“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Cue the Star Wars music.
I was entering a galaxy far far away.
Life transformed when I stepped off the honeymoon plane and into the world of marriage. Change surrounded me. Immediately, my mind wandered back to that day. The one when my beloved asked me if I’d move anywhere to be with the man I loved.
Are you kidding me?
I was in. A-L-L in.
But, reality had other plans. I was residing in an unfamiliar city, with no family, no friends, no job, and a husband who traveled with his. Oh yeah, I was “all in”…all in over my head.
Have you been there too, friend? In a place where your expectations were quite different than the real deal? Where perseverance was a choice and you weren’t sure which way to go?
That’s why I love the beautiful life lessons in the book of James.
Perseverance grows our trust.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
I was tired of hearing everyone else’s stories about the first year of marriage being an adjustment. I was convinced that was not us. I mean, we were us! But, eventually, I had a decision to make. Where would I put my faith? In my Heavenly Father or in myself? I’m so grateful I chose Him.
Perseverance changes us.
“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:4-5
There’s no question I needed some help in the “mature and complete” department. And, the cool thing is that as I held on, perseverance did finish its work. God is faithful. He never gives up on us. How’s that for unconditional love?
Perseverance keeps our priorities in order.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” James 1:6-8
Believe and doubt are total opposites, dear one. Perseverance reminds us of whose we are. That’s why it’s important to have our priorities in order, starting with our Heavenly Father. When He is number one in our lives, fear may fight for first place, but it never wins.
So, what’s your story? What’s perseverance asking of you? Maybe it’s in your relationship or at your job. Perhaps it’s with your health or your children. I know it’s hard to have faith when we can’t see the end. But our Heavenly Father can. Will we trust Him with everything, even that thing, which requires perseverance?
Oh Father, perseverance is hard and we can’t do it without you. Shift our focus from what we want to what you want for us. Give us wisdom and help us to trust you more. Remind us that your love is always enough. We love you, God. Amen.
It’s been almost 27 years since I discovered “Perseverance 101”. What a ride! I wouldn’t trade the lessons I’ve learned or the man I married for anything. Yep. I am still A-L-L in. XO