Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Patience and Perseverance

Patience and Perseverance 
by David Brenneman 

"James says that the testing of our faith produces patience. “Patience” is not a passive term but an active one. It is not a resignation to whatever happens but a strong and tough resolution in the midst of very adverse circumstances. It would be better translated as “steadfastness,” “perseverance,” or “brave endurance.”

William Barclay points out that the endurance of the early Christians was not a passive quality: “It is not simply the ability to bear things; it is the ability to turn them to greatness and glory. The thing which amazed the heathen in the centuries of persecution was that the martyrs did not die grimly; they died singing.”" - Dr. David Jeremiah Devotional "What to do When You don't know What to do".

Being patient certainly isn't one of my forte's. It's not something that indeed most people excel at. 

"To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you." 2 Peter 1:1-12.

Perhaps in various ways and times in my life, things seem to drag out. That I can't figure out why I am where I am, doing what I am doing. 

Hindsight shows these as stepping-stones of other things that were yet to come in God's plans for my life.

I would be lying if I said it was enjoyable, because it wasn't. 

Truth be known, I really don't want what brings me glory in this life, I want people to see Jesus, pointing people to Jesus. 

Learning to slow down and to let go of things that aren't for me to do or to complete has been a really difficult but necessary thing for me. 

There are times when frustration wants to settle in because of wanting to see a conclusion now.

My Dear Reader, it's a truth of life, that we may not be the one to finish something that God's working on. 

Indeed the Scriptures say that He has set eternity in the hearts of mankind. All the while we also read in those same Scriptures that the success of the Church is built upon those who came before us.

If it's this way with the Church, it's this way in life outside the Church.

We may merely be the tipping point for someone's journey to finally say yes to Jesus. We do not save anyone. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth, and the one comes to the Father but through Him.

All credit for anyone finding salvation goes only to Jesus through the work of the Spirit of God.  

Then...then...comes the work of the Spirit of God in each of us. There's a saying that says "we catch em, Jesus cleans em". We are all such as Andrew: Jesus is here. The Savior is here. Come and see!

We become His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works that we might walk in them. 

That same process we read the Disciples going through is ours to go through as well. Learning all that we read in 2 Peter 1.

Patience and Perseverance is a slow methodical process. We are living in an ever increasing impatient world. Fast today isn't as fast as what's on the market tomorrow. What's being missed by the multitudes is that to get these wonderful advancements is their giving up their privacy and their security. Handing control over for a subscription for ease of use. 

It's also causing people to think that they can hand over thinking to a machine. To supposedly make life easier. These machines, this Artificial Intelligence has no morals. 

We were created to have a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and to worship God our Creator. To get there with a whole heart requires our learning how to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ.

It requires setting aside our wants and desires to learn from our Master. He said His sheep hear His voice. His sheep hear His voice and learn what it means to be His sheep. We don't know the things of God.  

In the story of David and Goliath. King Saul had David put on armor. David tried walking around in this and took it off, he had no understanding of how to use it. Later on in his life as King himself he knew all about that armor.

We have the full armor of God. We are to clothe ourselves in His righteousness...this armor of God. We need to only be wearing this. Not this and various things of our lives too. Learning to be patient and learning perseverance is part of our training in righteousness. Part of our learning how to be His sheep. 

Are you at all seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness? Seeking first means its what's defining everything else afterward. 
Seeking first means not your understanding that's paramount but His for any given day.

While my mind and heart are decluttering since we moved, I know I still have a ways to go.  

I look back and see where God's done and is doing His work in me.

It's a process, a lifelong process, my Dear Reader. Remember what I call the Miyagi principle. Things not what they appear to be. Wax on wax off, sand a floor, paint a fence, were all in training for a technique that Daniel's body was not used to nor knew anything about.

Our lives are not what we think they are about. Our Savior and Lord is growing us in Christ. Our Savior and Lord is using us to grow others in Christ. Our Savior and Lord is using us to draw others to Himself. Our Savior and Lord is using us and others to prepare this world for His return. Those are the priorities. 

To those who are already in Heaven...nothing about this world matters other than their direct prayers to Jesus concerning those whom they have loved who are still here and their hope that they find Jesus too. The only treasure in Heaven is people. 

So don't grow weary in doing good. 
The Bible teaches us that. 

Keep on keeping on with being in your Bible and making prayer a priority. Speaking to and listening to your Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.  

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