[This is the first of fourteen passages that sustained me in the while in the dark.]
  • James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
  • James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
  • James 5:10-11 Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Early on in my dark place I began to realize that the tunnel I was in was quite possibly interminable. “Divorce” and “cancer” are words with long-term implications to be sure. They don’t get wished away, so I was going to have to learn to endure. This is what the Spirit impressed on me from this passage and several others of this same theme.

Like bookends – at the onset and the end of his letter – James encouraged us to “persevere.” A case could be made that his main theme was perseverance, and everything in between was to tell us how to go about it.

“Persevere! Don’t give up. If you endure, you’re a blessed person. You’ll be like Job, who didn’t cave in when darkness enveloped him, and you’ll see what I intend to ‘finally bring about.’ I’m full of compassion and mercy. I have plenty to spare for you. Don’t give up!” Jesus

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