Perseverance Must Finish Its Work

I have a friend from my school days who has a son on the heart transplant list. Her family is on my heart so often these days. I’m sure I need to tell her more often how much I have been lifting her up to the Lord.

She’s been waiting 14 long months. Within that- many long days. Away from home. Hoping for a new thing.

I spoke about new things to a group of ladies yesterday. Lunches in front, small high school library, in between student testing.

I told them it’s how God defined Himself.

“Behold, I make all things new.” Rev. 21:5

Not just a hope. Not a slogan.

It’s what He does.

And I remembered a season when I needed a new thing, hoping for good news. Discouragement sat heavy and I leaned on the prayers of others.

Then I ran across a section in the book of James, while asking “how much longer Lord?”

“Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4

Perseverance wasn’t done in me. My faith was strong until the trial hit home. And just like the Lord told Peter, there is a faith each of us will need in the final days….and what we have now just may not cut it.

There is a work inside the believer toward the characteristic God means to observe. He doesn’t cause trials, but He uses them. If we can trust with faith — in the waiting – we attain the reward that ends up strengthening us. For what do we get when we persevere in faith? Character. And through character, the forming of our spirit after God – we gain hope. Because who knows the promise of hope more than those who have desperately needed it and found it in Him.

The winter will soon turn to spring, new life brimming with scents and colors we’ve missed in the waiting. I’m long from that season of struggle, years ago now. I have not seen the answer to my prayers in their fullness. Only part. But seeing the pieces come together slowly over time has grown patience in me. Quick answers never do that.

So for those fresh in the season of waiting and persevering, I’d offer hope. Hope that doesn’t come easy but lasts forever. Hope in the promise of God doing the making.

The verb used in the Greek for “makes” is a prolonged verb. It denotes a long passage of time. We each have our own time table. Our own story.

And I remember Paul, chained in prison, saying something about “all things” working together for the good of those who love Him. There, in the Greek, it speaks of individual things. Each circumstance, each trial, each person a part of the whole story.

They work together. Like winter, spring, summer and fall. Every season is part of our redemption story.

So we look for spring in the midst of winter. We call a friend and admit to a testing of our faith. And we hope. Mostly for the day when we are found complete in Him.

For now, we let perseverance do it’s work as we choose to believe. Something new is springing up. Even something new inside of me.

 

 

 

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