Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Enduring Trials

Perseverance and patience are virtues we may not always welcome into our spiritual transformation. For our character to be honed with these, it means we must face difficulties and hardships. These often occur in clusters, sometimes resulting in whole seasons of despair. We grow weary and worn from the battle, and sometimes feel as though we cannot possibly proceed another day in this way. We feel frustrated, even angry, and may begin to believe that God is far away and doesn't hear our pleas for mercy.

While these seasons can be tremendously difficult to endure, we must not lose hope. Perhaps the outcome is irrelevant, because the lesson lies in the process of moving through the mountain. Thus, we can pray for God to remove our obsession with the problem, and expel our own expectations of acceptable solutions; acknowledge that He alone is on The Throne, has the absolute answers, and is equipped for the battle. We can ask the Teacher to reveal what He would have us learn in these trials; pray for Him to strengthen our resolve while we wait upon Him. We can carelessly continue to claw forward, or we can allow Him to carry us; pray for His comfort and strength, rest in His embrace, and ask that He pour His refreshment into us. We should reconcile the situation in ourselves; accept His portion, provision, help, and healing. We must pray persistently for the fulfillment of His promises over our lives; claim the victory with confidence in Christ's Name.

But most of all, we must persist in our trust and faith in The LORD. We must pray for patience and perseverance, regardless of how we "feel" - and get real with ourselves and God in our prayers. He already knows about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is intimately acquainted with our weaknesses and the struggles we face. He knows the best possible outcome for every problem. He has already designed all the ways He intends to shape us. Regardless of the cause of the issue, He can tailor it to a useful and beautiful benefit for His Kingdom. And always remember, our faith is tested under pressure; if our faith is never stretched and forced into action, we simply do not grow. He knows exactly what we need to become the authentic being He designed, and what it takes to bend and form us according to His purpose!

And when He deems it time to prevail and we have our blessed breakthrough, we can reflect on all of the marvelous miracles we clearly see in our hindsight. We must praise Him for sustaining us with His righteous hand, increasing our faith, fulfilling His promises...and for maturating our character with spiritual patience and perseverance.

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, persistent in prayer.

Luke 21:19

By your patient endurance, you will gain your souls.

Romans 2:7

To those who by perseverance in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life.

Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us.

Romans 5:3-4

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Romans 8:37

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize.

Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God's heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Hebrews 10:36

You need to persevere, so that after you have done God's will, you will receive what He has promised.