A Wisdom Retreat - November 18

Patience Is Virtue

James 1:2-4

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Trials are not given to make us weak, but to make us learn to wait.  Jesus Christ wants to develop our faith, and He rarely develops it in the normal circumstances of life. It is most often  through the interruptions, the heartbreaks, and the discouragements that our faith progresses.

A young black girl living in the poverty section of Philadelphia enjoyed singing in her Union Baptist Church choir. The adults noticed latent talent in her voice and began "The Fund for Marian Anderson's Future." They raised one hundred twenty-six dollars in pennies, nickels, and dimes, and she began taking singing lessons.  

When she was eighteen she auditioned with a famous instructor, but was rejected. Those who continued to believe in her planned a concert in a town hall in New York City. However, the critics were brutal in their reviews. While on a European concert tour, she was well-received, but in Washington, D.C., she was not allowed to sing in Constitution Hall because of her race.

For many years, Marian Anderson wallowed in self-pity. Her mother finally said, "Marian, I want you to think about your troubles and your failures a little—and pray a lot." Then her mother said something that Marian never forgot: "Marian, you must learn that grace comes before greatness."

Marian Anderson became a well-known opera singer, performing for the Eisenhowers and their guests in the White House, being appointed a delegate to the United Nations, and winning a Medal of Freedom. All of this came only after learning the valuable lesson that her mother had taught her.

This is the same lesson delivered throughout Scripture. Learning to fail, yet to persevere, comes as we learn to live a life of faith. Times of trial are not only necessary to teach us humility, but they remind us where our true possessions lie—in Christ.

What better example than Christ—the Model—who shows us that grace comes before greatness . . . humility before honor.

Prayer Point: Take time to do the unthinkable: thank God for something painful in your life, whether a broken relationship, the death of a loved one, a failing grade, an illness, or a difficult circumstance. Pray that God will give you strength to persevere during the test, no matter how long it takes—even a lifetime. Remember that trials are given for your good, and even the painful times are a gift from God.

Extra Refreshment: Read Philippians 2 and James 1. Notice what these Apostles had to say about the purpose of trials in the lives of believers and the necessity of humility.

The Lion's Pride

Last Christmas, J.S. Davey opened his exciting new "Proverbs and Parables" series by taking us on a perilous journey with a little fox named Finnick. This Christmas, he introduces us to two lion kings who model the stark differences between pride and humility. Full of laughter, suspense, unique characters, and heart-warming encounters, this rhyming, heroic tale is sure to leave a lasting impact on children and adults alike.

Receive this book as a thank-you for any size donation this month!

Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!

  • Editors' Picks

    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
  • Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
  • So You Think Theology Is Impractical?
    So You Think Theology Is Impractical?