Let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4
The oldest manuscripts read, “perfect and fully assured, fully persuaded.” If I am fully persuaded, nothing will stand in my way. I will have no doubt about who Jesus is, what God is like, and how He feels about me. Because of that, I will feel no reservation when I choose to give Him every part of myself and every facet of my life. I will believe that no sacrifice is too great, no casualty in the war against the anti-kingdom too costly. I will have eyes for my Master, my Bridegroom, and I will dream of the day when He comes back. Until then, I will work with Him to enforce Calvary’s victory and do all I can to advance the kingdom He rules so righteously.
Endurance hasn’t always been my goal. I was a quitter in my early life and, believe me, I hate to admit. I remember taking a rugged survivor course in my teens. After three weeks of ‘roughing it’ in the outdoors, we had to embark on a seven-day, 70 mile canoe trip. We also climbed the highest peak in NY State and roughly 1,000 feet from the summit, we were given the choice to climb the last bit or sit it out in a cabin and wait for everyone else to return. (A 3 hour wait.) I sat it out. Reaching the top wasn’t important to me at all. I know that part of the reason I felt that way was because I took the course to please some leaders who intimidated me, who I felt expected me to take it. So a shortcut was welcome at that point.
In the mid-nineties, I also told God, “I quit”, after learning about betrayal in friendship and ministry. There was something in me, something I didn’t quite understand until much later, which caused me to throw up my hands and abdicate. However, that all pre-dated my newfound relationship with Christ. Once love began to burn brightly, the fires of devotion caused me to be fully assured and steadfast.
I pray that these words will cause each of us today to dig in our heels on rough days and say, “Sorry, quitting is not an option. The rain and sleet only strengthen my resolve.“
Where is my spiritual grit, Lord? It’s wrapped up in my heartfelt response to your love for me. Thank you. Amen