Yesterday was one of those days when I had a lot going on and I could feel the enemy was trying to derail me and to steal my joy. I had started the day with prayer, praise and gratitude so I was pretty much ready for anything. My joy tank was pretty full but that never stops the enemy from trying to poke holes in my tank. I had a very busy day at work and I was dealing with sinus issues. I felt lousy at one point but I refused to throw in the towel and to give the enemy the satisfaction he was waiting for. When I was sitting at my desk in the morning, I asked the Lord to give me a verse that would help me. He gave me James 1:12. I don’t have that many verses memorized so I wasn’t sure what the verse was about but I looked it up. It reads “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” I was floored. I couldn’t believe it. It was exactly what I needed to hear. “The words “blessed,” “persevere,” “test,” “crown of life,” and “promised” stood out to me. God was telling me that I was blessed because I persevered through this test and the crown of life was promised to me. I didn’t read it as “I would be blessed if…” I was doing it. There was no “if”. I grabbed that truth and made it my reality. That verse gave me a lot of energy. I prayed under my breath and I thanked the Lord for giving me the strength to persevere. I was not willing to give up. I felt bad but I knew that my feelings did not matter. What mattered was that the Lord always keeps His promises. I did my part and He certainly did His.
We are children of a living and mighty God. That is great news. We have a Savior who blesses us. You and I are blessed. We are blessed because we have Jesus and we are blessed because He keeps His word and He never fails us. I took James 1:12 to heart and I made it a point to persevere throughout the day. I had a very good day according to the Lord. God showed up in a fantastic way. Not only did He give me the help I needed to accomplish my tasks but He put a pep in my step. Everything that I had to do was like a step toward the finish line and I did it all with gusto and with great joy. You see, Jesus can give us joy even when we are supposed to be sad according to the world’s standards. My interaction with people was marked by moments of joy that I shared and I encouraged a few people who were desperate to hear a word of motivation or to see a smile. God can use us any time. He can use us when we are doing well and He can use us when we are down in the dumps when we let Him. The key is to let Him. The key is to accept to be used by Him and to follow Him. Perseverance means steadily imitating and following Christ. Perseverance is about staying in faith and keeping our hopes up in all circumstances. I had a great opportunity to persevere yesterday and I am glad I had the experience. It is in testing times that the glory of the Lord is revealed. If everything was always nice and dandy, we would never witness the Lord’s ability to bless us and to save us. He saved me from a day that could have been a disaster.
My day in itself didn’t get better. My attitude and my approach got better and they made everything seem achievable. There was more than one test of my faith but I had the best teacher in the house and He pointed out ways that I could pass the tests. The most important lesson He gave me was to stay calm. He told me to take a step back and let Him move me forward by being calm in His presence. I did that. I closed my eyes and thanked Him for His peace. His peace got intense and it curbed the panic that was attempting to get inside me. When we keep going and we persevere, there are blessings that come along and they are amazing gifts from the Lord. If your back is against the wall and you are overwhelmed today, persevere. Don’t give up. Keep going. Blessings are coming and you are going to develop a great attitude of faith. God has a crown of life for you, a reward. Your perseverance is not in vain. You are doing the right thing. The promise of a better day will not be broken. Stay the course. Things are going to get a lot better in Jesus’ name! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:10; Revelation 2:10