I don't know if you ever experience those weeks... or two weeks! that just never seem to let you stop. Well that is how my last 2 weeks have been. So today I just felt the Lord (and my sanity) calling me to quiet my heart and my mind, reflect, have starbucks (hehe), and empty my thoughts into my blog. You are welcome.
Exciting news first! One reason for my craziness was that my dear dear friend Rachel Wightman surprised me from Seattle!!!! I was crazy with excitement! Friendships like the one that I have with Rachie just prove to me all the more that friendships are a God-ordained and appointed method to form us and mold us. They are so powerful and so special. Truly, not just because I have been to THREE sappy graduations where all of the speeches say "I wouldn't be here without ___________", but truly I would NOT be the person I am today had I not met and formed a genuine friendship with Rachel. She always brings out the best in me, but doesn't ditch me because of the worst. We all need a friendship like that. Here is a little pic-ie poo.
Now to release my thoughts...
As usually happens, this last week my message really got me. I spoke on perseverance. I would consider myself to be a very dedicated person, however I came to realize that dedication does not replace perseverance. Being dedicated means that people can count on you; it means you are driven. However, as I spoke about, to persevere is a completely different aspect of not giving up. In my message, I talked about what we as people would say about perseverance. We would say that perseverance is a good quality to have; it makes you dependable and reliable. But the bible says so much more about the benefit of persevering. Here is what the bible says about perseverance:
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
*Perseverance builds character.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
*Perseverance helps us to grow and become spiritually mature.
2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
*Perseverance, along with these other qualities makes us more effective and productive for the kingdom of God.
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
*God rewards those who persevere.
To persevere is so much more than adding noble characteristics to your reputation, it is to push through to the break through. My message also addressed persevering in good times and in bad times. We always think of the difficulty of persevering during hard times, however I believe that it is during the good times, during the calm, peaceful times, that we loose sight and let up. We start to fade due to our lack of dependency upon the Lord.
1 Corinthians 10:12 says,
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
During good times or bad, let us persevere, so that we may be made complete "and not lacking any good thing."