Lessons of Longsuffering – Part 1
The Blessings of Pressing On! (James 1:2-4)
James 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
His father was a shopkeeper in Nantucket, but Rowland left home at the age of 15 to sail the Atlantic with whale hunters. Returning to Massachusetts four years later, he worked for several years in his father's shop before opening his own needle-and-thread store in Boston in 1844, but it was soon bankrupt. Rowland began selling dry goods in 1846, but this store also failed. He briefly worked in his brother-in-law's Boston shop, then fled to California in the 1849 gold rush. Finding no wealth out west, he returned to Massachusetts and opened a dry goods store in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1851, in partnership with his brother. This store was a modest success, but in 1858 Rowland left Haverhill and opened a small store of his own in a low-rent neighborhood in New York City. In New York, Rowland found major success. His store became known for its then-innovative policy of clearly marking prices, and advertising those prices in newspaper ads. Rowland H. Macy started Macy’s Department Store. The red star in the Macy's logo was Mr. Macy's idea, inspired by a red-star tattoo on his forearm from his whaling days. By the time of his death in 1877, Macy's store had grown to a tangle of eleven connected buildings on New York's 13th and 14th Streets.
How do you know when you have suffered long enough? Let the suffering have its work in you. Be patient and let the suffering that you’re going through work in you what God is trying to mature in your life. There are reasons why God allows sufferings in your life. Let God put in what He is trying to put in and let Him take out what He is trying to take out. Wait until the Lord’s done. We want the suffering to stop when we say we’re done. We must wait until the Lord is done.
Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” This verse helps many who are suffering to persevere because of the benefits of its promise. I want to see the end and what God has for me in the end. I want to be faithful and not quit.
Press on when you feel like giving up. Nothing is more essential to success in the Christian life than to persevere, to press on. Faith gets you started; joyful steadfastness keeps you going. God is even more interested in growing your perseverance than you are! Almost everything He allows in your life has the purpose of developing your perseverance. That is why James 1:3 teaches that your faith is tested - not so your faith will fail, but to produce in you an achieving steadfastness that results in joy.
PRAYER: Lord, I know that when this trial is over I’ll be a better person because of it. Forgive me for being unsettled. I know You are refining my character and through this I’ll be a better Christian for it, fit for Your use. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.