persevere. We will not touch the lives that God has planned for us to touch. Our race may very well be the only glimpse of Jesus that some people will ever see. The prize that we may miss out on could be someone else’s salvation.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
(1 Corinthians 9:24 (NIV))

Don’t let things of this world hinder your witness. Persevere in the race that God has laid out before you. Someone may depend on your perseverance.

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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