You may be going through some of the hardest days of your life. You may be wondering Why? Why me? Why this trial?
James wrote to Christians who were enduring great persecution. They were probably asking those same questions. He answered them in this way. "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" (James 1:12). He was saying that when you persevere through a trial, God gives you a special measure of insight. You become the recipient of the favor of God as He gives to you, and those who suffer with you, something that would not be learned otherwise.
That word persevere is very important. It's an archaic word and we don't hear much about it in our day of bailing out and giving up. We don't hear much about hanging in there and persevering...about staying power! But there is more to it than merely enduring. It's one thing to stand grim-faced, tightfisted, and staring at God with anger, saying, "How DARE YOU! What right do You have?" or "Look at what I've done for you! And look at what I get in return!" That's one kind of perseverance. But there's another kind. The kind that stands with an open hand and open arms, that looks into the face of God and replies, "I submit myself to You. I'm trying hard to hear what You're saying. I wholly and completely admit my dependence. I've run out of answers. I'm waiting."
You may be going through a trial so overwhelming that it's borderline unbearable. You want to see the end of the tunnel. Which is only natural, because once we see that little speck of light, we feel we can make it through to the finish. But God's tunnels are often twisting, too complex and dark to see the light for many days. In such settings He says, "In that dark, twisting, seemingly endless period of time, trust me. Stop running scared! Stop fearing!"
This message reminded me that in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, God repeatedly asks me to trust Him and wait with hope and expectation. He assures that at the end of that long, dark wait, there will be great reward.
As a special Christmas gift, I will be giving away one copy of the powerful little book "Perfect Trust" by Charles Swindoll. Just leave a comment below, and I will use random.org to choose a winner on Friday December 17th.