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You know those days when you go to church and the sermon feels like it was written just for you? That was me yesterday.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but my Dad is actually one of the pastors in our church. The way it works is we have a few churches with quite a few pastors and they rotate through which means I usually hear my Dad speak once every few months. I’m obviously totally biased but he is my favorite pastor to listen to, for so many reasons but one of them is because he always has an outline with a few points to his sermons, as a person who likes to take notes and loves lists, I find it helps me listen to and remember the sermon better.
I’m not sure if he was thinking about me when he wrote yesterdays sermon, he definitely knows what we are going through, but either way, it really hit home.
He focused on the first few verses out of James 1:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them. And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field. The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.
Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
One of my favorite things my Dad said yesterday was: God does not waste pain. Isn’t that so comforting? We know there will be pain in the journey, we’ve been told, we’ve experienced it, but it wasn’t without purpose.
Our trials are put before us to bring us to maturity, to help us grow. He also shared that patience isn’t a passive waiting but rather, patience is a courageous endurance. I find that so encouraging. As we wait for our adoption to be completed I am going to be reciting that over and over again as my mantra: patience is a courageous endurance.
If you want to hear the whole message from yesterday you can do so here.