A Call to Endurance
"Consider it great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance." - James 1:2-3
This last month has not been easy for our family. It seems as though the enemy has been trying to devour us from all sides. Tessa was diagnosed with a severe bladder infection, while teething (joy!), then one week after she was off of antibiotics, we traveled back up to the doctors to be diagnosed with another bout of pneumonia. She has taught us more often than not that endurance is something she does not lack. Aside from health troubles, we discovered that the floor of our home is starting to buckle. That said, we are now faced with an unexpected "remodel". With each trial we face, we find that strength and perseverance produces endurance.
Its funny, as we traveled through the last few weeks, I could do nothing but laugh (but cautiously waiting for the bottom to fall out of something else). Perhaps that is what James is talking about in chapter 1, verses 2 & 3. Despite the trials we face, God expects us to have a joyful attitude for a couple of reasons.
One- we are not to put our faith in man, but in God. By doing so, we allow the power and glory of God to work for and through us. Besides, when looking at the big picture, things made by man tend to be faulty...so why put faith in something that has a high potential for failure?
Second- we become more perfect, deeper and stronger faith. What is better than a closer relationship with my God?
Third- God will deliver. We must set our sights on heaven and not things of the earth to satisfy our souls. I find joy in that my God consistently delivers...it may not be as I expect, but I become overwhelmed with curiosity and excitement to see how he will deliver.
Fourth is the biggest one...I know that I have not experienced any greater trials than my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Not once have I had to shed my blood or die on the cross for others. Not once have I endured the amount of suffering and betrayal that He once did.
Hebrews 12: 1-4 "Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, so that you won't grow weary and lose heart. In struggling against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
No matter the trials I face on earth, I know my Jesus has my back...and He has yours too. The enemy is always going to be lurking in the background-testing our faith to see if we will choose him or God. The enemy is persistent. This is why God calls us to a life of endurance.