Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

James 1:2-3

“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.”

Some comic character once said, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get!” Do you ever feel that way? Like it or not, there are times when we feel like throwing in the towel. It seems like the harder we try, the less we accomplish. That is true in all areas of our life.

The problem is that we focus our attention on what we feel like doing instead of doing what God’s Word says we should do. Doing things our own way, in our own strength and for our own motives will inevitably result in failure and disappointment.

I have been thinking about the word, “perseverance” as it relates to my own life and ministry. It is one thing to study, pray and write these Daily-E-Votionals five times each week. In a way that is the fun part of my ministry.

The perseverance is trying to keep from being overwhelmed by messages. On a typical day I receive several hundred e-mail messages. Many of them do not require a response or if they do, I leave them until I have the time to respond. The problem is that my backlog grows to the point that it requires perseverance to work on clearing it to a workable level.

From time to time I discover that perseverance has unexpected rewards. Several years ago we were in Idaho for a visit. While we were there I was invited to attend an early morning Men’s Bible Study.

I had started this particular Bible Study over thirty years ago. A few of the men from the original group were still there, but for the most part it was a completely new group. Someone mentioned that the group had expanded from our original group of about 20 men and now more than doubled in size.

I recalled some of those cold early morning hours when it would have been easier to remain curled up in my nice warm bed, but here was the reward of perseverance. Staying with a calling will produce benefits beyond our view.

As we go through this life, the things that the Lord leads us to originate may continue long after we are out of the picture. It does not matter whether we see the results or not. I had the joy of seeing results that have lasted for over a quarter of a century. But even if I had not been able to see it, that group of men still continued on what had started with just a group of three or four men.

I urge you to commit yourselves to set your course with a new resolution to study God’s Word and then to put it into practice. Learn a little and do what it says. Then learn a little more and do that too. Then learn a little more and so on and so on. Here is a good definition of perseverance: Here a little and there a little and KEEP ON KEEPING ON!

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

— Pastor Cecil

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