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Focus: Spiritual perfection
Romans 12:12 (NIV) Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.
The best thing we have to look forward to is eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and being reunited with the ones we love who have gone on before us.
This life is brief compared to eternity, but at times it can seem like trouble is on every side and it might never end. No matter how much trouble you may face, you are promised deliverance, if your true hope is in Christ.
Sometimes you make detailed plans—plans you are counting on and believing in—and those plans somehow fall through. At the moment when a dream has fallen apart, you may feel as though you failed or God failed—and you may question how such a thing could happen when you had your hopes set on a particular thing you truly wanted.
How can you have joy in the face of disappointment? How do you carry on when you can’t see how things are going to work out? How can you thank God for removing something that meant so much to you?
The only way to face the future and make any sense out of things that are unclear, is to continually remind yourself that there is a purpose you can’t see right now. The fact that you can’t see the purpose at this moment doesn’t mean there is no purpose. This is a time when you must rest in the arms of God and be patient for the answers you’d like to have.
As you spend time telling God that you trust Him and that you know He has not failed you—He will reveal Himself to you in new ways. You will receive comfort and peace from the Holy Spirit who will also guide you as you continue to take new steps of faith.
Joy is a gift we receive when we thank and praise God for who He is. If you feel at a loss for things to thank and praise God for—go into the Holy Bible and read the words. You will find story after story of redemption and love. Recall the many accounts of people who had no hope, but God—and how that hope turned out to be enough.
God is always enough. His love is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations. The most important thing you can do is trust Him. Trusting Him when nothing is going your way is what He wants you to do. He doesn’t want you to look to anyone but Him for your hope and encouragement. He alone can satisfy the needs of your heart.
Patience is a virtue. Sure you get tired of waiting for answers. Of course you want relief from suffering. If there was no suffering or waiting—patience would never develop as a result of your faith and ability to trust and wait on God.
God wants you to become complete and lack nothing in your spiritual maturity. His desire is for you to become perfected in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
You would feel very awkward and out of place if you lived to be an adult but still had the body of a child. Spiritual maturity requires a different kind of growth that is gained through times of trusting God, even though we don’t understand. Our faith grows through courageous endurance as everything we know and believe, is tested in trials.
It would be unnatural to go through life and never know heartache or suffering. Jesus is the prime example of faithfulness. Keep your eyes on Him and remember He is for you. Remember His selfless love that enabled Him to lay down His life for you. His love for you was what gave Him the passion to persevere through the extreme tests in His final hours before dying an excruciating and humiliating death. But, after death, came glory and resurrection.
You will never suffer to that degree. Any suffering you face—He faces with you. No matter how alone you may feel—He is with you. He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” You have His Word. Live in His Word, it will make you wise and help you have the strength you need to continue maturing. It will help you grow in grace.
Declaration: I will find new strength as I offer thanks and praise to God for things I don’t understand. As I choose to be joyful and patient in my troubles—and live in a prayerful attitude—I will know the pleasure of His companionship.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.