Today’s devotion is written by Mark Crain.
Reading about Paul in today’s verses, I am once again struck by his tenacity and unwavering focus. He faithfully kept telling his story, over and over, regardless of the dangers and in spite of the doubters. Paul persevered in the face of many trials and asked this latest skeptic to “…listen to me patiently.”
Today is my dad’s birthday. He died two days before Christmas in 2019, having run a personal gauntlet of cancer, chemotherapy, and physical decline. Earlier that year, after three years of working with rollercoaster treatments and side effects, he happily made the call for “No more chemo!” Even as his physical body withered, we saw his spirit rise.
Dad regularly put thoughts and words together to clarify his journey, and encourage others being tested in life. He was a faithful contributor to his church’s Dial-A-Devotion (DAD) ministry. Recently, Laura and I listened to a recording of one of his last phone devotions:
“James 1, verses 2 & 3 say, ‘My brethren, count it all joy, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.’”
If there is one thing that we all understand about patience, it is this: we all want patience – and we all want it right now! It just doesn’t come that way. The only way we are going to get patience is through the testing of our faith. That is why we can count it ‘all joy’ when we are going through a trial. That is why we can actually rejoice when we are being trimmed back and cut on.
We can say, ‘Thank you Lord for this time of pruning and this time of testing. You have said that this is going to produce something good in me. You have said this will produce patience. So, when I come out of this trial, I am going to have more of the fruit of the Spirit, and I am going to look more like Jesus.’
Isn’t this what we all desire?
This is how we glory in tribulations.
God Bless. Have patience. And persevere.”
Thank you – and Happy Birthday Dad.
What are your thoughts, comments or questions?