Thursday, June 8, 2017
"Christians are meant to grow—to become godlier, more loving, more self-controlled, better at persevering—so we don't stagnate spiritually.
Spiritual growth doesn't happen automatically, accidentally, or overnight.
Spiritual growth is a lifetime process we never outgrow.
It takes conscious effort—every effort, in fact.
The perfectionist in me finds this both overwhelming and comforting—overwhelming because I want to be done growing (meaning perfect) yesterday; comforting because I realize I'm not supposed to be done growing yet.
Character is built slowly: step-by-step, choice by choice, even mistake by mistake, one strength building on another over time.
Smack in the middle of this character-building process we find the trait we desperately need when we are waiting: PERSEVERE!
Now let's pair this passage with what James says about perseverance:
"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."
Did you catch that last phrase—
"let perseverance finish its work"—as in it's up to us to allow that work to happen so we can grow?
As in trials produce perseverance, and perseverance can lead to spiritual maturity, but we have to let it happen, not fight the process? (I know, probably not what you wanted to hear—me neither.)
If we let Him, God can use our waiting journeys to shape us, to make us into the people He created us to be.
Waiting seasons aren't fun, but they are opportunities.
Through our waiting seasons—yes, through the not knowing—we can build character one step at a time.
Through our waiting seasons, perseverance can gradually "finish" its never-ending work in us.
As waiting does its thing, and God does His, we get the chance to become our best selves, the people God designed us to be."
From "When God Says Wait" by Elizabeth Laing Thompson