James 5:11- As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
I will always remember Mark and Debbie (not their real names). They are former clients of mine who came to see me for couples counseling. They had been divorced for 2 years after an 8 year marriage. Their marital problems started out as communication issues. That then led to anger and resentment which culminated in each engaging in their own affair. At no point during their marriage did they try to stem the tide of dysfunction. It wasn't until after divorce that they started talking about the issues in earnest and seeking outside help. By the time they cam to see me, there was a lot to work through. But they were determined.
What is memorable to me about Mark and Debbie is not their volume of issues, but their display of perseverance.
James 5:11 describes those who persevere as blessed. It references God's compassion and mercy and how it is available for all of us regardless what we have been through. The Lord seems to have a special place in his heart for unwavering faith.
Perhaps there are aspects to Mark and Debbie's story that you can identify with. Maybe the nature of your struggles are completely different. Either way, God call you to persevere in your faith regardless of your struggle. There is nothing you experience in your life that is bigger than Him. As you continue to seek Him, God will show you compassion and mercy. Just life with Job, you will see what He finally brings about in your own life.
As for Mark and Debbie, they remained in counseling with me for over a year. They rededicated not only their lives to Christ, but also their relationship. They were remarried and now experience a life together they never thought possible. Like all of us, their perseverance was blessed.
1. Think of a time when your faith was tested. How did you show perseverance? How was that perseverance rewarded?
2. How have you seen others' choice to persevere (or give up) effect their life course?