CONSIDER IT PURE JOY, MY BROTHERS, WHENEVER YOU FACE TRIALS OF MANY KINDS, BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH DEVELOPS PERSEVERANCE. PERSEVERANCE MUST FINISH ITS WORK SO THAT YOU MAY BE MATURE AND COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING
Ponder the sequence of these words: Faith…Perseverance…Maturity.
Understand that to be mature means having undergone growth and development and having attained a final desired state. However, before you can reach MATURITY, you need to PERSEVERE, and before you are able to PERSEVERE, you need to have FAITH. Thus, you need to follow a certain pattern in order to reach MATURITY.
THE SEED THAT FELL AMONG THORNS STANDS FOR THOSE WHO HEAR, BUT AS THEY GO ON THEIR WAY THEY ARE CHOKED BY LIFE’S WORRIES, RICHES AND PLEASURES, AND THEY DO NOT MATURE
Know that each trial that comes your way tests your FAITH. It gives you the opportunity to either PERSEVERE and become MATURE, or to be choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures…and die.
Each trial that comes your way gives you the opportunity to PERSEVERE—to persist in a state or undertaking, without yielding, in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. When you have learned to persist in whatever God has asked you to do, even during opposition, you undergo growth and development. You mature.
NOW FAITH IS THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN
But, in order to be able to persist in an undertaking, especially when you are being opposed and discouraged, you need FAITH. You need to know that Someone Invisible is watching over you and cares. Someone Invisible sees that you are discouraged and feel like giving up. Someone Invisible is on your side, despite all the opposition and counterinfluences.
This is FAITH, which leads to PERSEVERANCE, which leads to MATURITY.
Have you matured? Have you undergone growth and development? Or are you still the same person of hopelessness, powerlessness, and helplessness you were a year ago…five years ago…ten years ago?
What are you going to do with the next five trials that come your way: are you going to have faith, persevere, and mature, or are you going to be choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures…and die?
PRAYER: Lord God, I desire to be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Work Your Faith and Perseverance in me, so I may reach maturity.
Maintain an Awareness
This must be the hardest of all lessons to learn: to keep our eyes on the Eternal God during difficult circumstances, and trust that His everlasting arms are underneath us, holding us and keeping us safe.