Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
~ James 1:3-4 ~
We should be aware that growth often comes through trials. Just as physical strength is built through exertion and straining against resistance, spiritual strength is developed in the hard times of life. “No pain, no gain,” as they say. James gives encouragement: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).
~ How Important is Spiritual Growth in the Christian Life? ~
I have accepted the fact that salvation through Jesus Christ comes at a great cost and does not immediately bring about true spiritual transformation. After all, my sinful nature still remains with me. All the enticing and temptations are encamped round about me. I am still the same person with the same individuality of mind, spirit, and body. The one immediate difference, of course, is that my personality is no longer distorted by the cravings of this world. Through Jesus Christ, I have been redeemed from sin and death.
The great cost involved my Heavenly Father sending His only begotten son – Jesus Christ – to provide everlasting and immortal life (Moses 1:39). Another great cost comes when I have accepted the divine grace of God and now struggle to adjust to a new way of living life. I shall not allow myself to forget the empowering spirit that now indwells my heart and soul. Guiding me to grow and transform my life to that of Christ.
I stand grateful and amazed and confused at the sovereign Grace of my Heavenly Father. Grace bestowed upon me by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection to a new life. Confessing my sins and embracing Christ as my Savior is the essential first step to spiritual transformation and growth.
When my faith is tried and my spirit troubled, I will remember how ardently I prayed for grace, courage, and wisdom. Praying to be released from my troubled and sinful nature. Now that salvation is attained and realized, I will be patient and remain steadfast in faithfully walking in obedience to God’s divine will. No matter what other difficulties I may face, I will grow and mature in faith.
TODAY’S PRAYER AND MEDITATION
God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
~ Theologian Reinhold Neibuhr – Serenity Prayer ~
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