"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).
First off, let me thank Sunny Suggs of the world-famous BootScootinTraffic.com for giving me the idea for today's blog post.
I don't want to lack anything. Either should you. That's why we look into God's word frequently on this blog, because we know that what we see everywhere around us is temporary and subject to change, but the words in that book...well, you know.
Consider it pure joy, the Apostle Paul writes. That means we should replace moments of discouragement or testing with the joy of knowing God is in control and he will get his way in the end. I like that. We don't have anything left to worry about, because we rest in his arms like a baby and he takes care of our every need.
I saw Plumb singing that song last night on the television machine, and I said "Amen."
You know why so many Christians are unhappy? Because they are stressed out and worried, doing all sorts of things God never told them to do. People pleasing. Kissing the feet of the people who kick us. You can rest assured, like the song says, I won't be kissing the feet of anyone who wants to kick me. Neither should you. You can be anything that you want to. Persevere silly!
One of the other things we do that God never asked us to do is listen to the negative, accusing voices around us.
You're not good enough. You blew it. God can't use you. He's not going to turn your situation around. Your life is swirling around like a turd in a toilet. Your house is on fire. You're going to have to ride a bicycle to your dead-end job in a cubicle when this is all over.
These are the devil's messages, and I tune out the devil's messages like I tune out a two-dollar radio. And so should you. God's got a fantastic job for you and me. We're going to live in a beautiful home we can be proud of. We're going to see all our dreams fulfilled and we are even going to touch the world in major motion pictures. We're going to write books, too. We're good enough, We're smart enough. We're talented enough. We're attractive enough. And gosh darn it, people like us.
However, let me point out, that even if someone doesn't happen to like us, it doesn't matter. You know why? You and I are a friend of God. It's in the Bible, and its in a pretty song, too. In times of trial and testing, who are you going to believe? Jesus. That is the correct answer.
Perseverance. It really is a choice that we must make every day. If you're having a difficult time being consistent in that decision, can I ask you a personal question? Are you spending the time you should in his word? Are you starting every day off getting quiet for a few minutes, concentrating on what his words say, or are you just getting on some goofy Internet Web site and believing what the unregenerated minds of this world would have you believe?
Thank the Lord, you are a person of faith. Thank the Lord, you have made the choice, with me, and you will persevere in whatever God has led you to today. No matter where you are in life, or what you are facing, God has the answers and has already plotted out your victory.