Posts Tagged ‘Perseverance


Rewarding Perseverance

Trials of life and hardships will inevitably come along into each of our lives. How we deal with them says quite a bit about who we are. James wrote:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12 (NIV)

God has promised a reward for those who persevere through trials and hardships without losing faith in Him. This promise is for those who can withstand the tests that occur and who love the Lord more than anything. What or whom do you love more? Do you love your life more than you love Jesus? Do you love your things more than you love Jesus? Do you love comfort more than you love Jesus? Would you be willing to suffer for Him or to even die for Him, should persecution continue to escalate? The crown of life is a reward for perseverance no matter what. Don’t give up today no matter what comes your way. Take it one day at a time and God will give you the strength you need to press onward.

The Goal

When trials and tests of our faith come, they produce perseverance. They help us grow and learn to trust God to get us through difficult circumstances and situations. Instead of giving up on our faith, we press on through the trials with God’s help. That’s how our faith matures. This is one of the goals of being a follower of Jesus. Here’s what James says:

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:4 (NIV)

As we learn to trust God in the difficult times of our lives, the more mature our faith becomes. We are no longer spiritual babies who are prone to wander away from Jesus. Instead, we have a mature faith that not only stands firm through the tests and trials, but also helps others in their trials and tests. Don’t give up when the tests come. Don’t throw in the towel when the trials happen. Press on and persevere with God’s help knowing that you’re getting stronger and your faith is maturing.

Trials and Tests

We tend to see the trials in our lives as bad things. The Bible says that they are actually for our good. Jesus’ brother, James, wrote:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. – James 1:2-3 (NIV)

When our faith is tested, it is not a matter of God punishing us. God allows our faith to be tried and tested so that it will grow. We learn how to persevere and press on when we go through various trials and tests. How else will we be able to keep going when the going gets tough? Let’s face it, the trials and tests get harder as we get older. The trials of our twenties may be nothing compared to the faith tests of our forties, fifties, sixties and beyond. God uses tests and trials to strengthen us, not to punish us. Lean into Him as you face trials because your faith is deepening and growing as you learn to persevere.

Stuck In A Cistern

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on Joseph’s story in Genesis 37.


Doesn’t God Want Me To Be Happy?

The latest talk from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This message is based on James 5:7-11 and is about the difference between happiness and joy.


The Good Ol’ Days

Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
For it is not wise to ask such questions.  (Ecclesiastes 7:10, NIV)
As human beings, we look back at our lives from time to time and we reminisce.  We spend way too much time pondering the past and not enough time playing in the present or focusing on our future.  There are some good things about pondering the past.  First, we can learn from our mistakes.  We all fail from time to time and we make mistakes.  Why repeat them when we can learn from them?  Second, we can remember the days when the Lord carried us and got us through difficult times.  This can help us lean on Him and trust Him with our futures.
But when we linger too long in the past and compare the present times to the good ol’ days, there is no wisdom in that.  We cannot make the good ol’ days reoccur, so make the best of the present and plan for the future.  In Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) Paul wrote, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  No matter how good the good ol’ days were, they are nothing compared to what is ahead of God’s people.  Read the words of 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”
Jesus has gone to prepare a place for His followers and it is indescribable.  We cannot even comprehend what that place will be like.  The good ol’ days are done and gone.  But the future is glorious!  So let us press on to that future!  Press on, my friends!  Press on!
PRAYER: Thank You for Your promises, O Lord.  I look forward to the day when Jesus returns to take us home.  Help me to press on and persevere when life gets hard today.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

How Many Shoes Does God Have?

You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop”.  It typically means that things are going well, but one is waiting for the inevitable hiccup, bump in the road or piano to drop on one’s head from a very tall building while walking down a busy street in Chicago.  We human beings can be quite pessimistic about our lives.  We’re too pessimistic for our own good.  What happened to hope and anticipation?  What happened to optimism?  Is there any justifiable reason to have hope in our world today?  Why does there always have to be “another shoe”?  Why are we waiting for the other shoe to drop instead of waiting for the next blessing or revelation of God’s presence in our lives?

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” — Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

The Greek word translated as hope literally means a confident expectation.  The author of Hebrews makes a great connection between faith and hope.  The faith that one has in Jesus Christ is directly related to the hope of His return.  Our expectation of Christ’s return is rooted in our faith in what we cannot see.  Faith is hard, but I wonder if hope is harder.  I can see the evidence of God all around me.  I know that He is there and He created all of the beauty around me.  But when it comes to hope for a bright future, I keep wondering how many shoes God has and when the next one will drop.

The book of James says to rejoice in trials because they produce perseverance and endurance.  They strengthen our faith.  They make us more mature.  God knows what He is doing and I have to take comfort in that and believe that there is a plan for my life and hope for my future.  And some days, that’s all I can do.

PRAYER: Lord, I struggle with understanding Your will and plan for my life.  I struggle with the trials and tests I sometimes have to endure.  Give me strength for my journey as I walk through this life with You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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