We live in an instant culture. We love immediate gratification and we struggle with process. We are a generation of instant dinners, self-serve checkouts, faster internet and quicker phones. Retailers are getting on to same-day delivery services, apps allow us to get cars, a date, food,and a myriad of other services as quickly as possible and with minimal effort. . . but it comes at a price!
It is no wonder that when it comes our spiritual lives we often crumble in the midst of having to wait and perservere.
Adding to our quickening culture, social media convinces us that life is a whole heap of mountaintops and surely anyone godly, blessed or even normal doesn’t go through trials and tribulations!
Scripture says over and over again that it is through the testing, the waiting and even the pain, that we grow, are trained and prepared for the peaks of life.
I see it first hand teaching high schoolers. The groans and complaints when they are handed a new assignment says it all! Many of them hate the idea of process and hard work. They want the good results, but they don’t want to put in the energy required. Any educator can tell you that it is in the toil, learning from mistakes, and perseverance in overcoming problems, that the most learning and brain development is made. Embracing this process of resiliency is called having a ‘growth mindset’.
If we trust the nature of God and know that He is infallibly good, then we can embrace process and pain, knowing that it will produce a strengthening of spirit and gold in our lives.
That is why Paul says in James 1:2-4, ‘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’.
Imagine trusting the nature of God so much, that you take joy in the struggle knowing the fruit of the trial is on its way!
God cares about your character and maturity, far more than He cares about you getting instant gratification.
Next time you see a champion take gold at the Olympics, don’t forget the grueling years of training behind it. When you see a student graduate, remember the hours of sacrificed time and dedication to reach that achievement. When a baby is born, don’t forget that it took nine months of growth and development before it was ready for the world. When the person next to you finally has a miracle take place in their lives, don’t forget the hours of prayer and pain behind that breakthrough.
Process and perseverance is not from the devil, it is part of the kingdom of God. Let God do what He wants to in and through you! He knows what He is doing!
A daily devotion for a better way of living.