2 Mar

“Persevere, ride the wave, you’re an overcomer, weather the storm, God has this, hang in there”

As Christians, we do this all the time. We encourage one another to persevere, we pray for one another to be strong in the face of trial. This is only the beginning of faith.

As we grow in our faith, we are not called to be strong or to persevere. We are called to rejoice in our trials. We are called to Praise Jesus for our trials.

This has been on the tongues of several friends of late. I am finding truths that convict me and challenge me, but mostly, it took the death of my dear friend for me to see what God wants us to know.

God wants us to get out of the boat, in the middle of the storm and joyfully walk to Jesus. He instructs us to be grateful for every wave, every bolt of lightning, every trial, every thorn, every heartbreak.

James 1:2-4(NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Truth be told, that is a challenge I honestly don’t feel up to most days, yet I strive to do it because He asks this of me. I am learning to ride the waves, tentatively get out of the boat with only sheer focus on Jesus, and shakily walk out towards Him, saying the whole time, You have me right? I sink a little with each step. What would it be, to jump out of the boat gleefully and run to him, happily? I long for that faith!

In looking at my friends life, her anorexia was so obvious, but it was never the focus of her walk with Christ or of the friendships she created. I see in hindsight, that had God not brought illness to her stunning beauty, she could never have touched all the lives that she did. She brought many, many people closer to the Lord. She is now whole, truly at peace, truly joyful, sitting in the brightest of lights and loved with the greatest of loves.

Jill served her purpose with her thorn plainly showing and she did it so joyfully. This is a lesson for us all and I am forever changed by this realization.

Romans 8:17-18(NIV)
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him,
 and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Romans 8:28(NIV)
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 5:3-5(NIV)
3 Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 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.

1 Peter 5:7(NIV)
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 27:1(NIV)
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 41:13(NIV)
For I am the Lord your God,
who takes hold of your right hand
 and says to you, Do not fear;
 I will help you.


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