“Consider it pure joy, my brother and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Remember when you were a kid and they would time you for the mile run test in P.E.? You had to hit a certain time to “pass”. Well, I was never that kid to do well on the mile run; I’ve always struggled with it because I have no endurance whatsoever. To be quite honest, I was always one of the last few who finished and couldn’t comprehend how others could finish before the time needed to pass the mile run.
My freshman year of high school, the day came where I had to do the mile run again. I don’t know what came over me that day, maybe it was the pressure of starting high school and not wanting to embarrass myself by being last, but I was so determined to finish under ten minutes. There we were, at the tracks outside, getting ready to run. I remember the focus I had and not caring about anyone else around me; I just wanted to finish under ten minutes. Before I knew it, I was on my third lap. The lap that would put me under 10 minutes; the lap that would contribute to me “passing” the mile run for the first time in my life. Nobody knew it, but I was overjoyed inside, I felt so accomplished and I wasn’t even tired after running! I aligned myself with the goal and the goal was to finish under ten minutes and it happened.
My faith was like my endurance, very little to none. I was running without endurance and I was always tired, resulting in giving up each time. When we don’t exercise our faith and build that endurance, life gets tiring very easily. For me to finish the mile run under ten minutes, I was focused on the goal and getting to the goal. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14. Not our goal, but to get to THE goal, we have to exercise our faith by taking on the armor of God and devoting time to dive into the word. Practicing it by sharing your faith, sharing the word, and sharing the gospel. To persevere also means growth; walking with Him and growing spiritually with God.
Think of yourself as a seed; our faith is like a seed. To grow a seed, it needs a few things. It needs dirt, a caretaker, water and sunlight. For a seed to grow, the shell has to break for it to start growing, with that comes the water and sunlight from the caretaker. In this image, God is the caretaker and Jesus is the sun (son). The way that Jesus pours into us, we let the water flow and seep through the dirt, which is life. Without the caretaker, water, and the sun, the seed would never grow and bloom to what it’s meant to become. As Jesus shines His light on us and as His love pours into the earth, we align ourselves with His ways and His understanding, not our own. We hear and read of the Lord’s prayer, right? “...your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Heaven already happened. You see, when you align yourself and the things you do with God and His plans, everything falls into place. His plans are perfect, His ways are perfect and as we align the way we see things the way God sees it, it’s His will being done on earth.
As it says in James 1:2-3, the trials that we go through produce perseverance and build our faith. Comprehending these things leads to building up that endurance in your faith to be able to run that mile run test that’s called life. We are running toward the goal, which is for His will to be done. God loves us so much that He wants us to be a part of the family, to have a seat at the table with the Lord. Thank you God for Your grace and mercy, thank you Jesus for the cross.
Hailey Thao is 23 years young, living in Winder, GA. She gave my life to Jesus in November of 2014! She is currently a worship volunteer at 12Stone church and serves on the young adults ministry team as well. She loves to travel and try new foods with friends.