James 1:2-4
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

We are halfway through friends! It is easy for us to get halfway through something and decide to give up, isn’t it!?

My sister, dad and I raced together in a Tri-a-triathlon a few years back. This is where you can race, but it’s not the full triathlon. My portion was swimming! I was excited to be doing this with my family, and thought I was all set to go.

I had my bathing suit from Walmart, my goggles from Dollarama, and had worked out once or twice that week to prepare.

Well, it turns out, the ‘tri-a-triathlon’ was a FULL BLOWN TRIATHLON! When I showed up to do my swimming portion, everyone was not only in bathing suits, but entire swimming gear – top to bottom! They all had muscles, and were in amazing shape. I was so embarrassed!

I quickly ran into the water so no one could see my Walmart bathing suit (or my lack of muscles) and waited until the whistle blew. I started swimming, and within seconds everyone passed me – including the 90 year old sweetheart that I was chatting with earlier!

I wanted to give up. I wanted to quit. It was hard, awful, and exhausting. But I didn’t quit – I persevered through, and was so glad I did.

We may have had the lowest time out of everyone – but we finished!
Webster’s Dictionary defines perseverance as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.”

You may be tired at this point in the fast. It is hard, sometimes awful and exhausting. But don’t quit! James tell us to “count it all joy” when we face trials, and hardships. As difficult as it is, we will ultimately find joy in it, and if we embrace the hardship, our faith will grow under pressure and teach us how to endure. “And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.” (James 1:4 VOICE)
So, let’s “count it all joy” when you are feeling hungry. “Count it all joy” when you are tired, weary, and wanting to quit. “Count it all joy” when you are feeling tempted to give in. Let’s finish this race together!

Pastor Lindsay Kivell

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