Lisa, Cathy, Linda, Bev...together we comprise a tight sisterhood known as the "Perseverance Posse". We are a group of Christian, middle-aged women with grown (notice I did not say fully mature) children. We have navigated the waters of divorce, infidelity, mental illness, surgery, prodigal children, job loss, military life, financial difficulties, even death (and don't forget menopause).
A strand of three (or more) cords is not easily broken. When one of us is down, the others come alongside and lift her up in prayer, word and deed. I don't know where I'd be without these women in my life?!
Sometimes when we get together we jointly ask, "Why so many trials, Lord?" I believe our answer can be found in James 1:2-4:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
"Pure joy" is a strong term. Often we are not joyful while in the crucible of suffering, but when we look back and see, once again, that God was faithful to bring us through, we can truly be filled with joy!
A Christian can rejoice in suffering because he knows it is not meaningless. Part of God's purpose is to produce character in his children.
God is more concerned about our character than our happiness. Why? Because learning to persevere ultimately produces hope. Not only does hope not disappoint us, but it gives us life, builds our trust in God and alleviates fear. That sounds like a recipe for happiness.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us... (Romans 5: 3-5a)
My daughter is in her first year of teaching middle school - Yikes is right! She has been totally overwhelmed by the whole experience and has thought about giving up on many occasions, but she is sticking it out. "Why so hard, God?" she asks. It's really tough when you are IN the crucible of trial, but take heart - there IS hope!
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)
What glorious promises for those who lean into the Lord and keep on going. What abundant love God lavishes upon those who persevere!
So, together with my posse and with my daughter, we wait on the Lord. Wait for the strength He promises when we persevere through trials and suffering.
How has God worked in your life to build character through perseverance? I invite you to scroll down and share your thoughts under "Comments".
In His love,