My children are on school holidays this week and I was thinking about what activity I might do with them that would be worthwhile as well as fun. My two girls have been developing their swimming skills, so I decided to book them into a swimming squad at the local pool. Watching the process of a child learning to swim over the past number of years has taught me a lot. There is so much to learn, it takes years for children to become proficient swimmers in each stroke and it requires a lot of perseverance, both on the part of the parent and the child. But once the skills are learned they stay with you for life.
Today I was once again watching my daughter Laura trying to learn to dive. For some reason this is the one skill that she struggles with. Every time she goes to dive she tries so hard, but somehow her back foot comes forwards like she is stepping into the water and her head comes up, at which point I shut my eyes. It`s just not right. The two feet need to stay together and the head needs to go down. As a parent, and a competent swimmer, my instinct is to jump on to the blocks with her and somehow save her from the struggle of learning to dive. But then Laura would never learn to dive.
When you are born again by the Spirit of God, and you begin your journey of following Jesus, it`s a little like jumping into a swimming pool for the first time. There really is so much to learn, it will take years to become a mature believer, and it will require a lot of perseverance. So, if you`ve just ‘jumped in the swimming pool’, get ready for an exciting journey. Determine in your heart to persevere and see it through to the end, whatever you face. Take it one day at a time, be around other mature Christians that can help you along the way, and allow Jesus to make you complete. You have an awesome future!
No matter how long we`ve been following Jesus there are always challenges, or trials, as the Bible puts it. What`s the purpose of these trials? James tells us in today`s scripture. The testing of our faith will develop perseverance! It`s perseverance that will help us to become mature and complete, not lacking anything. So often when we face trials we want to be ‘saved’ from them. We pray for God to take them away, or we ask our family and friends to pray and ask God to take it away. And sometimes it just doesn`t go away. Our faith can get tested to the very edge. If you`re facing such a trial today, and your faith is being tested - rejoice! Yes, rejoice! The Lord`s developing perseverance in you that`s going to make you mature and complete, so you`ll lack nothing!
I can’t wait for the day that Laura can dive. But the struggles will make the accomplishment of it all the more wonderful. So today in the midst of your trials and struggles, where your faith is being tested, consider it pure joy. You`ll come through this. Let Jesus develop perseverance in you and make you mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, to be totally honest with You I don`t find it pure joy when I face trials and struggles. It`s really hard. But I now understand why You test my faith with such trials - You want to develop perseverance in me so I`ll be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Please let this amazing truth penetrate my heart today and change the attitude I have towards the difficult things that I`m facing today. I can now say that do I consider it pure joy to face these trials because I understand what You`re doing, and that it`s for my highest good. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.
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