Devotional – Thursday, May 21, 2020

Perseverance in Faith

A devotion that appeared in The Upper Room publication (Feb 17, 2020), written by Daniel Topalski (Varna, Bulgaria) made an impression on me. In it, he reflected on the unflagging faith of his grandparents who lived through terror during the communist regime after WWII. The author noted that his grandparents were not broken by the disappointments of the world. Although people often disappointed them – their unwavering hope and expectation was in God. They persevered in faith…and awaited God’s timing. What a great and timely message!

I understand too well how easy it is to lose sight of a goal. Often I have resolved to “hold steady” and found myself flagging early on. How easy it is to relent, or to substitute busyness or some other distraction to keep us from our purpose. This message reminds me of the necessity of perseverance. It also reminds me that trust in God is well-founded, because of His absolute ability. “For no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37

Our current fight is with a non-human enemy. Although its implications differ from a tactical war, this battle will require our endurance and faith nonetheless. In this war, there is no one to vilify. We lament its coming. We grieve its impact. We question why. And we may, before it’s over, rail against it or blame others for it. But ultimately, we know that this event is part of God’s plan…to what purpose, we are unsure. And although we are involved in the fight, to a large degree we must wait for it to run its course. Like waiting for the end of a drought or the subsidence of a locust swarm, we cannot completely control this situation. We, like Job, must acknowledge, “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.” Job 42:2  How hard it is for us to acknowledge that we are not in control. And yet, that is one of the principle messages of the Bible!

Despite all the grim news, there have been many blessings in this “great pause.” I cannot remember a more glorious spring in Louisiana! Air quality around the world has improved. People everywhere are volunteering and helping others as best they can. Neighbors are outside and speaking to one another as I’ve never seen before. Friends and family are really connecting, despite social distancing. And we’ve all had a chance to turn off the noise and reflect upon what’s really important in life. My prayer is that each one of us will connect with God during this time; that we will find peace and purpose during trial. I hope that we come out of this experience changed for the better: stronger, more courageous, kinder, and filled with an unshakable, “never give up” faith in God that we can’t wait to share!

No matter what we face in life, God is bigger still. Let us exalt Him!
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” Romans 12:12

“…but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Give us patience during this pandemic. When we flag, remind us that You are in control. Strengthen our faith and give us perseverance in trial. May we discern Your will for us. And may our conduct always be a sincere reflection of Your goodness and love. Guide our leaders and bless those impacted by this illness; bring them care, healing and hope. 

Amen.

Offered by Judy Lester

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