Consider Us Blessed

By Terry Wardle

September 13, 2010

Okay, James has done it again. A simple phrase that shouts out the word I need. A challenge. A reminder. “ . . we consider blessed those who have persevered.” (James 5:11). How many times does the following phrase come across my mind? Out of my mouth? Especially when times are not easy. “Okay, that’s it, I quit!” it is not a constant with me, but if the struggle is both hard and lasts a long time, especially when little seems to be changing, the thought does cross my mind.

But at the very center of the stories of faith found in scripture, two characteristics show up repeatedly. Patience and perseverance. No doubt about it, these two qualities are high value items in the narrative of Christian history. Learning to wait with expectation. Pressing forward in spite of great difficulty. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Peter, and Paul, and of course, our Lord Jesus. Each modeled waiting faithfully. They all stayed the course when the path was far from easy.

Patience. Last fall the farmer who leases our fields planted wheat. Seeds deeply set in acres of good soil. Since then, so little has happened, to the eye. Right now, the fields are covered in deep snow. Even after the melt, it will be months before there will be a harvest. And in the time, between now and then, the farmer waits patiently, in expectation that in due time, he will see the shoots once more.

Perseverance. I think of the mail carriers motto. “ Neither snow, nor rain, nor hail, nor gloom of night…” Shoot, there are times when any one of these can keep me from a journey. What about chains, prisons, stones, and swords? Jeers and flogging, persecutions, and such? (Hebrews 11). Our fathers and mothers pressed on. And because they did, we bless them. Their courage helps our journey. So here is the point. Nothing we face is uncommon to the journey, and when we hold on its not just for us. Those who follow will call us blessed. Lord Jesus, help us we pray.

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