DECEMBER 13, 2017
The Word: Perseverance
“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4).
Quitting can be a sign of empty or immature faith. Christians with an empty, immature faith never complete the challenges of their lives designed to help scrape off the scabs of failure that are stuck to our discarded and disappointed souls.
Disappointments will always be a part of every Christian’s life. Learning how to handle our disappointments is where the miracle of the resurrection of Jesus Christ shines through.
After Jesus’ crucifixion, 120 souls, frightened and disappointed, met for prayer in the Upper Room. Even with an immature faith, they showed up as Jesus had instructed.
- They came because they had witnessed the miracles of Christ and wanted to bear witness.
- They had seen Jesus feed the 5,000 and the 4,000.
- They saw Him raise His friend, Lazarus, from the grave and heard His profound teaching.
- They learned all about Jesus’ new way of living.
- They witnessed His final days of suffering and death, but they still didn’t get it.
- They failed to understand His purpose and His promise.
His purpose was to come and die for the sins of all people. Jesus came so those who believe might have life and have it more abundantly.
He came to die so they might truly live. His life would be an exchanged life. He came to exchange their eternal death for His eternal life, but they just did not understand His purpose.
They equally failed to comprehend Jesus’ promise. His promise was embedded in His purpose. Jesus’ promise was to be with Him in Paradise. That promise would be fulfilled by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost when He empowered them to serve humanity.
“Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.”
Father, thank you for providing us with Your love and forgiveness, and amazingly, for making us complete! You don’t promise that life will be easy; rather you promise that everything we do for You is worth it. When we focus on you, we can see that we won’t lack anything. You provide what we need now, and You will also bless us one day in heaven! Thank You for providing the Holy Spirit to help us persevere, making us mature and complete for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Devotional taken from The 9 Marks of A Mature Christian: A Pattern for Effective Christian Living by Robert F. Loggins Sr.