Developing Perseverence

“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 
Dear James,  
I SO did not get that memo early enough in my life! 
Sincerely, Heather
Maybe you didn't get that memo either. Maybe you still haven't. 

In speaking to the people in Philippi, Paul says, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." (Phil 1:6, NLT). Becoming a new creation in Christ is just a start of our journey to a mature relationship in Christ. It's a renewal of our spirits and preparing us to become a dwelling place for His Spirit within us. We are called to be lifelong learners and seekers of Christ, but that also just scratches the surface. There is so much more to it.

Life can be hard and full of difficulty and pain. As Jesus prepares His disciples for life without Him (John 16) and the arrival of the "Counselor" (Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth), He tells them, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Knowing that Jesus already did the work and that we'll never be perfect on this side of life doesn't mean that I should not continue in those efforts. To persevere through my human failings. For it is when I am weak, that He is strong (2 Cor 12:9). No matter what I do or where I go or the path I choose, if I let God lead me, fill me, search me, refine me, and grow me, I will always persevere through the adversity and difficulty. 

Jesus became man, was beaten, nailed to a cross, forsaken for our sin when He became sin and was separated from God, and then willingly gave up His soul. He overcame death, and sin, and tore the veil that separated us from God. Through HIM all things are possible. He is the WAY to everything. Every time I come home from PA I hear this song  on K-LOVE called Overcome by Jeremy Camp. I love the message, the truth, His story. Jesus, our Savior, was an overcomer. He has already finished the work. What's left is His grace. What is grace? God's Riches AChrist's Expense  

And regardless of the odds, choose to be an overcomer. Never believe that you can't! What we think and allow ourselves to believe is our biggest hurdle. Change your mind, change your heart, change your words, and follow that all with action and you shall persevere and you will overcome! BELIEVE!


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