Sunday, February 14, 2016

Patience and Perseverance

Hello, bloggy friends!
How was your week? I experienced a few pleasant events, with some very difficult days in between. I think I'm finding this to be my perpetual answer to that question for several weeks, now. Even when there are a few positive times, these weeks can seem long and arduous. I'm guessing that is why the Bible has so many verses about being patient and persevering.(I was reminded of a post I wrote back in September of last year called "Prayer, Patience, and Perseverance" ) So, I apologize if it seems like I start to repeat myself in my posts. I think God has a reason for re-hashing the same subject into my heart and I feel led to post about it.

My week began with having some major dental work done (I spent 2 1/2 hours at the dentist on Monday). Of course, my mouth had been sore and quite sensitive all week. On Tuesday and Wedneday, we had major snowstorms that left roads icy and drifting snow across them. So, I was homebound for 2 days. Thursday and Friday I spent with my mother and visiting with a friend. Those were better days, even though I still struggled with ongoing back pain and hormonal issues. Saturday, the hubby and I stayed in most of the day, due to freezing temps, but went out to dinner and a (very dumb)movie later on. On Sunday, I wasn't feeling up to par, as my tooth was still causing me some discomfort. We did end up going out for a few hours, but stayed home most of the day. The best part of the week, my hubby cooked me a wonderful Valentine's Day breakfast in bed!! 

As I review the week, I know that there were times of pain and suffering, but there were also moments that I found joy and felt God's presence. A few of those times included me taking time with the Lord - when I wasn't feeling well or when the weather kept me inside - and I truly began enjoying time with Him, writing in my new prayer journal, reading the Word and some pages from books I have been reading... Oh, how God uses even those difficult, frustrating, and sometimes painful moments to draw us closer to Him! 

Maybe, like me, you can look back on the past week (or month, or even year.) and see the times of struggling, persevering, and patiently waiting to get through them, times that are not pleasant at all. But, in the process, God continues to fit into our lives moments, days, or even sometimes longer periods of time where we can see God's loving hand reaching down to help us, guide us, draw us to Him. Those are awesome moments!! We tend to pay less attention to them, but they are still there in our lives.

Here are just a few verses that really stuck out to me as reminders and encouragement that patience and perseverance are sometimes difficult, but always produce a positive result.
  •  2 Peter 1:5-7 For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control,perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
  • Romans 5:4 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
  • James 1:12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
  • Luke 11:9  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you."
  • 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.
  • Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
  • James 1:3-4 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.
  • Colossians 1:10-12 So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience. And, giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kingdom of light.

It's been a few weeks since I last shared from my gratitude list. I wanted to share those here, as well.

#1791 - Continuing to pray with my hubby each night together. What a wonderful blessing!!

#1792 - starting to write in my prayer journal and loving it, as it also draws me closer to the Lord!(A few samples below)

#1793 - my mom - I love spending time with her, now that I am not working.

#1794 - the sun shining in the window on a cold, snowy day.

#1795 - an unexpected phone call from a friend, just to say 'hi' and that she was thinking of me.

#1796 - My (usually) romantic husband, who cooked a wonderful breakfast for me!

#1797 - God's amazing love for me!!(Thinking about the greatest love on Valentines Day.)

#1798 - My son, who has made me understand how to truly love (a mother's love) unconditionally!!

As we look to the Lord in the coming week for our strength, love, joy, and peace, always remember that we:
"should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

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