Glorious Horizons Ahead

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“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy”
(Col. 1:11, ESV).

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9, ESV).

There is a dynamic interplay of truths, between these two verses. On the one hand, you have a job: don’t give up. On the other hand, God has a job: strengthening you with all power so that you don’t give up… so that your life will shine forth with “all endurance and patience with joy.”

At this point, this quarantine has been dragging on for long enough to really feel wearisome, am I right? Over a month without hugging and hanging out with the people that we treasure. Over a month shut in with no fun outings allowed. Over a month of battling intense uncertainty and fears. Over a month of just everything being so… weird. I could go on, but the point of my post wasn’t to complain.

Rather, what was on my heart to share with you is what Holy Spirit brought to mind today about it all. As I was reflecting on the prolonged nature of this ordeal, He pointed this out to me: He is developing endurance in us.

Developing endurance. This is never, ever enjoyable. Probably not a one of us, when all is going well, say to God, “Hm, I think endurance is lacking in my life. Would You please develop some of it in me?”

And yet, our all-wise Abba Father seems to hold the very strong opinion that endurance is one of the best things that could ever happen to us. So much so that He gives us this advice:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-3, NLT).

Perfect and complete! Needing nothing! That’s what Daddy has in mind for us. (The Greek there for perfect means “mature.”)

So, in conclusion,

being stuck inside for weeks on end…
unable to do all the usual fun things that bring us enjoyment…
going without the treasured people that delight our souls…
navigating such scary, uncertain times…

…is going to end up being really, really good for us. Entirely uncomfortable right now, yes. But He’s inviting us to keep our eyes on the prize. Glorious, beautiful horizons are up ahead. So much freedom is coming to our lives. Yes indeed — do you know that spiritual maturity brings with it so much freedom?

There really is a reason He says to consider this “an opportunity for great joy.” This verse is not just a condescending pat on the head to help get us through the hard times. God is incapable of lying. If He says this is about great joy, it really, really is. He is doing amazing things in each of us right now.

So let’s join Him in this prayer over ourselves: “Daddy God, will You please strengthen me with all power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy?”

I’m cheering for you! Shouting out a great big amen to your prayer!

Dear one, don’t give up. A mind-blowing harvest is ahead as you persevere.

**************************************

Have you endured through a prolonged trial in the past, and, in hindsight, noticed beautiful fruits coming from it?

 

14 thoughts on “Glorious Horizons Ahead

  1. God is indeed teaching us a lot of things this season. Leaning in and listening to Him, we find many ways we can change out lives for good. One thing i have found this season is the meaning of REST!!!! He has given us this rest, not just for my family but many. I pray that our nurses and Drs and all front line workers will be able to get rest soon.
    I look bad at my life and i see it as a journey our God has been walking me through – some seasons have been tougher than others but in all season, He has been with me. It was great reading your comment about God using me to speak joy! Someone encouraged me yesterday in the same way that God has given me JOY even in the tough times, He has made JOY shine more and more and its beautiful! I do feel joyful from the inside, deep within me and i know this is bse God has been perfecting it in all the trials He has brought me through and by putting people like you Jennifer in my life – “the encouragers” and cheer leaders! I love you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awww, you did it again! Biggest joyful smile on my face right now! You are sooo special and beautiful to my heart, dear sister! You are right, He has been producing His beautiful Holy Spirit fruit in you through all you’ve walked through. You shine like Jesus! And what a precious, precious gift, to learn to rest in the rest of the Lord. Wow. ❤

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  2. Yes! count it all JOY, says the Lord. Yet so many, including myself, have sought you in things and other temporary objects. When isolation kicks in, we all have the same opportunity, that God provides to do more then soul searching. In this age, peace, joy and silence are a scarce commodity but what this threat [coronavirus] has brought forces us to retreat from the life we thought was natural and pleasing to the flesh. When we tell a child NO ! often we are met with rebellion. As those God put in authority say stay home, do not work, do not go about things we find pleasurable, many will rebel. As you say, Jennifer, persevere , and become perfect [mature]. Are we able to SEE and HEAR the Lord all around us ? If not, stop and be still, for He is our God. Len Wisniewski

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  3. Uplifting post, Jennifer! I hope and believe this experience will invigorate us with new appreciation, new strength and boldness, etc. I chuckled when you said that we never look around at things going smoothly and ask–“Hey, God, how about giving us some struggles to build our endurance?” Lol, very true.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love how GOD works……another word HE is working in all of us is perseverance! We must NEVER give up as the enemy would love us to. Let us come out of this experience as a stronger and more confident Body of Christ! Blessings and thank you for your post!

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