Weekly Thought – October 21, 2014
Fred valued his faith. He consistently assessed the difference between ritual and reality. As he aged he understood the meaning of relationship. He surrounded himself with men and women who encouraged him in practicing the walk. He learned from their lives. Those who persevered through difficult times were particularly helpful to him.
This email concludes the rewards of perseverance.
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Rewards of Perseverance (Part 4)
As we looked at perseverance, we noted several rewards of staying the course: 1) maturing as a person and in our faith; 2) deepening of our character because tribulation is the pathway; 3) turning our single experiences into a series of principles which overlay other situations; 4) finding purpose and concentration to move ahead with intentionality; 5) knowing ourselves so that decisions can be made from the standpoint of true understanding. There are two more: 2) strengthening our relationship with God and 2) experiencing joy.
1) Deepening our relationship with God – As we grow through the hard times we learn to find that calm on the stormy sea. Through the help of the Spirit we find the inner help and the quiet center. In our relationship with the Father, the therapy of thanksgiving, and the wisdom of forgiveness are practiced. In trouble we learn to borrow the peace and not fall prey to the hype. We can have His peace and not give in to panic.
It is important for our spiritual health to encourage others who are suffering with the truth of our experiences. To deny our problems and struggles is dishonesty and of no help. As Christians we should expect troubles and encounter them victoriously, knowing we suffer for a purpose. We need to comfort others with the comfort God provides and share the hope. Someone said, “When a brother cries, we should taste salt.” We persevere together.
Don’t run away from the storms. Fly above them on the wings of eagles which the Lord provides.
2)Joy which comes from coming through – The sense of accomplishment is accompanied by the relief which allows us to breathe deeply. “I made it” is a song of triumph. This joy is the rest which comes after the rapids. Running the race and keeping the faith is the victory, Joyful to me is the hope in receiving the crown of life. When we hold to the end we recognize the joy in the journey.
Editor’s Note: During Fred’s last years he loved to sing Through It All by Andrae Crouch. Whenever groups would gather, he asked them to sing with him. Fred’s last words on the earth were, “Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus – I’ve learned to trust in God.” Fred persevered!
This week think about: 1) What am I learning through my hard times? 2) Who needs me to walk with them right now? 3) What am I doing this week to finish well?
Words of Wisdom: “The joy is the rest which comes after the rapids.”
Wisdom from the Word: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.” (James 1: 2-4 NET Bible)