Being able to endure is not only a virtuous thing to do; it is an extremely high-leverage trait. In other words, patience is a trait that energizes us and imparts a strength that empowers all the other characteristics we are to add to our faith.
God, for our good, allows us to experience seasons of trial and testing, but we must make the choice to yield to the disciplining effect of difficulty. “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4).
We must occupy whatever place God pleases to put us in. In the realm of spiritual things, it is our pride that has gotten us into trouble, and if our relationship to God is ever to be improved, the trait of humility is one that we’ll have to learn.
To the extent that we take God’s side in the war, we will incur the wrath of Satan and his forces. The war is real, and our enemy is not imaginary. His destructive will, therefore, ought to be among the reasons why we seek God.
If you not only desire to see your Father but actually expect to do so, it will show in your face. “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.” There are simply no brighter faces in the world than the faces of those who are turned toward God.
If we truly love God, there won’t be a single day when we aren’t fired by the expectation of looking upon His face in heaven. That’s what the gospel is all about. Death is not the end — it is the beginning of what Christ died to make possible for us.
But let’s be honest: how many people do you actually know whose lives have been damaged by too much exactness? Very few, I guess. On the other hand, we all know some who have suffered from too much carelessness.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” So if we want to see grandeur, it’s all around us. It’s in the trees, the grass, and the clouds, not to mention the mountains, the oceans, and the stars.
It may be that in past years I had begun to take my work for granted. If so, I have been vividly reminded that none of us has anything that can’t be taken away very quickly, if the Lord chooses (James 4:13-17). So I have been humbled and have become a more grateful person.
This is a special report, so I hope you’ll read it carefully — and prayerfully. Here is what it comes down to: because of my health issues, I need you to let me know which of you, if any, will continue to support me knowing that all I will be doing is writing.