To suffer patiently
Y'all, I did a thing—I delivered my first sermon EVER before a body of believers. WILD, right? On Sunday, our pastors allowed 6 up-and-coming young adult leaders to share a 15-minute message from the Lord. I do not take the opportunity for granted. My pastors see in me what I struggle to see within myself—for that, I will forever be grateful.
The message God gave me was on the mental fortitude [ courage in pain or adversity ] to remain consistent, disciplined, and moving forward. Also known as: to suffer patiently.
As instructed in James 1:2-4 (ESV)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I am no stranger to fortitude and endurance—this is not a blind leading the blind. Each day we must find joy in how God decides to mature us. James 1:2-4 provides us with a strategy to suffer patiently.
[ Faith is tested ] after we count it all joy, rejoice, celebrate, find delight in that we “get to” experience trails of various kinds by suffering patiently as we [mature spiritually & develop an inner peace that knows [greek word: Ginosko - by way of encounter] that God is who he says he is. Nothing catches God by surprise—Surprise. God gives us free will to choose him daily, instructing us to take every thought captive to OBEY Him. The advisory wants to hold us hostage to the lies. Instead, take those thoughts and place them under the magnifying glass of Philippians 4:8 to ask yourself, is this thought true? Honorable? Just? Pure? Lovely? Commendable? Excellent? Worthy of Praise? Think of those things ONLY. Shift your perspective to see God in the suffering. The testing is for us to be perfected—never perfect—always transforming to look more like Christ. If you still look and sound like you tomorrow, something is off. We must partner with Holy Spirit—the helper, the one who came after Jesus left, who dwells within, greater in us than he [the advisory] who is in this world. Holy Spirit is doing the will and the work within us. Endure. #keepgoing