In a world where so many are caught up in having more, needing more, searching for more, and longing for more,
it's comforting to know that there is a way to reach a feeling of completeness.
This feeling doesn't come from anything we can buy at the mall or read in a book.
It doesn't come from anything we can achieve by success in our careers or financial gain.
It doesn't come from approval from friends or family.
It doesn't even come from our own good works.
I love that the Bible makes it very clear that completion comes only after we allow perseverance to finish its work.
I also love that the Bible makes it very clear that perseverance requires a testing of our faith.
I don't necessarily love but I do believe it's absolutely true that the only way our faith can be tested is from facing trials of many kinds.
I don't like trials.
I'm not a fan of suffering.
But I will forever consider it pure joy that because I have suffered, my faith has grown.
As my faith has grown, I have learned to persevere.
This act of perseverance has changed everything about my life.
While I'm still in a state of deepening faith and continuing perseverance,
I press on believing that as I do I am becoming mature and complete.
James 1:2-4 says,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
These verses free me from a lot of anxiety and pressure.
They remind me that in this life there will be hard times, but they always have a purpose.
They work to push me towards the One who offers Hope.
Romans 5:1-4 puts it this way,
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.
And hope does not put us to shame,
because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit,
who has been given to us.
I've got a lot on my mind this morning,
but I'm thankful this morning for a Heavenly Father who loves me, walks through life with me, pursues me, and ultimately longs to complete me.
If you feel you are lacking something in your life today,
God longs to make you whole but the journey to completeness will involve suffering.
Embrace your suffering.
Trust God with your pain.
Keep the faith.
One day you will find yourself "mature and complete, lacking nothing."
I'm praying for all of you this morning,
asking God to make very clear to you His plans for your life as you journey closer and closer to Him.