“Perseverance begins when our strength and wisdom reach their end.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 22, 2023
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12, NIV
When we think of perseverance, often we imagine it to be a short-lived season, requiring of us focused attention for a brief moment and then returning us to our previous rhythm. Yet are we able to persevere for the long haul, when there is no clear end in sight and we instead must accept the current season as our “new normal?” Though we hope and pray to avoid such seasons of extended perseverance, we must remember that we are not promised carefree days by our Lord. We follow a crucified Lord who invites us to encounter him in life’s sorrows and struggles, whatever they may be.
If we find ourselves struggling with some aspect of our lives or season of life, it is easy to assume that the only thing standing between us and “progress” is an action that we can take or a change that we need to make. If you feel lonely and disconnected from community and friendship, surely a few steps toward others will fill that hole. If you’re battling a medical issue or unwelcome diagnosis, a change in diet or exercise will have it cleared up in no time! If work has left you unsatisfied and underpaid, the perfect job is just a few clicks away on a job board- all you have to do is look!
However, what happens when every “right” step seems to leave us as we were before? Still lonely. Still sick. Still frustrated. In truth, these are the moments in which real perseverance kicks in and is required of us!
Perseverance begins when our strength and wisdom reach their end.
To persevere isn’t simply to grit it out in our own strength. No, it is a way of life rooted in faithfulness to Christ, believing that Christ is not only with us but is allowing this season for the salvation of our souls and bodies. Let me say that again. Our Lord is not surprised by your pain, and difficult though it may be to accept, he at times allows it so that we can grow and be conformed to his image. Does he delight in our pain? Never. Yet to live is to struggle, and as we keep our eyes on Christ in our seasons of sorrow and confusion, our faith is deepened and our affliction is seen in the light of the Cross of Christ, which allows us to be joyful at all times and in all places.
Father, teach us to follow you, not only when it is easy, but especially when it is hard, through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
What trials or struggles are you currently navigating that you must learn to accept as allowed by God and a part of your salvation journey?
Shane & Shane: Be Thou My Vision
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