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.
(James 1:3-5, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Yesterday we talked about two keys to learning perseverance.
- We must realize that trouble is normal.
- We must remember that God is with us in our storm.
- Look for God to use you in your storm.
In the storm? Yep – in the storm. God does not wait until you get through the storm to use you. He will use your while you are in the midst of your trouble if you will allow Him to do so.
Anybody can forecast how they will handle future trouble by naively declaring what they would do if they found themselves in a particular bind. And most people can look back on past trouble and tell you what they learned from it. But God is looking for Christ followers who are willing to be used by Him in the midst of their storm.
Again – back to Joseph. He has been betrayed by his brothers, been kidnapped, taken to a foreign land, sold into slavery, falsely accused and thrown into prison. He is in treacherous waters. And yet, even in the midst of his troubles, He looks to God and asks God to use him.
Check out Genesis 41:16. Joseph basically declares “I cannot do this, but God can do this through me.” He lets God use him over and over again in his time of trouble.
You always have a platform in the midst of your problems. We always have a platform to be used by God.
- Make honoring God the goal – not just escaping your trouble.
Most of us who are in trouble want one thing and one thing alone: we want out of the trouble. We want the storm to pass. We want the struggle to end. Get me out of this, God, is often the cry of my heart when I am in trouble.
Psychologist Angela Duckworth wrote a book that was an instant NY Times bestseller. It is called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. The book explores what helps people stay on track even when they face repeated setbacks. Duckworth writes that the key to perseverance is a higher goal. We need a higher goal than just escaping our trouble.
Did Joseph want out of his prison and his problems? Of course! We all do. But what he wanted even more was to honor God in the midst of his trouble.
And as we make the decision, day after day, to not give up, to persevere – somewhere down the road, we will find that like Joseph, we have been transformed. We will be mature and complete.
And the God who is always with us will be honored through our lives.
Four keys to perseverance:
- Realize that trouble is normal.
- Remember that God is always with you.
- Look for God to use you in the midst of your storm.
- Make your goal to honor God and not just to escape your trouble.
Let’s not just get by in out troubles – let’s get better. And the way we get better is by growing in Christ through perseverance.
Father, please help me remember that You want to use me in the midst of my storm. I know You are there, and I know I will get through this storm. Help me look for You to use me in this time of trouble. I choose to make my goal to honor You in this difficulty moment.
In the name of the God who shows up in the storm, I make this prayer.
Now It’s Your Turn
Read Joseph’s story in Genesis 39-41. And afterwards, think about which one of the four keys of perseverance above that has your name on in in your current phase of life.
More from the Girlfriends
What does it mean to trust God? What would your life look like if you were walking by faith and trusting God with your whole heart? The 10-Day Trust Adventure addresses every decision you make in every area of your life – including your past and future, your family and friendships, your finances and work – and how to make those decisions as you step out in faith and really trust
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