“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Do you feel like you’ve been put through the ringer lately? In your heart you believe in God, but your faith in Him is really being tried like never before. It’s being tried by illness. It’s being tried by financial woes. It’s being tried by family issues. It’s being tried by the not so simple process of delayed manifestation. Even though your faith is being tested God still wants to bring forth the best in you and for you. God’s word of comfort to you is “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)."
James states that our trials enable us to develop “perseverance.” Perseverance is continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. If you ever want to manifest your God-given potential then you must possess perseverance. I am convinced that all great men and women have possessed this quality for without it their dreams, goals and objectives would have never been fulfilled. On this subject Napoleon Hill states, “The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on DESPITE all opposition, until they attain their goal. These few are the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, and Edisons.” It’s imperative that you become one of the few who persevere.
In Hebrews 11 we read of people who against all odds persevered and obtained the fulfillment of their faith. Your trials are only temporary, but in order to finish the race you’ve got to endure. Stop allowing the way something looks or feels to deceive you into quitting. Your destiny awaits you, but will you endure the length of the journey to get there?
“Leave all to the LORD; trust in Him; He will do it.” Psalm 37:5 (JPS)
“Today I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses. I am offering you life or death, blessings or curses. Now, choose life! Then you and your children may live.”-Deuteronomy 30:19 NCV
"Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24 NCV)
We love it when people are mindful of us and further motivated to act in a thoughtful manner, but many times this love flows only one way. Either it flows only through us to others without reciprocation or it flows to us from others without reciprocation and in both cases this is not right. I'm not saying that we should only do good when we are sure it will be reciprocated, but I believe that true Christian fellowship is an exchange of love from one believer to another. It's a cycle that never stops.
As a matter of fact, Galatians 5:6 teaches that our faith is evidenced by the love that we demonstrate. I know that many people have the misconception that true faith is evidenced by miracles, but always remember that the faith which connects us to the power of God is meaningless if it's not evidenced by the love of God, also. Just read 1 Corinthians 13 and you'll see just that. If you love more I guarantee that you'll see the miraculous on a more frequent basis. Our consistent demonstration of the God-kind of love helps to promote healthy spiritual growth and relationships that's why we are told that "Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light and will not cause anyone to stumble in his faith(1 John 2:10 NCV)." If you attend a church where no one appears to be growing spiritually and the manifestation of the spiritual gifts is not a regular occurrence then most likely there is a love issue.
Today, make the decision to consistently walk in love. Love not because of what you think you can get out of it, but love simply because it's the godly thing to do. God's love demonstrated through you has the ability to make someone's day. Make it your goal to positively impact someone's day because God will get a lot of glory out of that. As Frederic Ozanam once said, "Christianity is not about ideas but about deeds inspired by love."
"I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength."-Philippians, 4:13 NCV
What is preventing you from living a life of fulfillment and zero regret? Education? Finances? Vital Partnerships? Whatever your reason or reasons may be, today I want to encourage you to live a life without limits.
Most people spend countless hours and days thinking about what they were supposed to be or what they were supposed to do. However, we can’t turn back the hand of time, but we can live better today and tomorrow. Yesterday’s mistakes should not be today’s handicaps, but they should rather be instruments of higher learning that help us to make better decisions and avoid the same pitfalls.
Today live expecting all of your dreams, goals and visions to come alive. Expect for God to connect you to divine appointments with the resources necessary to carry out everything that he has placed within your heart. Your faith in God will empower you to overcome every limiting factor that the enemy tries to use as a means of preventing your destiny. You are called to live a life without limits.
What would you attempt to accomplish if you were confident that you would not fail?
Declaration: “As a child of God I live a life without limits. As I stay connected to God, he is expanding my vision and bringing every necessary resource into my life. I cannot fail because God has blessed the work of my hands. My accomplishments bring God glory.”
Steve Tolbert is an emerging revivalist who is passionate about drawing people closer to God.