Thursday, April 14 – James 1:12
Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Many people value hard work. There is something special about being able to endure exhaustion and pain to achieve a particular goal. In fact, there are times that we put our bodies under this kind of pressure to achieve a goal like running a marathon or winning a team sport. The pain and exhaustion that comes with practice is anything but pointless; it trains our bodies what to do when the game comes and equips us to meet our goal. But in our faith, when we face trials, we often view it as God punishing us instead of something He could use in our lives. We would love it if matters of faith were easy to understand or made hardships easy to endure but just as we see the value of pain in our training for other areas, we can know God is using the moments of pain in our lives for His glory and our good.
There is a goal that we are all racing toward, a heavenly kingdom, a great reward. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we also have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let’s rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith.” Jesus has pioneered and perfected the way before us and left the Holy Spirit to equip us. In trials, in rejoicing, in times of plenty, and in times of want, He has equipped you and gone before you so you can persevere. What a blessing that we have a God who does not leave us alone to train for an impossible task but has given us Himself and equips and empowers us every step of the way.
- What are some things that are entangling you as you run the race of your faith?
- How does the fact that Jesus has pioneered the path before you give you hope as you endure trials?
- Pray and thank God for giving you a beautiful goal in being with Him and equipping you every step of the way.