Fruit of the Spirit

Grow Up and Get Joy!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:2-8

Joy Through Sustained Effort

Yesterday, we thought about our tendency (or at least mine) to stop short of attaining victory through adversity, and how that can result in us missing out on the spiritual joy to be found in persevering through difficulty.

We have previously considered the difficulty of persevering, but now focus on the promise inherent in persevering!  In James we find the promise that if we persevere we will be mature and complete and lack nothing!  That seems pretty air-tight to me!  What joy!

A true mark of maturity is when someone is able to see a thing through to completion.  When we are young, we often lack long attention spans.  (Some of us still struggle with this!)  As a child grows, he or she is capable of studying a subject or practicing a skill, yet it still remains a discipline that has to be practiced throughout our lives.  Sustaining motivation is increasingly difficult when we fail to define a fixed goal or benefit associated with continuing the task or effort.  However, we see that if we ask God for the strength to go on and then push through, we get not only the transitory benefit of the “feeling” of accomplishment but also get maturity, completion of a lesson we needed to learn and everything we need.  This yields spiritual joy!

So the next time you are tempted to pack up your toys and go home, remember that is a tendency of CHILDREN.  To be mature in the Lord is to dig into God’s word and promises for the strength and ability to persevere for the sake of the promise of spiritual joy!

Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.

Psalm 4:6-7

All the Best in 2013!

Julie

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