Monday, September 18, 2023

Are We There Yet?


“Are we there yet???”

Every parent has been driven insane by little voices calling out from the back of the car on a long trip.  Everybody wants to be at the destination and nobody wants to put up with the hours/days it takes to get there.   We want the smiles without the miles!


James 1:2-4
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.


Things to think about:

·       When our four kids were young, we couldn’t afford to buy plane tickets, so we had to drive everywhere.  One of our most common destinations was back to my wife’s mom’s house in Florida, never less than 12 hours from any of the places our kids grew up.  Since I was an enlightened dad, my rule was that we didn’t have videos playing in the car, I wanted them looking out the window, taking in all that I-75 had to offer 😊

o   In all seriousness, I did want them to enjoy the journey, not just grit their teeth until we pulled into Grams’ driveway.

·       While maybe not a perfect analogy, I do think that God always has a purpose in making us wait for Him. 

·       Our verse says that we should consider it pure joy when we’re stuck in the traffic jam of life, with a flat tire, and the radiator just blew!

o   The verse says that “the testing of your faith produces perseverance”

o   Why does our faith need to be tested?  Why doesn’t He just fix all of our problems right now?

·       What good is perseverance?

o   In Romans 5:3-5 - it tells us that, “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

o   We are stronger when we don’t quit.  We learn resilience, which is a muscle that gets stronger with use.

o   When we persevere, we are more like God.  He doesn’t give up on us and therefore we shouldn’t give up on Him

§  2 Peter 3:15 - bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation

·       The payoff

o   Our passage for today says that if we develop perseverance, we will be “mature and complete, not lacking in anything.”

§  Mature means fully developed

§  Complete is the whole package

§  Not lacking in anything – every need we are aware of and even those we don’t are fully met

·       When you are going through something that is unpleasant or difficult to take, try to see what good God has in it for you.  If you can’t find anything else, lean on the truth that He is teaching you to trust Him.  Despite the breakdowns and slowdowns, you will arrive just on time, mature and complete, not lacking in anything!

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