THE HOLY BIBLE (New International Version – James 1:12): 12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
THOUGHTS: We hear about ‘fair weather’ Christians, where we find it very easy to praise God when we feel like everything is going our way. We also hear about ‘hard times’ Christians, for it is only then that many of us look up to God and truly seek His face. Friends, as I read this verse this morning I felt like God was saying that He will truly bless us and/or reward us if we stick with Him while He is blessing us with riches and good fortunes, or testing our faith through very tough times. There’s a song that has lyrics similar to this “if I never have a burden, how would I know that God can truly pull me through“. I believe that ‘to persevere’ is to be consistent and/or dedicated in spite of our circumstances. Imagine taking a road trip from one location to another. You don’t turn around and head back home if your car has a flat tire, instead you have your problem repaired and then you travel on to your destination. On those trips when you’ve travelled hundreds of miles and arrive without incident, hopefully you then take time to thank the Lord for safety and protection on the road. These types of scenarios are similar to those that we face each and every day, and indicative of our walk with the Lord. If you are not already a praising person, may I encourage you to learn to ask God to bless you each day! Ask Him to use you as His faithful witness here on planet earth and to bring glory to Him in all things. Don’t place any conditions on that, such as “if things go my way” or “if there’s no setbacks”. Learn to praise God (persevere) in all circumstances and look for the lessons that He is teaching you, or how He uses those circumstances to redirect you into His perfect will. Oh that we may learn to let go of self and let God have His perfect will in our lives. Let’s commit to honor God, worship Him, serve Him and follow Him in spite of our circumstances. Obeying God in every circumstance, no matter where He leads, is an important way of showing our love towards God for His rich blessings, protection, guidance and leadership. This scripture assures us that when we do this, we are sure to receive a crown that God has promised to all who love Him.
PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for Your love and Your assurance of being our Guide, our Protector and our Provider each and every day. Please give us strength and fortitude to let go of our selfish desires and self-will to do ‘our own thing’ instead of leaning on the everlasting arms of the One who created us and who knows what lies ahead for us and the ones we need to help. Lord, may we learn to be as instruments in Your hands so that You may accomplish Your will through us in every circumstance of life. We are appreciative of our promised reward, but Lord, may we be content in knowing that we are obedient followers of the One who has this whole world in His hands and under His control. We are Your children Lord. We love You and long to be obedient in following Your plan for our lives. I ask these things in faith and in the precious and all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving name of Jesus, AMEN!
PLEASE NOTE: I will be out of town on a mission trip to be of service to our friends in Mexico during the week of July 19th. I will not be able to publish these devotionals during that time. Please pray that God will use His servants, our group of 30, so that His children in this foreign land might be encouraged and drawn to Him through our honest and sincere representation of our Savior. May God be glorified in all things through our witness! I expect to resume these devotionals on Monday, July 27th.
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!