Thanksgiving has come and gone…but I cannot help but reminisce a bit about this year’s turkey. From the looks of things, he stayed in the fire too long and was severely burned. Oh, how so many of us would say the same thing right now. Life can be trying, difficult, rocky, unending and certainly leave us with a few visible scars. However, as believers, we do not live without hope.
We can become distraught about the troubles which surround us. Maybe you find yourself here today…weary and tired from the constant battle. It is easy to give up when the going gets tough. A common fallacy is to believe life is easy for believers. To believe you will never encounter suffering or pain. To think you will never be hurt. To question why God would allow such overwhelming difficulty.
God is working…working on you in the midst of pain. You may not see the beauty in your circumstances. In fact, you may be ready to get out of the fire. The waiting has been excruciatingly tedious and long. If the choice was up to you, this whole ordeal would’ve ended months ago. But the good news is, it is not up to you. We do not always see, know or understand what is truly best for us. In the midst of suffering, we often attempt to ease our pain. We attempt to change another person rather than asking God how He wants to change us. Look for the lesson. Ask God for wisdom. Lean on Him for strength. There is a promised blessing for the one who perseveres.
“For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:11-12
Webster defines perseverance as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” One who is steadfast walks with determination. Their eyes are fixed on the end goal. They are firm in their resolution, despite uneasy circumstances all around. They are not easily swayed and act out of faith, not sight.
- They love others, not because they deserve it or have earned it. They love others because God first loved them.
- Despite the circumstances, their roots are firmly planted. They continue to pray, read God’s Word and seek direction.
- They do not give up. Their beliefs in God are unwavering, despite what others say and do in their midst.
Honestly, we cannot always comprehend what God is doing or how our situation will turn out for good. We have to resolve that it will.
We have to completely trust that God will prevail.
As for the turkey, despite the look of things…he was incredibly delicious. The rub my father-in-law used gave the appearance of a burnt turkey, but oh the inside was another story. What is going on our outside may be brutal. But oh, let’s allow God to work a wonder on our insides.